gets a new look !
In the beginning, Abel and Junon had two children, Joseph and Elizabeth. Suffering from a rare, genetic illness, little Joseph had to receive a bone-marrow transplant. As Elizabeth wasn’t compatible, her parents conceived a third child in the hope of saving Joseph. But Henri, who was soon to be born, was also no help to his brother – and Joseph died when he was seven years old. After the birth of their fourth child, Ivan, the Vuillard family quietly recovered from the death of their first-born. Years have since passed by. Elizabeth has become a playwright in Paris. Henri is entangled in all sorts of dubious business affairs and fraudulent bankruptcies, while Ivan, once a teenager tottering on the edge, has become an almost rational father of two peculiar boys. One fatal day, Elizabeth, infuriated by her black-sheep brother’s excesses, formally “banishes” Henri. No one now knows exactly what happened, or why. Henri has disappeared, and the family now seems to have disintegrated. Only Simon, Junon’s nephew, taken in by his aunt after his parents’ deaths, maintains, albeit with some difficulty, the semblance of a bond between the parents living in the provinces, the virtuous sister, the uncertain brother and their execrated sibling. A Christmas Tale begins with the return of the illness that killed Joseph: Junon learns that she is suffering from a form of leukaemia that no chemotherapy can cure. She must now find a potential bone-marrow donor among the members of her family. Children and grandchildren each undergo medical tests. Paul, Elizabeth’s tormented teenage son and the oldest of Junon’s grandchildren, is overcome with anxiety. Christmas approaches. All the family comes together for three days in the large family home in Roubaix, in northern France. Invited by Paul, even Henri accepts the invitation and arrives accompanied by his latest conquest, Faunia. Claude, Elizabeth’s husband, will join everyone later. It could be a time for a settling of old scores, and yet, after an initial bristly patch, things settle down. People fall under each other’s spell. Sylvia, Ivan’s wife, discovers that Simon has been in love with her for years. She wonders whether she has truly lived her life or only experienced a pale illusion of it. Will Junon accept a dangerous transplant to treat an illness that may never develop? Will Paul’s father accept that his son gives his bone marrow to his grandmother, thereby risking carrying the responsibility for her death? As for Elizabeth and Henri, what can be done about an argument that stopped making sense a long time ago?
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