By continuing to use this website, you agree to the use of cookies in order to offer you content and services that are tailored to your interests.

En savoir plus et gérer ces paramètres[OK]
A Christmas Tale

A Christmas Tale

A Feature film by Arnaud Desplechin

Produced by Why Not Productions

Release in France : 21/05/2008


    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?



    A Christmas Tale

    Trailer English Subs

    Actors (21)

    Production and distribution (4)

    Executive Producer :

    Why Not Productions

    Film exports/foreign sales :

    Wild Bunch International

    Box Office: Total results

    Box office: Timeline

    International releases (29)

    CountryDistributorBuyerRelease date

    Show more

    Show less

    Sorry, your search returned no results.

    TV Broadcasts: Cumulative total

    TV broadcasts: details by country

    Photos (6)

    Full credits (16)

    Executive Producer :

    Pascal Caucheteux

    Executive Producer :

    Martine Cassinelli

    Director of Photography :

    Éric Gautier

    Production managers :

    Benoît Pilot, Isabelle Tillou

    Editor :

    Laurence Briaud

    Production Designer :

    Dan Bevan

    Casting :

    Stéphane Touitou, Pascale Béraud

    Sound Mixer :

    Jean-Pierre Laforce

    Assistant director :

    Gabrièle Roux

    Screenwriters :

    Arnaud Desplechin, Emmanuel Bourdieu

    Sound recordists :

    Nicolas Cantin, Sylvain Malbrant

    Press Attaché (film) :

    Agnès Chabot

    Continuity supervisor :

    Agnès Feuvre

    Music Composer :

    Grégoire Hetzel

    Costume designer :

    Nathalie Raoul

    Additional Music :

    White & Spirit

    Technical details

    Feature film

    Genres :


    Sub-genre :


    Themes :


    Production language :


    Production country :


    Original French-language productions :


    Nationality :

    100% French (France)

    Production year :


    French release :


    Runtime :

    2 h 23 min

    Current status :


    Visa number :


    Visa issue date :


    Approval :


    Production formats :


    Color type :


    Aspect ratio :


    Rating restrictions :


    Posters (8)


    News (11)

    Festival Selections (24)

    French Film Tour in Mexico - 2009

    French Film Tour in Mexico (Mexico, 2009)


    Official Selection

    Cesar Awards - French film industry awards - 2009

    Cesar Awards - French film industry awards (France, 2009)

    Selection (9)

    Best Supporting Actor : Jean-Paul Roussillon

    Most Promising Actor : Laurent Capelluto

    Best Film : Arnaud Desplechin

    Best Supporting Actress : Anne Consigny

    Best Director : Arnaud Desplechin

    Best Editing : Laurence Briaud

    Best Original Screenplay : Emmanuel Bourdieu, Arnaud Desplechin

    Best Cinematography : Éric Gautier

    Best Sound : Nicolas Cantin, Jean-Pierre Laforce, Sylvain Malbrant

    Mostra - São Paulo International Film Festival - 2008

    Mostra - São Paulo International Film Festival (Brazil, 2008)


    Official International Selection

    BFI London Film Festival - 2008

    BFI London Film Festival (Great Britain, 2008)


    Films selected

    BIFF - 2008

    BIFF (South Korea, 2008)


    Films selected

    TIFF - 2008

    TIFF (Canada, 2008)


    Special Presentations

    Cannes International Film Festival - 2008

    Cannes International Film Festival (France, 2008)


    Official Competition

    Awards (2)

    Cesar Awards - French film industry awards - 2009

    Cesar Awards - French film industry awards (France, 2009)


    César Award for Best Supporting Actor : Jean-Paul Roussillon

    Cannes International Film Festival - 2008

    Cannes International Film Festival (France, 2008)


    61st Cannes Film Festival Prize : Catherine Deneuve

    Delegations (7)

    Presskit (2)