JOYEUX NOEL, a movie worth seeing

You sure want to bite life with all your might after seeing it and not necessarily just for the title

Francois Truffaut the great film critic and director of the French "Nouvelle Vague" claimed that "There are films that make you want to live and then there are others ..."

Well I would like to say that my favorite film this year has been without the slightest doubt a French one: JOYEUX NOEL aka MERRY CHRISTMAS directed by Christian Carion. You sure want to bite life with all your might after seeing it and not necessarily just for the title.

plot: When WWI erupts in the summer of 1914, it surprises everyone and few know that Millions of men were to perish. Nikolaus Sprink, a talented Opera singer in Berlin, will have to renounce to a promising career and the one he loves: Anna Sörensen a Danish soprano and singing partner.

The Scottish priest Palmer decides to volunteer and join Jonathan, his young assistent. They both leave Scotland, one as a soldier, the other as as a brancadier.

French Lieutenant Audebert had to leave his pregnant wife for the front. However the Germans occupy the small northern french town where the newly wed wife has most probably given birth.

The first Christmas of the War era begins and with the snow so are the gifts from famililies. However the real surprise does not come from the generous gifts sent to the French, Scottish and German Trenches ...

Joyeux Noel will represent France at the upcoming Oscar ceremonies next year. Like Jean Jacques Jeubet's AMELIE, this film is certain to draw attention for a great script, very good and human cast of actors and an unforgettable music score in the lines of David Leans Dr. ZDIVAGO. The music score also allows us to appreciate the elegance and richness of music and songs from the land of Goethe and Bethoven,which so often have been reduced to being purely militaristic.

Joyeux Noel is not just another War film in the lines of Stanley Kubricks "Paths of Glory", or the numerous film adaptations of the famous novel by Erich Maria Remarque "All Quiet on the Western Front", both of which stand as solid references to describe the spirit of the bloodiest conflict of the 20th century which has often been overshadowed by the horrors of WWII.

There are only a dozen veterans of this war left today in the world. Few can describe the reality of those dark days and most of our knowledge of WWI is probably shut in the dusty bookshelves or film documentaries of the periode which are only reminders of a periode long gone.

Yet more than 90 years after the begining of this conflict, the world has certainly not seen an end to war and its inhumanity.

The film also introduces a set of young european actors that I am sure will be amongst the future film stars of the decade. Some are already famous like Diane Kruger (The beautiful Helen in TROY stars as the soprano), and real life husband French actor Guillaume Canet ( The french officer), others deserve to be recognized in the future such as the excellent Danny Boone (the French soldier who has a cat), or Benno Furmann ( the German Opera Singer), certainly one of those actors with the so called "perfect" germanic face one rarely come across in films and particularly war films.

Joyeux Noel is not a film about war but one on its absurdity. It deserves to be seen more than once and is fit for young and old. It is an essential film and I am certain is already a classic.

My only and last recommendation is : GO SEE IT YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT.

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