CCU21: A Christmas Tale (2008)

This is a special Christmas episode as we discuss some end of the year Criterion news along with Arnaud Desplechin’s 2008 A Christmas Tale, released on The Criterion Collection in 2009. Rather than a pleasant family Christmas film that fills all with glee, we have a deep, ensemble family tale with rivalries, bitterness, illness and even betrayal. It culminates with a Christmas reunion out of medical necessity. We dig deep into the film and try to explore and find answers for the divided nature of the characters.

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Show notes:


0:00 – Intro, Christmas, Housekeeping
19:00 – News
47:00 – A Christmas Tale


Upcoming Podcast Schedule

Alex Cox Indiegogo Campaign


The Criterion Chronology – Letterboxd list from David Blakeslee

Criterion – National Film Registry Titles

2015 National Film Registry Titles

Tati Hulu Announcement

Lady Snowblood Hulu Announcement

Where to Stream the Best Films of 2015

The Graduate Leaving Netflix in January

Film Comment Best Films of 2015

AFI Best of 2015

Jean Eustache Controversy

Amazon 50% Sale

A Christmas Tale

a christmas tale - family around tree

Facebook Photo Album

Tim’s Post about A Christmas Tale

Where to Find Us:

Mark Hurne: Twitter | Letterboxd
Aaron West: Twitter | Blog | Letterboxd
Criterion Close-Up: Facebook | Twitter | Email

Posted on December 27, 2015, in Criterions, Film, Podcast. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. I watched this on Christmas before I even realized you were casting. This would be easy to dismiss as terrible because it is long, the plot is somewhat ambiguous, characters are not easy to identify with (at least for me), and it is an anti-Christmas spirit flick. However, all those things also made it interesting to me. I gave this an 8/10 because it was entertaining for a 2.5 hour movie. The casting was spot on and characters were intriguing. The “why?” behind everything in the story was thought provoking and I did like that Desplechin didn’t answer much of anything. It certainly wasn’t just another Lifetime Christmas tale.
    I agree that the subplot with Simon and Sylvia detracted from the effectiveness of the film. Good not great.

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