Co-presented by the French Film & TV Office

Nominated for the Palme d’Or, selected on many of 2008′s best-of lists, and perhaps Desplechin’s finest directorial work, Un conte de Noël reinvents the holiday movie as a freewheeling auteurist meditation on the ways in which we love each other in spite of maybe not loving each other that much. Featuring world-class heavy hitters like Catherine Deneuve and Mathieu Amalric delivering empathetic performances, this anti-holiday movie revels in its existential ambivalence, cooly tragic as it nimbly hops between moods and perspectives, with unexpected monologues into camera, poetic editorial flourishes, and sumptuous, nostalgic cinematography. Witty, philosophical, and emotionally volatile, this yuletide portrait of a family of besieged aristocrats and burnt-out prodigies trying to make sense of their lives has absolutely no carols (hip-hop and classical instead), and lots of opportunity for a little merry schadenfreude.

Dir. Arnaud Desplechin, 2008, 35mm, 150 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!