Le père Noël est une ordure

Co-presented by the French Film and TV Office

Madcap hijinx spiral to distasteful heights, while pratfalls blend seamlessly with domestic abuse, in this frosty carol-cum-eulogy for that piece of garbage, Father Christmas (the title’s literal translation). Two well-meaning but inept volunteers get stuck working the phones at a suicide hotline on Christmas Eve. When their mentally unbalanced callers decide to pay them a visit, their yuletide quest to bring hope to the disenfranchised snowballs into a manic spree of sexual misadventure and holiday-induced violence. The cast is populated by vaunted members of Le Splendide – the French equivalent of Second City – and the film’s untethered, schizophrenic style contrasts their sketch-style profanities with a masterfully rendered, iridescent Parisian night-world. Like the film’s boozed up, gun-toting santa who distributes strip-tease pamphlets to children, Le père Noël est une ordure gleefully reminds us that Christmas is the most wonderful time to kill yourself.

Dir. Jean-Marie Poiré, 1982, digital presentation, 88 min.

Watch the Cinefamily original trailer!