Sometimes, the holiday season—with all that quality family time!—can lead to more tense than joyous reunions. If you want to take perverse pleasure (let’s call it Santafreude) from another family’s dysfunction, we recommend you immediately rent 2008’s A Christmas Tale.
When family matriarch Junon, played by the ever-lovely Catherine Deneuve, discovers she needs a bone marrow transplant to save her life, her feuding children and significant others are forced to gather together for the holidays. Before long, old disputes, grudges, and past love affairs are dragged to the surface and thrashed out with plenty of awkward toasts, fistfights and bed-hopping. But this is not slapstick farce – director Arnaud Desplechin masterfully keeps things tightly on track, and A Christmas Tale is both an elegant and darkly comedic delight.
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