JOYEUX NOEL | Movie Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Screen » Movie Reviews + Features

JOYEUX NOEL

comment
Inspired by a real event in 1914, this film finds Scottish, French and German soldiers fighting for a strip of French farmland but laying down their arms to share the Christmas holiday. Very heartwarming indeed, but one can't quite shake how calculated and manipulative Christian Carrion's film feels. Did one man's song really rouse an enemy's accompanying bagpipe, and thus cause these warring men to rise from their trenches and weepily sing "Silent Night" together? Joyeux does establish that grunts are grunts even across battle lines (the real fraternity is misery); the villains, the film blares, are the by-the-book commanders wholly removed from the muck and death. In the end, it's a grim reminder that war is meaningless, and any joy derived from this one story is muted by our knowledge that the incalculable horrors of Word War I had barely even begun. In English, and French and German, with subtitles. (AH)

Add a comment