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Joyeux Noel

Euro pudding that doesn't taste half bad
By MATTIAS FREY  |  March 8, 2006
2.5 2.5 Stars
JOYEUX NOËL: Forsaking politics for a vague humanism.On December 24, 1914, French, German, and Scottish infantry units laid down their arms, climbed out of their trenches, and celebrated a no-man’s-land Christmas together. Christian Carion dramatizes this historical footnote to World War I with a tri-lingual constellation of European stars. Pressed to narrate from three sides, Carion concentrates on the commanding officers with subplots involving the Scottish chaplain and a German opera-singer-turned-private; his strategy sketches some characters adequately but leaves others ludicrously stilted. Typical of the new hybrid European cinema, this international co-production forsakes politics for a vague humanism: war is a hell for which no one and everyone is to blame. Despite maudlin moments, however, it musters its fair share of irony. The film may be a Euro pudding, but it’s tastier than most.
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  Topics: Reviews , Armed Forces
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