Best Movies by Farr
Joyeux Noel Poster
Released Runtime Category
2005 116 Foreign Language, War
Director Language
Christian Carion French
Diane Kruger, Benno Furmann, Guillaume Canet, Daniel Brühl, Gary Lewis

Joyeux Noel

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What's it About

Based on the real-life truces between French and German combatants during Christmas 1914, in the early months of World War I, this drama follows the parallel destinies of German opera singer Nikolaus Sprink (Benno) his Danish lover Anna (Kruger), Anglican minister Palmer (Lewis), and a French lieutenant (Canet). Each of their lives is changed by the sudden onslaught of war, but are utterly transformed during a Christmas Eve ceasefire, when soldiers on the front lines come out of the trenches to shake hands with their enemies.

Why we love it

Carion’s deeply affecting period melodrama traverses the same territory as Renoir’s “The Grand Illusion,” bringing great sensitivity to the plight of officers and soldiers locked in the nightmarish realities of trench combat. While Carion does not shrink from depicting war in all its grotesque savagery, his main theme is hope and the resilience of the human spirit. Blessed with a top-notch, multilingual cast, “Noel” is a powerful film about honor and the fading of an older Europe, but its message of peace amid the barbarism of war has great resonance for our time.

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BEST MOVIES BY FARR is your personal guide to great movies to rent, stream, or buy; to watch at home or on-the-go. Led by film advocate John Farr, the Best Movies by Farr team works as a "quality filter" for the discerning moviegoer. Every day, we bring you the best of the best, the fantastic familiar films and hidden gems, to answer that age-old question: "What should we watch tonight?"