Tuesday, January 10, 2006


Fact based war drama
original title Joyeux Noël
in French and German with English subtitles

After the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28, 1914, the world was plunged into war. Although the Germans had made a strong offensive into France, the combined French, Belgian, and British forces were able to halt them. Since they were unable to push the Germans out of France, there was a stalemate and both sides dug into the earth creating a large network of trenches. The trenches were only a few hundred feet apart, buffered by a relatively flat area known as "No Man's Land."

Though World War I had been raging for only four months when Christmas came around, it was already proving to be one of the bloodiest wars in history. Soldiers on both sides were trapped in the trenches, exposed to the cold and wet winter weather, covered in mud, and extremely careful of sniper shots. Machine guns had proven their worth in war, bringing new meaning to the word "slaughter." It was not where they wanted to be.

Benno Fürmann: Nikolaus Sprink, a famous German tenor
Diane Krüger: his lover Anna Sörensen, a Danish soprano
Gary Lewis: Palmer, a minister with the 6th Gordon Highlanders regiment
Guillaume Canet: French Lieutenant Audebert
Dany Boon: Ponchel, Audebert’s aide-de-camp
Daniel Brühl: a German officer, Horstmayer

Although war is generally regarded in a very negative fashion, sometimes the human spirit prevails. This heart-warming movie is about just such an occasion. The movie is sometimes amusing, often poignant. The acting is first-rate but the lip-syncing is not.

for some war violence and a brief scene of sexuality/nudity.
The events that took place were never again repeated.

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