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Holiday reels: Movie magic for the whole family

Joyeux Noel (Merry Christmas - 2005)


 - Joyeux Noel (Merry Christmas - 2005)
On to something a little more serious. Joyeux Noël is the true story of three World War One regiments who, in 1914, forgot their differences and and declared a Christmas truce. 

The story revolves around six characters: German tenor Nicholas Sprink, his Danish lover Anna Sorensen German Lieutenant Horstmayer, French Lieutenant Audebert, Scottish Lieutenant Gordon, and  Father Palmer, a Scottish priest and stretcher bearer. 

On Christmas eve, despite orders from up high, the soldiers on each side start singing carols from home. On the German side, Nicholas Sprink, an opera tenor, baffles the soldiers when he climbs over the top during a rendition of "Oh Holy Night" and starts walking through No Man's Land, brandishing a lit Christmas Tree. The Scottish and French don't dare shoot him, and a truce is declared. For the next 6 days, the soldiers from all sides fraternize and play, share stories and champagne, and dream of home. However, when New Year's rolls around, it becomes clear that the war must go on and that the battlefield is no place for unlikely friendships...

We dare you not to cry during this movie. The beautiful renditions of Christmas carols in three languages, amazing acting by Daniel Bruhl, Guillaume Canet and Gary Lewis, and the recurring idea that this really happened, are a trifecta bound to bring on the waterworks. 


Anne Cohen
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