Just before Franck left on his BC Road Trip with Robert & Mireille (and All Hell Broke Loose) we rented the French movie “Joyeux Noel” from the library. It is a movie I have been wanting to watch for many moons. Not only have I always been intrigued by World War I and II and the people who lived through it (or the people who didn’t) but it stars the French actor Guillaume Canet. Like Alan Rickman, this is a man I would happily watch change his socks.
Truth be told, I would stare in rapture. Anyway…enough fantasizing Laura…
Turned out I LOVED this movie not only because of Guillaume Canet (though that didn’t hurt) but because it gave me shivers down my spine and made me laugh and weep – sometimes at the same time.
The story is about Christmas Eve on the front lines during World War One, where the Scottish, French, and German troops were all hunkered down in the trenches and then, through a series of mishaps, made a truce and got to know each other as people. This was a fatal mistake for them as soliders, but essential for them as human beings. I want to watch it again to relive moments like the sounds of bagpipes furling over the dead in No Man’s Land, and the German opera singer who starts moving Christmas trees so the enemy can see them while he sings.
I also think I will watch it with my girls as there are few movies that bring home the ridiculousness and heartbreak of war as this one. Watch it – cry, laugh and admire Guillaume Canet…and then let me know what you think. And Merry Christmas, even though it is almost June.