J. Hoberman for The Village Voice:
“Arnaud Desplechin is a cinema maximalist. A Christmas Tale feels like all 12 days of seasonal merriment, and then some. This comic, ultimately touching family melodrama is a heady plum pudding of a movie – studded with outsized performances and drenched in cinematic brio. The concoction is over-rich, yet irresistible.”
Philip Lopate for The Criterion Collection
“In the eight films he’s made since 1991, Arnaud Desplechin has been developing a visionary world, a personal style that goes against the grain of standard cinematic practice today. He’s a master of ensemble mise-en-scène and a brilliant director of actors, and his interest tends to fan out over many characters, whose mixed strengths and flaws jolt the viewer out of easy identification with any of them, compelling instead a more complex, deferred, time-capsule-release sympathy. This environmental, novelistically long approach, with its digressive and converging plotlines, is admirably suited to the family romance, a specialty of Desplechin’s, with A Christmas Tale his greatest example.”
Listen to Catherine Deneauve discuss her role in A Christmas Tale on The Leonard Lopate Show.
Desplechin discusses the film and his chief inspiration The Royal Tenenbaums, which he curated at BAM in July 2009, in an interview with STOP SMILING.
Video Q&A between Kent Jones and Desplechin at the New York Film Festival premiere of A Christmas Tale: