You know how every single year they are serving us christmas-themed movies which look like they were all made by this one guy who simply does not get it?
Don`t worry, Joyeux noel is nothing like that. In fact, most people would not regard it as a christmas holiday movie. But I do. Here`s why…
The first world war is raging and there is a three-sided front somewhere on the border of France which has Germans on one side and Scotts and French on the other. The whole frontline is not more than a couple of meters wide and long and they fight over it. Comes christmas and everybody is fed up with everything. The Germans have an ex-opera singer among them and so he sings the german soldiers a christmas carol to lift their spirits. The Scotts are celebrating christmas with some scotch and tune in with their pipes. Suddenly, the Germans have a crazy idea. They pick up one of the christmas trees they have in their trenches and bring in in the middle of the no-man`s land. The Scotts comes out of their trenches carrying scotch and playing the pipes and the French follow suite. They negotiate a truce and start celebrating christmas with a mass, a football game and friendly chat amongst the soldier. For those of you who must have a little romance in every single movie you watch, there`s a thing going on between the opera singer and his female co-star.
But it does not end with the christmas and the next morning they negotiate another truce, to bury the dead. And when the German artillery is preparing to shell the Scotts, the Germans kindly invite the Scotts into their trench. And vica-versa.
The whole thing ends when their superiors discover the fratrenization and send them all to jail or to another front. The men must comply, but at the ending scene, the German soldiers sent to the russian front are humming a song that the Scotts were singing on the christmas eve.
A truly remarkable film, one in which you can hear all three languages and not only english, fake english and fake english no.2. And a story where you can see, that evil does not take sides. And that good is just as universal.