Status: Completed

Director(s): Arnaud DESPLECHIN

Main cast: Catherine Deneuve, Jean-Paul Roussillon, Anne Consigny

Short synopsis : Just an ordinary day in Versailles… A truly stellar French cast brings Podalydes’ sparkling comedy to vibrant life. PARK BENCHES is a beautifully crafted, endlessly playful and very funny portrait of a day in the life of a little city park and the people who congregate there.

Long synopsis : Abel and Junon had two children, Joseph and Elizabeth. Victim of a rare genetic condition, Joseph’s only hope was a bone marrow transplant. As they and Elizabeth were incompatible, his parents conceived a third child in the hope of saving their son. But little Henri too was unable to help his brother, and Joseph died at the age of seven. The Vuillard family has never recovered. Many years have passed, and family relationships are more strained than ever. In particular, those between Elizabeth, authoritarian head of the family and Henri, a cynical drop out who divides his time between women and drink. After a violent argument, Elizabeth banishes her feckless brother, cutting him off from his nephew, her son Paul – a tortured adolescent beset by serious mental problems. Junon learns that she is being eaten away by a cancer, and that for her too a bone marrow transplant is the only hope. Her children and grandchildren all go for tests, which reveal only two potential donors: Paul and Henri. Christmas approaches. The whole family gathers at the splendid parental home. Henri accepts Paul’s invitation and turns up with his latest conquest. It’s time to settle scores. But little by little, the fraught storm calms. Finally reconciled with his family, Henri is chosen as Junon’s donor. And Paul’s new-found happiness allows Elizabeth in her turn a new lease of life. Masterfully directed and acted, by turns savage, bittersweet, darkly comic and unbearably moving, A CHRISTMAS TALE shows internationally acclaimed Desplechin at the height of his powers.


  • Catherine Deneuve, Jean-Paul Roussillon, Anne Consigny, Mathieu Amalric, Melvil Poupaud, Hippolyte Girardot, Emmanuelle Devos


  • Producer(s): Pascal Caucheteux
  • Director(s): Arnaud DESPLECHIN
  • Screenplay: Arnaud DESPLECHIN, Emmanuel Bourdieu, Jacques Asher, Jean-Pierre Jouet
  • DP: Eric Gautier
  • Editing: Laurence BRIAUD
  • Original Music: Grégoire HETZEL
  • Set Design: Daniel Bevan
  • Original Title: UN CONTE DE NOEL
  • Genre(s): Drama

  • Production date: 2008
  • Language: French
  • Duration: 158 min
  • Image Ratio: 0.00
  • Sound Info: Dolby SRD
  • Festival de Cannes 2008 – Competition
    Award(s) : Special Prize for the 61st Festival Ex-aequo
  • César Awards 2009
    Award(s) : Best Supporting Actor
  • European Film Awards 2008 – Nominated
    Award(s) : Prix d’Excellence
  • Toronto Film Critics Association Awards 2009 – Nominated
    Award(s) : Best Foreign-Language Film
  • Munich International Film Festival 2008
  • T-Mobile New Horizons International Film Festival 2008
  • Melbourne International Film Festival 2008
  • Toronto International Film Festival 2008
  • World Film Festival of Bangkok 2008
  • New York Film Festival 2008
  • Busan International Film Festival 2008
  • Dubai International Film Festival 2008
  • Viennale International Film Festival 2008
  • CINEMANIA French Film Festival 2008
  • Hong Kong International Film Festival 2009
  • Istanbul Film Festival 2009
  • Seoul International Youth Film Festival 2009