Confessions of a Film Junkie: A Review of “Joyeux Noel”
Brian CotnoirI had never heard of the 2005 Foreign Historical-Drama “Joyeux Noel” or “Merry Christmas”as it is sometimes refferred as, until just recently when one of my heroes Doug Walker (aka “The Nostalgia Critic” and “That Guy in the Glasses”) put this film on his list of the “Top 11 Next Best Christmas Specials”. I can honestly say this film is amazing and is one of the best films to have been made in a long time. “Joyeux Noel” is the true life story of a truce made by Scottish, French, and German soldiers during World War I, who despite firece combat and a lot of tension agree to call a truce and a temporary cease fire for the Christmas Holiday. The groups of soldiers emerge out of their trenches and begin to fraternize, share pictures, exchange gifts, and they even have a Christmas mass together with the men that they had called their enemies just only hours before.
As a History Major I really enjoyed this films historical accuaracy. I also like how most of the soldiers are speaking their own language; the Scottish soldiers speak in English, the French soldiers speak French, and the German soldiers speak in German, it really gives you a feel for the time.
Also this film just makes you feel good. What’s amazing about the films story is that it really did happen; these men were trying to kill each other one day and then the next day they were bestfriends because of the holiday. This film really shows that there is hope for all man-kind no matter what the situation is. After the holiday is over the film focusses on the awkwardness of having to return to the trench warfare after just making peace with a man you used to believe was your enemy and the film ends with an amazing ending.
So when the holidays come around and you’re alredy to watch your favorite Christmas specials with the person or people that you care about, make sure you add “Joyeux Noel” to your list. Also I think this film is better with the subtitles on; that way you can understand what the other soldiers are saying.