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Daily Dose Pick: A Christmas Tale

New from Criterion, Arnaud Desplechin’s lovely, novelistic drama captures the long holiday reunion of the crazy and royal Vuillard family.

Catherine Deneuve stars as the materfamilias who learns of her life-or-death need for a bone-marrow transplant. With doting husband Jean-Paul Roussillon, she assembles the tribe, including their adult children: sad-eyed eldest Annie Consigny, banished son Mathieu Amalric, and reformed youngest Melvil Poupaud.

With all the blood relatives roped into one house — as well as their neuroses, internecine feuds, and half-obscured amours — Desplechin creates a tale overflowing with poetry, tenderness (and its opposite), iris effects, and visual and verbal nods to everything from the New Wave to Emerson.

Delve into critic Philip Lopate’s new essay, view a scene from this opus, read an interview between Desplechin and one of his best-loved directors, Wes Anderson, and buy a copy of the film.

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