The Film: Joyeux Noël
I wrap up this series with a French film about Christmas. Based on actual events the film tells the story of a Christmas Eve during World War I. The real events are much more interesting and more amazing than the film’s version but I genuinely enjoyed the concept just as much as the film itself. There are some stories you just don’t hear enough about so you take it when you can.
It was great to see the mix of actors, French, Scottish, German and though there are moments of historical inaccuracy, shmaltz, and a ridiculously placed sex scene — I liked it more for the movie it could have been. It is a bit of a mess, just like the real story, and I’m sorry to end on a film with a lesser quality of craftsmanship but I still would recommend the film for the acting inparticular. Guillaume Canet, Gary Lewis, and Daniel Brühl hold the story together. The not even remotely subtle addition of a love story, featuring Diane Kruger, is utterly regrettable and a good lesson that sometimes less is more.
But in this world at this time, the story is right and this film deserves to be watched to help us remember the past and to be thankful for the celebration of Christmas when grace came to us in the gift of a child.
The Food: 13 Desserts
This isn’t so much of a recipe as an inspiration. Here are the 13 desserts of le réveillon. Some I made and others I bought.
1. Date with pistachio
2. Date with coconut
3. Thyme almonds
4. Honey Cookie with beret
6. White chocolate mendiant
7. Dark chocolate mendiant
8. French cookie
11. Lemon Rosemary Macaroon with vegan ganache
12. Pistachio and coconut Turkish delight
13. Candied tangerine peel