The French film Un conte de Noel (more commonly referred to as A Christmas Tale here) stars excellent actors like Catherine Deneuve and Diving Bell and the Butterfly's Mathieu Amalric, and has been generating rave reviews. Critics are likening director Arnaud Desplechin's style to that of Noah Baumbach ("if he were French and a little more hopeful about humanity"), or a combination of Ingmar Bergman and Wes Anderson. The plot description reads: "The Vuillard's shared history of physical and mental illness, estrangement, self harm, and loss doesn't lend itself to the idea of a cheerful holiday season. But can a Christmastime reunion, a scheme concocted by three of the youngest family members, finally bring peace their clan?" The trailer, which you can view after the jump, completely sealed the deal for me. Apparently A Christmas Tale is currently available from IFC on OnDemand.
Down in Mexico there's a slightly more innocent and whimsical Christmas story in Navidad, S.A. The movie had a record-breaking opening weekend in Mexico in mid-November, marking the "largest domestic release in the nation's history." The sweet-looking film's plot is as follows: "With Christmas approaching, Santa Claus has to contend with the fact that the North Pole is melting and find a way to rid the holiday of its capitalist nature."
Unfortunately, I couldn't find a trailer for Navidad, S.A. with English subtitles but the one in Spanish is so endearing even if you don't understand the words. To check out the trailers for these two new Christmas movies from afar, read more.
A Christmas Tale (France):
Navidad, S.A. (Mexico)