A Christmas Tale, directed by Arnaud Desplechin, is very French. Or rather, it is what I imagine life in France to be—heartbreakingly stylish, and Catherine Deneuve is there. Deneuve plays an icy matriarch in need of a bone marrow transplant who assembles her middle-class family for the holidays in the hopes of finding a match with one of her four adult children. Henry, the son banished for years for his drunken bad behaviour, returns to the fold and is played to perfection by Mathieu Amalric (of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly). The story of a family rushing home to be with an ailing mother may be hackneyed, but things progress in a laissez-faire way—drink some wine, have an affair, eat some food, get a giant syringe pushed into your chest, wear some cashmere, c’est la vie. For the characters in the film it seems that death and love have always been there, hanging around the chic apartment, just waiting to be noticed.