Christian Carion says music is a character, an important one, in his new
film, "Joyeux Noel." Even before you see this epic, emotion-filled movie
about a Christmas truce in the trenches of World War I, you'll know by
the presence of Natalie Dessay and Rolando Villazon that music, indeed,
is of importance. (Young Villazon was engaged, Carion told me, on the
recommendation of Dessay, she being a long-time favorite and friend of
The Oscar-, Cesar-, and BAFTA-nominated "Joyeux Noel" may or may not
walk away with a top prize, but that's not important: it's a terrific,
memorable film, highly recommended. The music - including Bach's "Bist
du bei mir," Franz Gruber's "Stille Nacht," and John Francis Wade's
"Adeste fideles" - is an important bonus. The soundtrack composer,
conductor, and pianist is Philippe Rombi (of "5x2," the splendid "Look
at Me" (http://tinyurl.com/r7sjv), "Jeux d'enfants," "Le cot de la vie,"
and "Swimming Pool."
In "Joyeux Noel," Dessay is Diane Kruger's singing voice, Villazon is
Benno Furmann's, but the singers appear as themselves in "Joyeux Noel:
La musique du film." I don't know at this point, due to a slight language
problem with Carion (mine, not his), if this 40-minute documentary,
directed by David Dessites, will be part of the main film's DVD edition.
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