Plus ça change…

Today, while doing the ironing, I watched two railway/railroad based films/movies.

The first is typical of its time, featuring a multi-racial cast, and depicts an initial corporate failure leading to a disaster with actual massive loss of life, but in our story, after several personal triumphs by our hero the final result is a happy ending for most of the group we are following.   There are some humorous moments and many of high tension.

The  second is typical of its time, featuring a multi-racial cast, and depicts initial failures by two individuals leading to a potential disaster with massive loss of life, but in our story, after several corporate failures the final result is a happy ending for most of the group we have been following.  There are some humorous moments  and many of high tension.

The films?

A film for Christmas

.Yesterday I watched one of “must view at Christmas” films: “Joyeux Noël”.  More about this film here, but beware spoilers in the synopsis.  https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joyeux_Noël

I find this movie interesting from a historical viewpoint, schmalzy in places and unbelievable in a couple of plot concepts, but I will watch it, and be reduced to tears, every Christmas.  Each time I watch I see a little more into the main characters and gain a little more understanding of the (French) director’s idea.

The story is excellently portrayed by the director and all the actors.  It is in English, German and French (normally subtitled).  Naturally when the main protagonists interact the language switches to the one who understands least of the other two, so there is a lot of English with a strong clipped Scottish accent!  Daniel Brühl, as the German officer, acts a lot of his rôle in French or English.

What I take from this film is that if it were left to the front line troops the Great War would have been over by the first Christmas – or New Year at the latest, but those in command had no idea how to end it once it had been put in motion by those above them.

It is a film with realism, pathos, romance, occasional comedy, social criticism and above all humanity.  And recommended for Christmas viewing, expecially this year as we remember the end of the Great War.