Pascal is a little boy who lives with his father, his mother is dead. His father, played by William Holden, takes him off on holidays to the island of Corsica, in the Mediterranean Sea. During the trip, they take a small boat out to sea and whilst William Holden is diving to free a trapped fishing line, Pascal remains in the boat and gets exposed to radiation from a nuclear bomb which accidentally falls from a passing plane. Hospital tests confirm that following this incident, Pascal's days are numbered and his life expectancy is not expected to be longer than six months.
Confronted with such a terrible perspective, Pascal's father is determined to let Pascal pursue his interests to the fullest extent during the remaining short time imparted to him by God to remain on this earth. He goes to live in a country house ( I'm not sure where ) but it's snowy for most of the film, and there's also a peasant living in this house called Verdun ( played by great French actor Bourvil ) who befriends Pascal. Pascal has a special way with wolves and is able to communicate with them. He enjoys driving the tractor. He knows he is going to die and is far more at ease speaking about it than his father who cannot accept the fact and is secretly hoping a miracle will occur all the time.
Pascal will die on Christmas day whilst opening his presents and the wolves will howl throughout the house to mourn his passing ! Before this fateful day however, he will have spent many happy moments with his dad, with Verdun and with Catherine his dad's lady friend.
The film is extremely emotional and if you have seen it when young, you will never forget it ! I did not have that privilege and only saw it for the first time in 1992. It passes occasionally on French television and is in the French language, surprising when you consider that William Holden was an American. I have it on a VHS cassette and enjoy occasional viewings but have to prepare psychologically for the end each time ! Most of the film is made in snowy surroundings, and this remains in your mind after the initial viewing, rather like with "Love Story" and "Dead Zone", both of which also have sad endings. Is there a correlation between snowscapes in film and an unhappy ending ? Food for thought, to be sure. Anyway, emotion guaranteed for "L'Arbre de Noël".
The Christmas Tree
The Christmas Tree
Since the death of his mother, Pascal, ten years old, spends his holidays with his father, the rich Laurent Segur. One day, when diving near the shores of Corse, an aircraft falls into the sea. The holiday goes on happily with Catherine, the young and pretty girlfriend of Laurent. But soon blue marks appear on the face of Pascal. He has been contaminated by a nuclear weapon carried by the destroyed plane, and he won't survive more than six months. There is nothing Laurent can do, except give his son the best six months he has ever lived. —Christophe Tronche
Uploaded By: FREEMAN
August 28, 2021 at 07:47 PM