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Movie Review
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The World Wars History Movie Review Resesrch Paper (Movie Review Sample)


The film I choose is Joyeux Noël (Merry Christmas) (Carion, 2005).
Please Follow the instructions carefully. Thanks.


Project 2: The World Wars Due Date: Tuesday, March 31 Because France has produced many excellent films on the wars—excellent in artistic quality as well as in the research behind the portrayal of the wars—your next project will be to watch a French war film. 1. Choose one of the following. See the end of this sheet for where to obtain French films. Note that all films below are available in French with English subtitles. The name of the director and the year of production are provided. •World War I: Grand Illusion (La Grande Illusion) (Renoir, 1937) Life and Nothing But (La vie et rien d’autre) (Tavernier, 1989) A Very Long Engagement (Un long dimanche de fiançailles) (Jeunet, 2004) Joyeux Noël (Merry Christmas) (Carion, 2005) Frantz (Ozon, 2016) •World War II: The Silence of the Sea (Le Silence de la mer) (Melville, 1949; also Boutron 2004) Forbidden Games (Les jeux interdits) (Clément, 1952) Is Paris Burning ? (Paris brûle-t-il?) (Clément, 1966) Army of Shadows (L’armée des ombres) (Melville, 1969) The Last Metro (Le dernier métro) (Truffaut, 1980) Au revoir, les enfants (Good-bye, Children) (Malle, 1987) Female Agents (Les Femmes de l’ombre) (Salomé, 2008) La Rafle (The Roundup) (Bosch, 2010) Sarah’s Key (Paquet-Brenner, 2010) Suite Française (Dibb, 2015) 2. Sign up for the film you are going to watch and review by clicking on “Project 2 Sign-Up Sheet” in the blue column on our site. Note that no more than three people may choose the same film. Brief descriptions of each film are on the sign-up sheet. 3. Write up an evaluation of your chosen film with the following sections: v A very brief summary of the plot. Remember that I have seen these films, so I do not need a blowby-blow account of the action. A paragraph (in your own words) will suffice. v Your analysis: o What aspect of the war did it emphasize? o Based on what you have read and learned, did the depiction of the war seem realistic and accurate, or not? o Did you learn something new about the war or about France that you didn’t know before? Or did it reinforce or contradict what you have already learned? o Give at least three specific examples. v Research this film a bit. o What is the story behind the film? What is the significance of the title? Is it autobiographical in any way? Is it based on a true story? Is it an adaptation of a novel? (Note: It may not be any of these things. But find out what you can.) o What did critics say about it? Are there conflicting opinions among critics? Cite at least two critics. (Please choose professional film critics—not the opinion of random people on Rotten Tomatoes or some other such site.) o Cite your sources (not just with a “works cited” list, but with footnotes, endnotes, or parenthetical citations as well). If you do not know how to cite properly, please go to the library or the writing center for help. v Your personal reaction to the film. What did you like or not like about it, and why? What was your favorite (and/or least favorite) scene? Do you agree or disagree with the critics? Was there anything in the film that surprised or confused you? How did this film add to your knowledge of the war? Include other comments as you wish. 4. Submit your write-up as a .doc or .docx file to the Project 2 Assignment area in the blue column on the left of the Blackboard screen by Tuesday, March 31. Earlier submissions encouraged! Where to find French films v Check the St. John’s University library site. They have a number of films available for free download ( as well as DVDs available at the Media Center in the library (third floor). v The Queens County Library has a very good selection of French films that you can borrow for free. You can go online to find which branch carries which films ( you are not in Queens, you can do a New York Public Library search ( to see which films are where. v Amazon Prime Video is a good source for many (but not all) of the above-mentioned films; you can download films to watch on your computer for a modest rental or purchase fee. Go to, and in the drop-down menu, choose Prime Video. Type in the name of your film—if English doesn’t work, type in the French. All the films in their collection have trailers that you can watch before renting. Once you give your payment information, you can watch the film. Available titles for rent: A Very Long Engagement, Army of Shadows, Frantz, The Silence of the Sea (Melville version), The Last Metro, La Rafle, Joyeux Noël, Is Paris Burning?, Female Agents, Sarah’s Key. v iTunes, now AppleTV, also has rental choices: Grand Illusion, A Very Long Engagement, Frantz, The Silence of the Sea (Melville version), The Last Metro, Joyeux Noël, Is Paris Burning?, Female Agents, Sarah’s Key, Army of Shadows. v has the following: Sarah’s Key, Suite Française. v YouTube Movies has the following movies to buy or to rent: Grand Illusion, A Very Long Engagement, Joyeux Noël, Frantz, Is Paris Burning, Army of Shadows, Au Revoir les Enfants, Female Agents, La Rafle. v might have some. v Video stores (if they still exist) might have some of these films. v HuluPlus may have some of these films. GRADING RUBRIC Summary: 10 points 9-10: Very good to excellent. Summary contains major elements of the plot and yet is concise (about one good paragraph). 7-8: Fair to good. Summary contains most major elements of the plot; may be too short or too long (more than a good paragraph). 5-6: Poor. Summary misses some key elements of the plot; is much too brief, or goes on for a page or more. 1-4: Completely unacceptable; wrong or much missing information. Analysis/Discussion 50 points 45-50 points: Full description of the aspect of the war treated in the film; three things that you learned, and/or that supported or contradicted what you had already learned 40-44 points: Description of the aspect of the war, as well as the three specific points that supported or contradicted what you have learned, are present, but not fully treated. 35-39 points: All elements mentioned above are present, but treated superficially. Or, one element is missing while other elements are reasonably well done. 1-34: Major deficiencies, either in number of elements treated, or in content of treatment. Background of the film 10 points 8-10: Background of the film/story behind the film is clearly and fully explained. 6-7: Explanation is given, but is fairly general and vague. 1-5: Poor description given. 0: Citations missing. Critics 10 points 8-10: Two or more critics are cited and their viewpoints are clearly presented. 6-7: Two or more critics are cited, but their viewpoints are presented in a minimal way. 1-5: Only one critic is cited and his/her viewpoint explained. OR, both critics are cited, but viewpoints poorly explained. 0: Citations missing. Personal Reaction 20 points 18-20 points: Your reaction to the film is explained in some detail. Favorite/least favorite scene is clearly described. You clearly explain what surprised or confused you, what added to your knowledge of the war. You clearly explain why you agree or disagree with the critics. 16-17 points: Same as above, although with somewhat less detail and clarity. 14-15 points: The reaction to the film may be superficial, lacking in content. 1-13: Major deficiencies. Only a cursory explanation of your reaction is present. Few or no details.


Student Name
Joyeux Noël (''Merry Christmas'') (2005)
Joyeux Noël (''Merry Christmas'') (2005) is based on Christmas Truce of December 1914. The film begins with schoolboys reciting patriotic speeches that praise their nations while at the same time condemning the enemies. As the film continues, the paths of a Scottish vicar, a French lieutenant, a German star tenor, and a Danish soprano cross. These will be at the center of fraternization between the soldiers of German, French, and British trenches. On December 25th, 1914, the enemies on the Western Front cease firing for a moment and play football while also sharing drinks in a no man’s land. They also show each other photos of their wives and lovers. However, reality sinks in and they are forced to return to the previous state of killing each other. Their superiors are unhappy with the move and take measures to ensure they kill each other.

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