November officially marks the start of the Christmas season for retail, entertainment and homes, after all, Christmas is fifty-five days away! No wonder, today the Netflix platform launches its first film to open the 2021 season: the Belgian production ‘A Família Noel’, which arrives today for subscribers.
Suzanne (Bracha van Doesburgh) is the mother of Noor (Amber Metdepenningen) and Jules (Mo Bakker) and, after the tragic death of her husband the previous year, she decides to move with her children to Belgium – not least because she promised her husband to take care of her Santa Claus (Jan Decleir). On Christmas Eve and already in her new home, Suzanne must take care of her new job at the biscuit factory, maintain her daughter’s illusion about the magic of Christmas and take care of her eldest son’s bad mood, who has been super irritated since his father died. When Noël Claus has an accident and proves that he can no longer be alone, Suzanne will ask Jules to take care of her grandfather, and with him the young man will wonder about the true meaning of Christmas.
In about an hour and a half, ‘A Família Noel’ manages to end so, but so, that it is tiring. To give you an idea, the first thirty minutes of Matthias Temmermans’ film go nowhere, going round and round in the boring story of the child protagonist who gets angry for no reason and literally goes out of the picture by typing foot all the time. I mean, it’s good that his dad passed away the previous Christmas, but the boy’s sudden outbursts just because his sister always wants to celebrate the holiday party really makes you roll your eyes. Repeating phrases like “I hate Christmas” every time the boy is upset, and even in front of Santa and his helpers, doesn’t really help get us to watch the movie.
Written by Ruben Vandenborre, Elke de Gezelle and Matthias Temmermans, “The Noel Family” attempts to couple two stories simultaneously – the protagonist’s discovery of how he has a real connection to Christmas and his mother’s difficulty keeping a job an time he has to go out. all the time on behalf of his children and, at the same time, trying to save the very factory in which he works – he ends up opening up too much and diverging the story into less important subplots, leaving the magic of Christmas, which is what it really conquers the sleeping viewer.
Considering this is the opening of Netflix’s Christmas season, “The Noel Family” bores you with its weird humor and bland history. It’s worth watching how other countries – Belgium, the Netherlands – celebrate the date in a slightly different way than we do, and it’s also worth seeing a Christmas production spoken in German, for switch. However, ‘A Família Noel’ does not awaken the Christmas spirit and, as a family film, it will annoy young and old. However, there is already a sequel in the works, so let’s wait …
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