‘Noëlle’ DVD Review
What do you get when you have a Christmas film that centers on the loss of faith in the church around the holidays? Then add two priests from the parish, which are also losing their faith. When the entire community also has a sense that the priests at their parish have lost faith, it has a trickle effect to the townsfolk. This isn’t the tip of the iceberg as there are many more parallel storylines running along with the main one revolving around the loss of faith.
David Wall’s ‘Noëlle’ has way too many ongoing plots for its own good. Then the problem gets even worse with an abundance of characters which doesn’t allow for character development. David Wall acted, wrote, and directed ‘Noëlle’; if he would have trimmed some of the fat this film could have been very good.
The story begins with Father Jonathan Keene (David Wall) being sent by the archdiocese to help uplift the Massachusetts parish. Father Simeon Joyce (Sean Patrick Brenna) is the priest of the parish and old friends with Father Keene. Both Father Joyce and Keene try to put a plan in place that will help bring the townsfolk back to the church. Father Keene throws out the idea of having a nativity for Christmas Eve with the townspeople participating. Since Father Keene is new to the town, he doesn’t realize that Eleanor Worthington (Jean Bates) has a Christmas Eve party every year which will be a conflict.
Then add to the mix that they don’t have a person to play Mary. Worthington’s niece Marjorie (Kerry Wall) name comes up since she is pregnant. There is a twist here; she is pregnant with a married man’s baby. This plotline here hurt my head more than anything else.
The acting is sufficient and could have worked much better if the characters had a bit more fleshing out. The achilles heel of ‘Noëlle’ is that there isn’t proper character development. There are a few pieces of the plot that is rather rushed which hurts the pacing of the film.
The print is presented in 1.78:1 anamorphic widescreen. The film looks rather soft with vibrant colors. Some of the scenery really benefits from the lighting used. Blacks are rather deep and nighttime scenes look very good. Details could have been better; there were a few too many shots that were out of focus. All in all, this is a decent print for a low budget film.
The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 mix. The sound is front heavy with a film like ‘Noëlle’ where it is dialogue driven. Dialogue is clear through the center channel without any distortion. There is music from the soundtrack, but still doesn’t take full advantage from the soundfield.
‘Noëlle’ is an average film that tries to hard to be something that it is not. The problems that I had with the film are that the plot is convoluted and the lack of character development.