A baby boy is born, his cries full of vigor and determination as he greets the bright, artificial lights of the operating room.
In an office not too far away, an older gentleman's heart is heavy as his oncologist gives him the bad news that his cancer has returned.
The sun is shining and the leaves are a vibrant red and yellow and orange; the air is punctuated with the squeals of children on the playground and crunching through the leaves.
It is black night, and the streetlights cast silent shadows on the freshly-fallen blanket of snow covering every exposed surface outside.
A young family of three, alight with excitement and anticipation, prepares to buy the perfect Christmas tree to adorn their urban home this merry holiday season.
Another older gentleman, wearing grief like a winter parka, lights up the Christmas star on his suburban lawn several weeks too early to pay tribute to his elderly mother who has just passed.
And so the contrasts continue to play out in short snippets, alternating between the bright vibrant colours of a happy season with the bleak hues of gray, white and black. Quick, joyful Christmas melodies seem that much more jarring as they are interrupted by slow, minor-keyed dirges.
As the story continues, the viewer learns just how these scenes are tied together. The newborn son is the namesake, bearing the name of his terminally-ill grandfather. The young mother is the firstborn of this man, and the auntie of the newborn babe. The young father is the firstborn of the other man, and the grandson of the woman who has passed away. All of these vignettes share in common this young family, who happens to live a province away, unable to directly involve themselves in the celebrations and the tragedies happening an hour's flight away.
This is why I have been absent from the blog for a little while. My life is this movie right now, and I'm still trying to figure out if I like artsy films.