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Movie: Les Maîtres du suspense (#245)

I do not tend to watch a ton of movies (in English or in French).  I suppose I’m like most people;  I don’t like to see obscure films which try to convey hidden messages of morals on life using metaphors and cinematic tools to invoke the suppressed character in me.   Puke!   Sorry, that’s just not me.

Rather, like most people, I’m shallow, movies are expensive, and I want an instant fix from the movies I chose to see.  I expect to be wowed, held in suspense (without having to expend too much brain power), or I expect to be keeling over with laughter.  (By the way, if you’re learning French, the informal word for “keeling over with laughter” is “cramper”).

So in this sense, like the vast majority of people out there, I’m just plain picky and my choices are populist.   I chose movies based on how the expensive effects look, or based on raving reviews.

Yet, yesterday I decided to see what was playing in French (with one of Canada’s largest Francophone populations outside of Québec, Toronto is a great city for anything Francophone-related).  A quick search revealed a few French-language movies playing at the cinema this weekend.   Some were made in Québec and others in France.

I looked them up and Les Maîtres du suspense (one of our newest Québec films) was garnering some great reviews.   So an hour later I was out the door, on the subway, and on my way downtown to check it out.


It was hilarious!  I don’t know how many times the entire theatre burst out laughing.   But it also had a serious side to it — a very well made movie.

It was not released very long ago, so I’m quite curious what the box-office sales will be like over the next few weeks and months (in Canada, we count Canadian-made box-office sales in terms of months).

The movie was actually being shown in Toronto as part of a cross-Canada promotional tour.  The film’s writer, Stéphane Lapointe, surprisingly made an appearance on stage after the film’s showing (I did not expect that at all) — to great applause might I add.

stg.apr.1I would certainly recommend putting this movie on your list of must-sees.  It can often be hit-and-miss with our Francophone (and Anglophone) films in Québec & Canada.  But this one certainly was a hit.

In addition, it featured two very well-known household names as its main actors;  Michel Côté and Antoine Bertrand (Michel Côté has been famous for two to three decades, and Antoine Bertrand is a young actor who has taken the film industry and comedy circuit by storm only over the last three years or so).

I’m not going to spoil the plot, but I will tell you that it was unlike any plot I have every seen before — very creative and captivating!!

Here is the trailer:

See if you can check it out in your part of the country.  If you’re not sure where and when it will be showing in your city, give your local provincial Francophone association a call (click here for a list of contact info in all parts of Canada).

[As an aside, the theatre audience was very interesting.  I expected it to be mostly Franco-Ontariens.  Yet it was not.  It was a packed house, perhaps half Anglophone / half Francophone.   Toronto’s Francophones are a very mixed bag, and it certainly showed last night.  On one side of me were Francophones from Ontario, on the other side were people from Québec.  Acadians and African Francophones were seated in front of me, and behind me were some Anglophones and Francophones from the Maghreb.   And then there was that wacky “Alberta” guy sitting in my seat! 😉  On the 40 minute subway ride back home, the subway was full of the different French accents of those who went to see the movie.  I really should try to make an extra effort to do more French activities in Toronto — it’s such a fascinating mix of people here!]

Antoine Bertrand (#121)

This is the latest post in the blog series “Qui êtes-vous?” .

You may recall that I did a post a few weeks ago titled “Québec’s Rough’n Toughs”In that post, I spoke about the story of Louis Cyr, Québec’s strong man from the beginning of the last century (at that time, labelled the strongest man in the world).

Antoine Bertrand is an actor in his late 30’s who has held various well-known roles over the years.  One such role was as the main actor in the 2013 movie L’Homme le plus fort au monde (The Strongest Man in the World).  It was a movie about Louis Cyr, played by Bertrand.

However, Bertrand’s other well-known roles date well before the movie.  Bertrand became known to the public at large in his acting role in Virginie, one of the higher rated evening sitcoms which aired in the early and mid-2000s.    He also acted in another well known TV series of the same period, Les Bourgons, c’est aussi ça la vie!, as well as Caméra Café, a co-host of the very popular variety show Les enfants de la télé, and he has held other comedic roles – regularly seen on some of our more common television events.

In the television program “Qui êtes-vous?”, Bertrand traces his English Stebbin family roots to New England, the challenges his family had, and how they arrived in Québec.  He travelled to England to discover his roots, back 12 generations.