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Two nights ago, Xavier Dolan’s film Mommy cleaned house, yet again. This time it was an arm-full of trophes at Montréwood’s Jutra awards.
The 2nd most important back-up actor in the film was Patrick Huard.
Regarding Montréwood cinéma, we often say if you want to know what film is worth watching (ie: what constitutes a “good” film), then follow the “director”. Conversely, in Hollywood, more often than not it tends to be the reverse; people in Hollywood say you should follow the “actor” to find the “good” movies.
One major exception to the Québéc/Montréwood rule of following the “director” is in the case of the superstar actor, Patrick Huard. In Huard’s case, if you follow the actor (just as you would in Hollywood), you are bound to find the best films.
With a few exceptions, if you look at the biggest of the big Montréwood films from the mid 1990s to present, Patrick Huard has held either a leading acting role, or a major back-up role.
I’ve never personally seen Huard walk down the streets in Québec, but I can only imagine he would be pounced upon from all directions by adoring fans looking for autographs.
Some of the more notable, very successful Montréwood films he has appeared in were:
- Les Boys (1, 2 & 3) – all of which were among the highest grossing, and most viewed films in Canadian history
- Bon Cop, Bad Cop – (Patrick Huard was the main actor)… the highest or second highest grossing film in Canadian history when it came out in 2006
The above films have gone down in the Montréwood, Québec and Canadian history books. I think it’s fair to say that so has Patrick Huard.
If you want to hear a half-hour conversation between Patrick Huard and his co-star in Mommy, Anne Dorval, you can hear it on Radio-Canada’s radio program, “L’autre jour à la table d’à côté” (“The Other Day at the Table Beside Us…”). Click HERE for the program on Radio-Canada’s official website.
Check out some of his work… I think you’ll be impressed.
Bon Cop, Bad Cop – ENGLISH TRAILER (the film was 50/50 French-English)
Starbuck – SUBTITLED English Trailer
Omertà – (Also starring Céline Dion’s husband, René Angélil)
Flights are amazing for getting things done – be it work, reading, or movies. Unfortunately I haven’t had the time I need to see many of our movies in French here in Toronto. But I’ve been fortunate in the sense that I could rely on numerous flights the last couple of years to catch up on movies. Air Canada usually has a very good selection of the top box-office Montréwood movies.
On a flight a few days ago I watched ‘’Henri Henri”. It was the first time I had seen a Montréwood film like this. The entire movie had the feel of “Forest Gump” meets “Amélie” meets the quirkier, innocent feel of the small town setting in “Edward Scissor Hands”. It was quite different for a Montréwood film to have this sort of atmosphere.
Best yet, it was funny – in an adult / mature kind of way (I don’t think kids would find it funny – so that should say it’s perfectly suited to adults). I had my big earphones on, so I couldn’t really hear myself laugh, but I must have laughed loud enough a few times because people across the aisle looked at me more than a couple of times (but they just smiled, so all is good!).
Here is the trailer:
Montréwood can pull things off amazingly well… and here is yet another prime example.
I’m not going to spoil the plot for you, but I’d don’t mind leaking a little bit of the storyline. Henri was an orphan, who took a job as the convent’s “lightbulb screwer” (he screwed in burned out lightbulbs… let’s be clear about that). Once he grew up and had to leave the orphanage, he kept his pleasant nativity from an isolated childhood, and subsequently took a job doing the only thing he knew, screwing in light bulbs. With the encouragement of his older co-worker and a customer who he befriended (who both doubled new friends and & life coaches), he met a girl. What happened after came with a twist (both due to his background and hers). The rest I’ll leave for you to find out when you watch the film.
If you’re learning French, this movie contain NO Joual (which is great for learners whose French is closer to entry level). Everything is in international French, and the Québecois accent is toned down to a minimum (it could not be toned down any futher). Thus this would be a perfect film for anyone learning French, even at an elementary level. Much of the movie is carried by the actors’ actions anyway.
Hats off to the writer/director Martin Talbot, and the producers Christian Larouche and Caroline Héroux for a job well done. And the acting by Victor Trelles Turgeon, Sophie Desmarais, Michel Perron and Marcel Sabourin was excellent. It had the feel of a big-budget movie, right from the beginning. Great job!!
If you have gone through the Links page, you’ll notice that I’ve been fiddling with it, adding things, and re-wording things (even right up until a few minutes ago).
One of the links I added was for a TV program called “La Semaine Verte” (The Green Week), which is broadcast every week on Radio-Canada. This is an intriguing television show on Radio-Canada. You can watch the episodes online.
As the climate changes and the world’s population increases, the need for sustainable, higher-yielding & more productive agricultural practices will increase. To achieve this increase in agricultural output, farmers and the livestock / aquaculture industry are always on the look-out for new technologies, better practices, new ideas, or sometimes ways to simply go back to nature.
This show is precisely about these practices. It’s sort of like a “Popular Mechanics” magazine program for agriculture and the livestock / aquaculture industries. It’s delivered in short, documentary-style segments. (For those of you in Western Canada, it’s almost as if The Prairie Farm Report meets The Nature of Things). Fascinating stuff… It’s really too bad there’s nothing else quite like it in English Canada (and I’m not sure there’s anything else like it in North America).
The show has been on the air for more than 35 years!! In that sense, it could be considered an “Institution of Québec Culture” in and of itself.
Perhaps its popularity, even with urbanites, comes from the fact that Québec has always been conscious of the management and eco-practices associated with its natural resources and environment. With the exception of the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region (a 10 hour drive North of Montréal), there is only a thin band of highly productive agricultural land on either side of the St. Lawrence River. It’s a place where agricultural land is in intense competition with towns and cities (this is where 85% of Québec’s population also resides).
In the early 1980s, the René-Levesque government famously passed “ground-breaking” legislation (no pun intended) to protect remaining agricultural land from the encroachment of cities (something all people in Québec have to learn about in school). That’s likely one of the reasons why “La Semaine Verte” remains such a popular show (if there is only so much land to go around, and if it is not an infinite resource, then it’s in everyone’s interest to make sure it is managed as best as possible using the latest technology, sometimes even bordering on “Star-Wars” technology).
Check out some of its episodes. You can stream them on the show’s official website here: http://ici.radio-canada.ca/tele/La-semaine-verte/2014-2015/episodes
If you’re learning French, this would be a good show to help you develop an earn and increase your vocabulary. It is narrated in an average (not too fast) pace, in International French, and it can offer you a host of new vocabulary about farming, industry and environmental matters.
It’s broadcast on Radio-Canada every Saturday at 5:20pm, rebroadcast every Sunday at 12:30pm, and again on RDI every Saturday at 6pm. It’s broadcast coast-to-coast to all residents across Canada.