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Another movie: Ceci n’est pas un polar (#246)

This post, like yesterday’s post, also highlights a well-done recent Montréwood film.  You may wish to check it out when it shows in your own part of Canada (Click here for you your local provincial Francophone association, which will be able to help you find showing dates and locations across Canada).

Ceci n’est pas un polar was showing in theatres yesterday.  A Francophone buddy of mine drove into the city yesterday and we went to watch it together.  I was not planning to watch a second movie, two days in a row — but the reviews were too good to turn this one down.

plr1

The word “polar” has two meanings in French.  It means the North & South Poles, or other poles of attraction.  But it also means a “criminal saga” (usually recounted in a book or a film).  Thus the movie’s title could mean “This is not a normal crime story”.  

The movie stars Roy Dupuis and Christine Beaulieu.  Roy Dupuis is one of Montréwood’s most famous actors.  What most people do not realize is that Roy Dupuis is Franco-Ontario.   He was born in Northern Ontario and lived in Ontario into his high-school years before his family moved to Québec.

Click below for the movie trailer

In the movie, a taxi driver falls in love with a customer, but finds himself captivated by too many strange aspects to her life which she does not want to explain to him.  Out of love for her, he embarks on a journey as an amateur private detective to try to figure out why all the small things he is finding out about her are not making sense.  The series of misplaced facts finally make sense at the end of the movie, but it was quite an adventure to get there.

Most Francophones in Québec and across Canada have watched Roy Depuis for more than two decades on television and in the movies.  Even Anglophones across Canada may know him as the leading male role in the long-running television series Nakita.

But his role in this movie was probably one of his best ever (which is exactly what the critics have also been saying).

Check it out if you have the chance.

Below is a behind-the-scenes interview of the making of the movie:

A very funny, well made movie: “Henri Henri” (#210)

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.

henri-henri

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!!