Canadian Film

A MONSTER CALL (2016)

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A film by J.A. Bayona

Cast: Lewis MacDougall, Sigourney Weaver, Felicity Jones

A young boy, while going through the terrible experience of watching his mother fighting for her life with  cancer, calls out for help. Unexpectedly, his help comes from a tree monster, who despite his scary appearance proves to be a source of help for Conor.

Conor’s mom is slowly losing her battle with cancer she sis at the end of the rope. During the day, he has to put up with constant bullying and ridicule from his schoolmates who have no idea what he is going through. Conor also knows that if his mom passes on, he will have to live with his grandmother but Conor does not want to after all she is this cold and bossy woman .Unknown to him, a tree monster has been listening to him cry out every night. The scary monster here is going to make understand to the boy what is going on with him with 3 stories that he is going to tell him but the 4th story the boy is going to tell the tree monster. Of course the boy does not understand and thinks that the tree monster is going to save his mom but there is more than meets the eye here. Here is a different story with this message at the end. By the way the end is perfect. Great film to go see with your kid 11 and over at least.

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LE FILS DE JEAN (2016)

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Un film de Philippe Lioret

Cast: Pierre Deladonchamps, Gabriel Arcand, Catherine de Léan

English: The son of Jean 

At thirty-three, Mathieu does not know who his father is. One morning, a phone call informs him that he was Canadian and he just died. also discovering that he has two brothers, Mathieu decides to go to the funeral to meet them. But in Montreal, no-one has  knowledge of his existence neither seems to want to know …

Starting from Mathieu, without a  father and  family,  is diving into in the middle of a new family , Philippe Lioret knows that antagonisms will be strong and will have a  fertile ground for a rich history. Of course, this kind of story of the son who finds a father he has never known is neither rare nor new, but the treatment here makes all the difference. It is much in the unsaid whether voluntary (Pierre Mathieu and hiding the brothers Mathieu) or involuntary, and many surprises punctuate the narrative, reviving the interest of the viewer could easily blunt face a slice of life that do not necessarily concerned. Pierre Deladonchamps is remarkable in this film as well as the Canadien Gabriel Arcand who  adds up emotions through his character adding the tenderness and the sensibility of the story. The dialogue are so good here that the emotions run high toward the end that make it so rich an fun to watch.

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photos: Sébastien Raymond.
 seb©sebray.com

 

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RACE (2016)

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A film by Stephen Hopkins

Cast: Stephan James, Jason Sudeikis, Eli Goree

Race is a Franco-German-Canadian film directed by Stephen Hopkins. It the story of the African-American athlete Jesse Owens who alone humiliated Hitler and prevented the glorification of the Third Reich at the Games Olympics 1936 in Berlin.

In 1934, during a period of racial segregation, Jesse Owens arrives at the Ohio State University to work with the best coaches of the time. Jesse will develop  an amazing relationship with a white coach Larry Snyder. Snyder became the coach who is obsessed with success also one of the toughest who develop this relationship with his protegé who together focus on getting at the Olympics. Talking about humiliating Hitler even pissing him off every time he won a medal. Even after becoming world-famous, Owens is treated with contempt by many whites, including those in the athletic and political establishment. President Franklin D. Roosevelt never invited him to the White House. Jesse became aware that racism has many faces at every turn of his life. You have to understand that they did not want him to go in Berlin (And that would have been a mistake) under pressure from both side he decide to go. As he said at the moment the gun off and I start running I have 10 second of freedom where nothing matter 10 second where I am free. Some powerful word there. Jesse however endured still the hatred by the white people even though he had humiliated Hitler by winning 4 gold medals. That is a shame. It took 25 years before someone break one of his records. He has done more in one year that others has done in a life time.

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THE WITCH (2016)

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A film by Robert Eggers

Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Ralph Ineson, Kate Dickie

During the 16th century a religious family leaves the comfort of a plantation based on a difference in religious beliefs. William (Ralph Ineson) and his wife Katherine (Kate Dickie) along with their eldest daughter Thomasin (Anya Taylor-Joy), son Caleb (Harvey Scrimshaw), and twins Mercy (Ellie Grainger) and Jonas (Lucas Dawson) suddenly find themselves starting a new life. William and Katherine welcome a fifth child, Samuel, into their family a few months later. Under Thomasin’s watch, Samuel is abducted by the witch residing in the forest.

I am going to stop here there is tension in finding the kid plus Katherine is devastated as Thomasin becomes the black sheep of the family. To make matters worst one thing happen after an other and more and more Thomasin is getting deeper as the black sheep of the family. American writer and director Robert Eggers makes his feature film debut with the horror film The Witch. And did he make a splash with it.The visuals of the film are bathed in a blanket of darkness, but Jarin Blaschke’s cinematography allows you to see what he wants you to see. Soon you will see the demons in the shadows followed by some super tension music to inform you of their presence. The horror unfolds you begin to think how riveting the film is as well as well filmed. The film is a dark entity coming at you at every angle, the audience will descent into an unforgiving wilderness that is  violent. The Witch is a hellish journey that scares and captivates and has a hell of an ending.

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LA NOUVELLE VIE DE PAUL SNEIJDER (2016)

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A film by Thomas Vincent

Cast: Thierry Lhermitte, Géraldine Pailhas, Pierre Curzi 

English: The new life de Paul Sneijder

Here is a man who’s daughter died in a tragic accident. Paul Sneijder (Thierry lhermite) is in distress and is trying not only to cope with the loss of his daughter but he is trying also to find himself so he embarks in this fable of a journey that will take him on the other side of the world.

Thomas Vincent takes time to film the distress and awkwardness of a man who finally goes in search of himself. Thierry Lhermitte and Pailhas are the ideal interpreters of this depressive and poetic fable about awareness. A film charming, funny and touching at once, and done by outstanding  actors who deserted each other in the lead is Thierry Lhermitte who has trouble to play the  character so the director says. But Thierry as always as found a way to pul it off admirably well. Paul Sneijder after they accident is trying to make sense of their life and sees what is happening by talking with people that he will meet along the way. It is kind of a healing process that he will go through in order to survive to top it all off he change job. Plus his wife is pressure him to see a lawyer so he can go to court to be set for life, and has no idea nor cares what her husband thinks or if he is well or not. She has one track mind money.  This little  intimate fable who will take you on this fantastic  journey.

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REMEMBER (2016)

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A film by Atom Egoyan

Cast: Christopher Plummer, Dean Norris, Martin Landau

Zee (Christopher Plummer), 90, a Holocaust survivor, suffering from dementia. He is in a nursing  home, and confused at  times which he  forget that his wife Ruth has died. The day of the funeral, his friend Max gives him a letter to remind him of a promise he made to his wife: to  find the former Nazi who murdered their respective families. His name is Rudy Kurlander and there are  four individuals with this name in the United States …

Now Atom Egoyan has finally made a great film and it is about time. Dementia is a bitch to have every time Zev wakes up he forget that his wife is dead. In order to do the task that it ask of him his friend Max Rosenbaum (Martin Landau) gave him a letter with instructions. The director takes on this journey where Zev is struggling to find Kurlander but he thing he is losing his memory and loosing it at times. It is like he is in his own little world. Will he make it on time or is Krulander dead of old age? for Zev in order not to get lost he has one compass a letter that Max has written to remind him that his wife has died and that he has to embarked in a murderous mission. Here Christopher drivers the part perfectly well. The approach of the director is to film it like a thriller which works here with some great music to build the tension. Do not miss this one.  I have to find the film exotica from Atom Egoyan of course I heard it is a great film also,  I will let you know.

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BROOKLYN (2015)

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A film by John Crowley

Cast: Saoirse Ronan, Emory Cohen, Domhnall Gleeson

In the 50s, a young Irishwoman leaves his mother and his dear sister and moved to New York. After a difficult start, she found a job in a department store and falls for a young Italian. On the occasion of a drama, she momentarily returned to Ireland  where she meets a new man. Torn between modern America and the roots of his homeland, and torn between two world, she soon finds himself confronted with a choice: what life she wants to lead?

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There is a certain beauty in this old fashion film. It is so well told and filmed.Ellis Lacey ( Saoirse Ronan), a young Irish girl looking to escape the little opportunities her town has to offer in the 1950s. With the help of her older sister, who must stay behind to take care of their mother, Ellis is given a chance at a better life in America. The trip along on a ship which she survives she arrives in Brooklyn where there is a difference of culture. She gets some help from the family priest (Jim Broadbent) who sets her up in a boarding house run by the strict and lovable Mrs. Kehoe (Julie Walters) who doe not take shit from them, but has a soft spot for Ellis. Things are not going so well for Ellis, she is homesick and has a hard time to adjust to her new setting. But just when she least expects it, a night on the town ends with her meeting Tony (Emory Cohen), an Italian boy who slowly breaks Ellis out her shell. They get along just fine and soon falls in love. A sudden news has to bring back Ellis to Ireland where she is going to be torn between the two world and choose which one to be in.

It is a beautiful intimate and romantic film and so perfectly film that you must see it or at least put it on your list. the performance of Satires Ronan and even the film remind me of those film back in the 40’s, 50’s. The thing is is what I have done I came to the states for 35 years and came back to France, and I never forgot where I came from.

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