Saturday, 27 March 2010

Cinéfranco 2010 Day 1 - Friday March 26, 2010


Opening Night at Cinéfranco started off with a packed house at the AMC 6 for the Ontario Premiere of Le divan du monde / Everybody’s Couch. The energy in the room was great and it was awesome to hear so much French and English buzzing around all in the same setting. The introduction to the film, and the festival itself, was mostly made in French and I was impressed that I followed along pretty well for most of it considering my French is pretty rudimentary. But, I did know where I was and what I’d be seeing, but it felt understand what I was hearing nonetheless. It all starts somewhere.

One thing that was very clear is the festival voting system for the films – they give you a ballot before the screening and afterwards you give it to one of two people when you leave. If you like it, you give it to the person in the green shirt. If you didn’t like it, you give it to the person in the red shirt. No scale or numbers here, it's a straight up yes or no. Very clear cut choices, I’ll be curious to see how the voting goes.


Le divan du monde / Everybody’s Couch
Dir: Dominic Desjardins
Cast: Mélanie Leblanc, Antoine Gratton, Marc Lamontagne

Le divan du monde / Everybody’s Couch follows Zoé (Mélanie Leblanc) looking to head home to the East Coast after a break up. How often do we see a confident female traveller? Not enough I say - this was entirely refreshing. I loved the honesty and strength of Zoé, in a great performance by Mélanie Leblanc who shows the graciousness yet acutely aware of her surroundings and the people around her and has a direct yet polite air about her. A little less adept at this is Alex (Antoine Gratton), whose inadvertent companionship adds a little bit of everything, including comedy to the journey. Antoine Gratton plays Alex with an amazing openness but an openness that often gets clouded by shyness, it's a fine balance that feels so very natural. Between the two travellers, what we end up with is a completely new kind of road movie, one that defies expectations but brings tenderness and humanity to the forefront. The gentle relationship portrayed between the two leads unfolds beautifully and naturally over time, and is a huge highlight of the film Described as being filmed on a micro budget, and there are times you get a slight sense of that, but nothing that would break the moment you are in. The film is all about the journey, and it was beautiful to see the independent yet concurrent journeys.

I also loved that the film fluxed between French and English, although it was predominantly in French. It gives it a beautiful, and truly Canadian, feel.

Director Dominic Desjardins was in attendance for the screening and there was a Q&A after the film. I didn't catch all of it because the questions were answered in the language asked, but what I did get was the score of the film was composed by Antoine Gratton who plays Alex in the film and is a musician.

Cinéfranco 2010 runs from March 26 - April 3, 2010 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada


simoncolumb said...

Sounds good - I have felt that since Gibsons Passion of Christ, films MUST be delivered in the relevant language - Valkyrie was stupid, while Inglourious Basterds was perfectly pitched - with such a huge chunk of the film in German. Its good to think that this film is not shying away from the potential fear of a language barrier outside of English-speaking countries.

Shannon the Movie Moxie said...

I love language and really enjoy watching films from around the world so I'm don't even think twice if something is subtitled. In this particular case, it makes sense for it to be French & English because of the whole cross Canada feel and 2 bilingual characters. That's something that also feels really Canadian too - although I wish I was bilingual!

I've not seen Valkyrie, Inglourious Basterds or Passion of Christ (eep... that one I should probably see), but I'm not overly committed for films to be in a particular language. Depends on the overall vision, but I agree it can certainly make or break a film. Although, on the flip site The Last Station was in English although set in Russia and it was absolutely delightful. It's an interesting question to ponder.

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