Happy Valentine's Day Canada!
First Weekend Club and CanadaScreens.ca invite you to cuddle up with us this week as we launch our French Language Channel for Canadian Film! Co-presented by Visions Ouest Productions and Curated by Paul Gratton, we offer film-loving audiences the discovery of some of the finest, and internationally acclaimed Canadian films, available to watch anytime from anywhere in Canada, in yes, 'the language of love’! Whether you're with your sweetie, or enjoing the sweetness of solitude, bring out the chocolates and binge on Canadian Film in French with us!
Here are our pics for love and romantic themed French-Canadian films to rent at CanadaScreens.ca
CAFE DE FLORE
Directed by Jean-Marc Vallée, with Vanessa Paradis, Kevin Parent, Evelyne Brochu
“The film is generous to all its besotted creatures, and to the audience as well. Viewers who fall in love with Café de Flore will find that it loves them back.”
~Richard Corliss, Time
A beautiful, wistful, haunting film about the love between a man and a woman, and the love between a mother and a son. The director of everyone’s favourite coming-of-age story C.R.A.Z.Y. returned with this story of parallel connections, one chronicling the story of Jacqueline, a mother in the 1960s dealing with her disabled son, and Antoine, a recently divorced Montreal DJ who meets his romantic soul-mate. As usual in a Vallée film, the film is propelled by an amazing soundtrack, from Sigur Ros to Pink Floyd. This is a film that loses everything if you try to explain its magic. It just has to be experienced on its own. It is that enchanting. Vallée has gone on to great acclaim in Hollywood, directing the award-winning Dallas Buyers Club, The Young Victoria, Wild with Reese Witherspoon and Demolition with Jake Gyllenhaal and Naomi Watts. In 2012, Café de Flore played at the Venice Film Festival, and won Genie awards for Best Actress, Best Visual Effects and Best Make-up as well as Jutra awards for Best Actress, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography and Best Hairstyling. It won Best Canadian Film at the 2012 Vancouver Film Critics Circle.
Directed by Xavier Dolan, with Melvil Poupaud, Nathalie Baye and Suzanne Clément
“Unwieldy and unkempt but both moving and dizzying to experience, Laurence Anyways is Dolan’s grandest statement yet.”
~ Kevin Jagernauth, The Playlist
In chronicling an exhaustive (at 168 minutes) and detailed drama that charts ten years in the relationship of a transsexual’s relationship with her lover, Dolan at first seems to be charting unsung and new thematic territory. But at closer glance, he really is exploring many of the same themes that have defined his work so far, particularly with regards to navigating the fraught emotional landscapes that unconventional sexual orientations seem to engender. Clément is memorable as usual as a woman in love with a man who at first just seems to want to cross-dress, but soon reveals a deep-seated need to cross over completely and live his life fully as a woman. “I changed my address. You changed your sex.” is one of the many great lines in the movie. This one did not play in the main competition at Cannes in 2012, but rather in the oftentimes more adventurous sidebar event known as Un Certain Regard. There it won a Best Actress award for Suzanne Clément and the Queer Palm award for Best LGBT film at the fest. It also won the Best Canadian Feature award at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. “Unwieldy and unkempt but both moving and dizzying to experience, Laurence Anyways is Dolan’s grandest statement yet.” Kevin Jagernauth, The Playlist
Directed by Ricardo Trogi, with Louis Morissette, Julie Perraeault, Patrice Robitaille
Trailer / Rent
“Le mirage is certainly the best Quebecois film presented on screen so far in 2015” ~ Elizabeth Lepage-Boily, Cinecoche.
The second highest grossing film of 2015 (narrowly edged out in the final weeks by the animated hit Snowtime!), this is a surprisingly insightful comedy-drama about a man going through a mid-life crisis. Patrick’s business is secretly failing, his marriage is in the doldrums and his eyes are wandering. The exigencies of parenthood are such that he can’t even find a moment of privacy to visit his favourite fantasy porn sites in peace (some of the film’s funniest sequences). Everyone around him seems obsessed with accumulating material possessions, and he starts to wonder what the purpose of it all is. Feeling lost, he makes a totally inappropriate pass at his wife’s best friend, a really dumb, self-destructive move that brings the whole house of cards crashing down around him. Suddenly, Patrick has to deal with the real-world consequences of acting on one’s impulses, and realizes how precious were the relationships and the family ties that he has now put in jeopardy. Director Trogi has made two of the funniest coming-of-age movies in Canadian filmhistory with 1981 and the follow-up 1987, about growing up Italian within Quebec society. In Le mirage, he has produced the perfect date movie: the sort of film that you might want to share and discuss with any long-term loved ones in your life. One of the best Canadian films of 2015.
Directed by Ken Scott, with Patrick Huard, Antoine Bertrand and Julie Le Breton
“This is a clever device for building a lot of story-line DNA quickly, and the good-looking film’s script…wring(s) some unexpectedly poignant moments, plus a number of big laughs, from passing encounters.“
~Ken Eisner, The Georgia Straight
A huge hit in its native Quebec, Starbuck has such a great premise for a sentimental comedy that it was remade as an American film by Dreamworks under the title Delivery Man, starring Vince Vaughn. But frankly, it is Ken Scott’s original that has the most charm. Patrick Huard is ideally cast as a working-class nobody who suddenly learns that he has squired 533 children over the years from back when he was donating sperm to make a few bucks on the side ($35 a shot, to be precise). 142 of the children have filed a class action suit to find out who their biological father really is. Currently, the suit identifies the father only as Starbuck, the name of famously fertile Canadian bull. Meanwhile his current girlfriend, a policewoman, announces that she is pregnant as well. This is a man with rather average intelligence, low ambition, but shall we say, extremely high motility. Curious about what he has unleashed, David starts to surreptitiously drop in on some of the children he has helped bring into the world to see how they are doing and if he can help some of them a bit. Director Scott has a writer’s gift for finding high concept comedy premises. He wrote the original version of La grande séduction (Seducing Dr. Lewis), which became a hit in both its original Quebecois version and its English-language remake known as The Grand Seduction. He directed the remake of his own film Delivery Man in Hollywood, and also wrote the hit film The Rocket about Maurice Richard. Starbuck won the Best Original Screenplay award at the 2012 Genie awards as well as the Golden Reel award for highest grossing Canadian film of the year. At TIFF, it came in third place for the coveted Peoples’ Choice award.
Gabrielle, directed by Louise Archambault, with Gabrielle Marion-Rivard, Alexandre Landry
“An absolute joy”
~Scott a. Gray, Exclaim.ca
Canada’s official entry in the 2014 foreign-language Oscar race is an exceptionally moving and unusual love story between two developmentally challenged young adults, whose desire for each other causes untold angst amongst their care-givers, who don’t know how to manage the demonstrations of love, lnging and lust, while seeking to keep the two young adults safe from harm. Lead actress Gabrielle Marion-Rivard, who was born with Williams syndrome, gives a performance that is searingly honest and humane, as her character struggles to live a life with as much independence as possible. The film climaxes with a lovely open-air concert featuring Quebec icon Robert Charlebois, whose classic song about taking off to faraway places on international airlines encapsulates the longing for personal freedom embodied by the two lead characters.
THE THREE L’IL PIGS 2 (Les 3 p’tits cochons 2)
Directed by Jean-François Pouliot, with Paul Doucet, Guillaume Lemay-Thivierge and
Trailer / Rent
This was the highest grossing Quebec film of 2016
The original Three Little Pigs, directed by Patrick Huard in 2007 was a huge hit in Quebec. This enormously popular follow-up from hit-maker Jean-François Pouliot (Seducing Dr. Lewis, remade as The Grand Seduction, and Snowtime! the cartoon remake of The Dog That Stopped the War) picks up on the story of the three chauvinist brothers only a short time after the conclusion of the previous film. Remy is the most successful of the three brothers, an accomplished businessman, with a beautiful wife and an exciting travel-filled lifestyle. He also revealed that he is actively bisexual at the conclusion of the first film, and his extra-marital dalliances on the wild side have led to him being thrown out of his family abode soon after this episode begins. This occurs just as his younger and handsomer brother Christian, needing a place to crash, is moving into a guest room in his brother Remy’s large home. Sexual sparks fly between Remy’s angry estranged wife and the younger, very heterosexual Christian. Meanwhile, the third brother, Mathieu, is having his own sexual and financial challenges. The results are a laugh out loud French sexual farce featuring boner sight gags, close calls, slammed doors and all the sibling rivalry that inappropriately juvenile sexual hi-jinks can engender. Highest grossing Quebec film of 2016.
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Alexandra Staseson, ~Canada Screens.ca