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12-02-2012, 10:28 AM
  #164
kihei
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Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Toronto
Country: Canada
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I was shopping for Christmas presents and found Mon Oncle Antoine on DVD for $5. I was overjoyed as I feared it had been lost through neglect as I hadn’t heard a word about it for years and years. Every Canadian should see this movie. It's part of our cultural heritage.



Mon Oncle Antoine (1973), directed by Claude Jutra: In rural Quebec during the Duplessis era in the late ‘40s, Benoit, a 15-year-old boy, works in the general store and observes the behavior of the adults around him. It is a one-company mining town, where the owners are English and the workers are French. Christmas is coming and winter has already arrived in a big way. We simply observe the goings on of the town’s inhabitants as life’s little dramas unfold. Benoit learns a little more about himself and those around him, and his young life goes on. That synopsis doesn’t sound earthshaking, and it isn’t. But Mon Oncle Antoine is an absolutely wonderful movie. Director Claude Jutra (he also plays Fernand, a clerk in the store) does a lovely job of allowing us to see the world through Benoit’s eyes while also helping us to understand the often intense repugnance that the members of the community feel toward their English bosses. In fact, the gulf between the Two Solitudes has seldom been more convincingly portrayed in any medium. But it is the warmth and the humanity of the film that stays in one’s memory. Jutra is as close as Canada ever came to having our own Truffaut. It was a tragedy that his career was cut short by Alzheimer’s Disease when he was only in his mid-fifties. For my money, this is still the best Canadian film ever made.


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