Saturday, November 22, 2008

Maman est Chez le Coiffeur (Mommy is at the Hairdresser's)

The latest non-lesbian interest film by Léa Pool film is interesting for her outstanding recreation of the 50’s, great cinematography and a story that could have been like many others, but she found a way to tell it in the most non-dramatic, natural, credible, and original way that will engage you with outstanding performances by very young actors.

The story set in Montreal suburbs (Vallée du Richelieu) tells about a summer in the 50’s when three kids just want to have fun with their friends and live their youthful life happily; but soon enough Élise, the eldest, will start to discover that what seems like perfect families are not really happy or perfect, including hers. The story basically is the coming of age of Élise and in a way also of her two younger brothers. That’s basic the story but to tease your interest I’ll add some details that happen at the very beginning and concern to Élise family. Élise begins to notice that his father is being too friendly with his male friend and having private conversations that sound perhaps amorous, so in a up burst tells her mother to listen to the father’s phone conversation only to have her mother enraged and she finally accepts a job in London, abandoning her children to the care of her husband. What could have been a story to bring out the tissues is quite the opposite as is totally anchored in reality, which makes it very refreshing.

Great cinematography with spectacular views of glorious Quebec summer with corn and green fields swept by the wind; absolutely marvelous recreation of the period with 50’s music score and songs with lyrics that help to tell the story and outstanding performances by Marianne Fortier (Élise) and Hugo St-Onge-Paquin (Benoit) the youngest brother makes this movie a serene experience without any dramatics, just as real life most likely is.

I definitively enjoy Léa Pool lesbian interest movies like visually outstanding Anne Trister, great Emporte-Moi and compelling Lost and Delirious, but her mainstream movies are also very interesting like her previous film The Blue Butterfly and now Maman Chez le Coiffeur comes to confirm that this woman is a very accomplished director.

The movie is suited for adult audiences that like fresh and original Quebecois cinema with high production values and excellent performances by kid actors. I suggest some of my known readers that have seen her lesbian interest films, to give her a try with her mainstream movies and this could be the the perfect one.

In the beginning I thought that the movie was going to be like the Julianne Moore’s Far From Heaven, but soon enough I realized that this movie definitively was far from Moore’s vehicle. Then I started to enjoy the movie until the very end that well, it is more French alike than traditional commercial cinema.


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