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Le Confessionnal (1995)

Cast: Lothaire Bluteau, Patrick Goyette, Jean-Louis Millette, more...
Director: Robert Lepage
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Rating: Not Rated
Genre: Drama, Foreign, France, British Drama, UK
Running Time: 101 min.
Languages: French
Subtitles: English, French

Two different narratives, separated by 37 years, interconnect in this feature debut from acclaimed Canadian theater director Robert Lepage. In 1952, Alfred Hitchcock (here played by Ron Burrage) is in Quebec, filming I Confess. While the great director's presence adds a bit of Hollywood excitement to the usually sleepy city, Rachel (Suzanne Clement), a 16-year-old girl who works at a church being used for filming, is in turmoil. She's become pregnant and has nowhere to turn, so she speaks of her dilemma to the priest in the confessional, secure that it will remain confidential. In 1989, Pierre (Lothaire Bluteau) has returned to Quebec after three years in China to attend the funeral of his father. He encounters his adopted brother Marc (Patrick Goyette), and together they begin searching for answers to their difficult questions about their true heritage. Kristin Scott Thomas appears in a supporting role as Hitchcock's assistant. ~ Mark Deming, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

Visually rich by Chyekk June 11, 2005 - 7:00 PM PDT
3 out of 3 members found this review helpful
This is a small gem with engaging visuals and a bittersweet story of family ties.

The story concerns the effect of a priest honoring his commitment to the confidentiality of the confessional booth. There are parallels and references to the Hitchcock film "I Confess", though this film is more melancholic than suspenseful.

Mr. Lepage has a gift for creating beautiful and memorable images with the simplest of means. This is a skill he has honed as a theater director. Parts of the story are told through visual imagery and symbolism, with meaningful double-exposures and cross fades. He assumes the audience is intelligent enough to follow.

There is wonderful use of strong color, especially red. Particularly memorable images include the sun-burned outlines of family photos on a wall that won't go away even after a fresh coat of paint, blood unexpectedly appearing in bathwater, and a chess game played with glasses of red wine.

Although not rated in the US, I would expect this would get an "R" simply because one of the characters is a gay hustler and there is a (non-explicit) scene in a gay bath house.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.78)
9 Votes
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French for the hard of hearing
French films with French subtitles that closely match the spoken dialog. Useful for learning French language and pronunciation. Should be some here for all tastes. I'd love to know of others!

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