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"Incendies", Best Foreign Language Film Nominee (Canada) 2010 -- director: Villeneuve

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"Incendies", Best Foreign Language Film Nominee (Canada) 2010 -- director: Villeneuve

Old 02-05-11, 02:27 PM
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"Incendies", Best Foreign Language Film Nominee (Canada) 2010 -- director: Villeneuve

"Incendies", the latest film from Quebec filmmaker Denis Villeneuve ("Maelstrom", "Polytechnique") has amassed quite a bit of criticical acclaim in various film festivals, culminating in a nomination for Best Foreign Language Film at the upcoming Oscars. Although I'm usually skeptical about the raving reviews lavished upon French Canadian films by local critics (they often seem to get a " 1 1/2 stars" head start on other films), in "Incendies" case, the praise is well deserved. Based on the play from Montreal native and artistic director of the French Theatre at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa Wajdi Mouawad, this powerful film on the horrors of conflict (Lebanon, although no country is ever named) and it's devastating human costs largely benefits from the transition to the big screen. Fantastic performance by Belgian born actress Lubna Azabal and Villeneuve's most mature film to date. Must see.

Synopsis:

Nawal Marwan (Lubna Azabal) is dead. Her son and daughter, twin siblings Jeanne (Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin) and Simon (Maxim Gaudette), sit across from a notary (Rémy Girard) who presents them with her will. He hands over two envelopes, one addressed to the father they never knew, the other to a brother they never knew they had. There are specific notes regarding the burial, including Nawal’s request to be buried naked without a tombstone. Once the letters are delivered, a tombstone may be erected. There are cryptic words offered about promises kept.

How are the twins to take the news? Simon refuses to put up with his mother’s nonsense. Canada is all he’s ever known, and the old world no longer has anything to do with him. “Death is never the end of the story,” the notary assures. “It always leaves traces.” Jeanne remembers Nawal falling into a catatonic state one day at a public pool. What was hidden behind her eyes? She sets off for the Middle East, where her inquiries bring out new facts about her mother’s pre-Canada life, from the small camp where she grew up, to the university she used to attend, to the prison where she was eventually incarcerated. A group of villagers reacts to her name with hostility. What does it all mean?


Trailer:

<iframe title="YouTube video player" width="640" height="390" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/YDf-XuYid1A" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>


The film has been picked up by Sony for US distribution.

Last edited by eXcentris; 02-05-11 at 02:40 PM.
Old 02-05-11, 04:21 PM
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re: "Incendies", Best Foreign Language Film Nominee (Canada) 2010 -- director: Villeneuve

Thanks for the post about this film. It definitely serves as a reminder to me that I need to make this a priority to see at the SXSW film festival this year. I still haven't seen Polytechnique, but should probably try and see it prior to Incendies.
Old 02-05-11, 04:35 PM
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re: "Incendies", Best Foreign Language Film Nominee (Canada) 2010 -- director: Villeneuve

Yeah thanks for the heads up eX.

I'll check this out.
Old 02-05-11, 05:32 PM
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re: "Incendies", Best Foreign Language Film Nominee (Canada) 2010 -- director: Villeneuve

No problem!

"Polytechnique" is also pretty good. Shot in documentary style in black and white, but it's rather depressing considering the events it depicts (massacre at Polytechnique School in Montreal). I think it got overlooked in a lot of festivals because it was released the same year as the similarly themed "Elephant" by Gus van Sant.
Old 02-15-11, 04:10 AM
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re: "Incendies", Best Foreign Language Film Nominee (Canada) 2010 -- director: Villeneuve

Incendies is great, but also majorly depressing. The big revelation at the end will stay with you for days.
Old 02-15-11, 06:22 AM
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re: "Incendies", Best Foreign Language Film Nominee (Canada) 2010 -- director: Villeneuve

Originally Posted by eXcentris View Post
No problem!

"Polytechnique" is also pretty good. Shot in documentary style in black and white, but it's rather depressing considering the events it depicts (massacre at Polytechnique School in Montreal). I think it got overlooked in a lot of festivals because it was released the same year as the similarly themed "Elephant" by Gus van Sant.
Elephant was released in 2003... Polytechnique was released in 2009.

I agree though, Polytechnique was one of the better movies that year. It's a tough subject to handle, but Villeneuve approached it the right way.
Old 02-22-11, 02:21 PM
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re: "Incendies", Best Foreign Language Film Nominee (Canada) 2010 -- director: Villeneuve

Saw this last thursday and it was great. A story that was expertly told and an ending that is haunting and horrific.
Old 02-22-11, 02:49 PM
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re: "Incendies", Best Foreign Language Film Nominee (Canada) 2010 -- director: Villeneuve

sure the ending was 'revealing' and shocking but I thought that the fact that the characters were all geograpically in the same place for the movie to have a resolute ending wasn't plausible.
Old 05-01-11, 09:29 AM
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re: "Incendies", Best Foreign Language Film Nominee (Canada) 2010 -- director: Villeneuve

Saw this last week and so far it's my favorite film of the year. Incredibly shocking and powerful, until you get to the ending, which I thought was too heavy-handed and crafted just to shock. The film could've easily worked with any number of other endings.

Still, highly recommended.
Old 08-08-17, 11:16 AM
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re: "Incendies", Best Foreign Language Film Nominee (Canada) 2010 -- director: Villeneuve

Fans of Denis Villeneuve need to check this out. The guy was a force to be reckoned with even before he blew up making American films. Polytechnique is also excellent.
Old 08-08-17, 11:22 AM
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re: "Incendies", Best Foreign Language Film Nominee (Canada) 2010 -- director: Villeneuve

Yea I bought this after Prisoners came out. The ending was crazy. Really good film.

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