IMDb > Mon oncle Antoine (1971)
Mon oncle Antoine
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Mon oncle Antoine (1971) More at IMDbPro »

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Up 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Claude Jutra (adaptation)
Clément Perron (adaptation)
View company contact information for Mon oncle Antoine on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
12 November 1971 (Canada) See more »
Set in cold rural Quebec at Christmas time, we follow the coming of age of a young boy and the life... See more » | Add synopsis »
5 wins & 1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Christmas, Cuckolds, and Corpses See more (28 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Jacques Gagnon ... Benoit
Lyne Champagne ... Carmen
Jean Duceppe ... Uncle Antoine
Olivette Thibault ... Aunt Cécile
Claude Jutra ... Fernand, Clerk
Lionel Villeneuve ... Jos Poulin
Hélène Loiselle ... Madame Poulin
Mario Dubuc ... Poulin's son
Lise Brunelle ... Poulin's daughter
Alain Legendre ... Poulin's son
Robin Marcoux ... Poulin's son
Serge Evers ... Poulin's son
Monique Mercure ... Alexandrine
Georges Alexander ... The Big Boss
Rene Salvatore Catta ... The Vicar
Jean Dubost ... The Foreman
Benoît Marcoux ... Carmen's Father
Dominique Joly ... Maurice
Lise Talbot ... The Fiancée
Michel Talbot ... The Fiancé
Siméon Dallaire ... A Customer
Sidney Harris ... The Helper
Roger Garand ... Euclide

Directed by
Claude Jutra 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Claude Jutra  adaptation
Clément Perron  adaptation
Clément Perron  original story

Produced by
Marc Beaudet .... producer
Original Music by
Jean Cousineau 
Cinematography by
Michel Brault 
Film Editing by
Claire Boyer 
Claude Jutra 
Set Decoration by
Denis Boucher 
Lawrence O'Brien 
Makeup Department
Rene Demers .... makeup artist
Suzanne Garand .... makeup artist
Art Department
Denis Boucher .... props
Lawrence O'Brien .... props
Sound Department
Arnold Gelbart .... sound editor
Claude Hazanavicius .... sound
Jacques Jarry .... sound editor
Roger Lamoureux .... sound re-recordist
Visual Effects by
Wally Howard .... optical effects
Camera and Electrical Department
André-Luc Dupont .... assistant camera
Michel Kieffer .... assistant camera
Roger Martin .... electrician
Guy Rémillard .... electrician
Location Management
Leo Evans .... location manager
Jean Savard .... location manager
Music Department
Jean Carignan .... musician: violin (as Ti-Jean Carignan)
Michel Descombes .... music recordist
Other crew
Guy Lamontagne .... title designer
Francesca Pozzy .... script girl
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

Also Known As:
104 min
Color (Eastmancolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Belgium:KNT | Canada:PA (Ontario) | USA:Not Rated | USA:TV-MA (TV rating)

Did You Know?

A critics poll held once a decade, since 1984, at the Toronto International Film Festival has named this movie the greatest Canadian film of all time 3 decades in a row.See more »
Alexandrine:[Trying on her new corset] I hope it's the same one I saw in the catalog.
Carmen:The exact same one. There's a black lace rose with pink lining on the front and little swirls on the hips. Very pretty.
See more »
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44 out of 46 people found the following review useful.
Christmas, Cuckolds, and Corpses, 29 July 2008
Author: MacAindrais from Canada

Mon Oncle Antoine (1971)

Despite having a heavy film industry presence (usually American productions looking for cheap locations), Canada's own gems have often gone by the wayside. We're too close to America to really for it to care enough about a film not about its own country, and too far from overseas to have the exotic flare found in European or Asian cinema. Perhaps that is why the film considered Canada's best goes so widely underseen and overlooked. Claude Jutra's classic Mon Oncle Antoine truly is one of the best Canadian films ever made. It's also one of my favourite films, period. It is now out in a lovely 2 disc package from the folks at Criterion.

Set in an early 1940s Quebec asbestos mining town, it's a coming of age story over the course of a few days at Christmas time. Adolescent Benoit lives with his uncle, Antoine, his aunt, and a teenage girl, Carmen, who the family houses and employs at their store. Antoine not only owns the local general store, but is the local undertaker as well, among other things.

The film floats around, with no real plot-wise direction. Events happen in a relaxed and patient fashion, not to highlight story, but to highlight the emotional development of Benoit as he transforms from a free spirited adolescent into adulthood. He experiences the sexual passions, the harsh indifferences and the cynicism of leaving childhood behind. Jutra balances light hearted humour and charm with dark pathos and sadness with a deft hand. There are playful moments between Antoine and Carmen, and comedy with the sneaky Fernand (played by Jutra himself), who runs the store for Antoine when he's not chasing the uncle's wife. There is also a moment of great triumph when Benoit and another boy throw snowballs at the mine owner as he makes his way through town giving out small gift bags for Christmas rather than raises or bonuses to the men as the soundtrack blares a score fit for a spaghetti western.

On the darker side, there is a separate story where a family's father leaves the mines and heads to the logging camps. While he is away, his eldest son takes ill, and dies on Christmas Eve. Antoine is phoned to come pick up the boy's body, and Benoit insists he go along. The long sleigh ride through a snow storm offers him opportunities for mischief, but in the end leaves him with sad realizations about the nature of adulthood and those around him.

Mon Oncle Antoine is certainly about the loss of innocence, but it is also more than just a story about a boy in rural Quebec. It is a parable about the coming of age of the province itself. Most of the mines were owned by either Americans or English speaking Canadians, as referenced by the film when the mine foreman speaks in English to his French workers who do not understand. The time period is the Maurice Duplessis era - he was the premier of Quebec with his Union Nationale. His party was deeply conservative, pro-business, rabidly anti-socialist (in any form), and formed deep rooted connections with the traditional Catholic clergy. He was also deeply corrupt, and reportedly a master of ballot stuffing. It's also just prior to the Asbestos Mine strikes and the Quiet Revolution. The miners voted to strike, which was deemed illegal by Duplessis, who continued to pledge unwavering support for the mine owners,. He also authorized the use of strike breakers which lead to incidents of violence. However, the miners had the widespread support of the public and the French media, and even most priests and the province's archbishop. This marked a major turning point in Quebec culture, as well as the shift to the social left in a large part of Canadian Catholicism. Separatist ideology increased dramatically.

History lessons aside, the physical construction of the film, meant to evoke life in the harsh mining towns in the Asbestos region, must be recognized. The small town, shadowed by the mine hills, literally exudes its cold surroundings, yet still manages to fill its homes with undeniable warmth thanks to its characters. Jutra also uses practical, naturalistic lighting rather than normal crisp studio lighting. The sounds and senses of Canadian winters are placed front and centre by Jutra. This is how these towns are supposed to look and feel during winter. The feel of the film is not limited to Quebec culture. New Brunswick and Nova Scotia not only have massive French populations and culture, but the same woods, the same houses, the same towns. I know the feel of small harsh industrial towns - I grew up in one in Nova Scotia. They are not at all unlike the one in Mon Oncle Antoine. Most of them still look just like they did 50 years ago (if not worse). Perhaps that is one of the reasons why I love this film so much. It's the sensation of familiarity found in Eastern Canadian life and culture (which has its own very large French/Acadien population and culture.

But alas, I am rambling, and fear that I could go on and on. Mon Oncle Antoine is one of the great hidden gems of the cinema. Its performances are earnest; the photography is evocative and beautiful in that cold, bleak sort of way; its direction is assured and inspired. It is a masterful portrait of childhood's twilight, and a sad but hopeful realization of the loss of innocence - a parable for the whole of Quebec.

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