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8 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful elegy for a dying way of life.

Author: eyeseehot from Amherst, Massachusetts
27 November 2004

A very good film, with a star who seems impossibly beautiful for her character, yet why not? She's archetypal torn between the handsome logger, the solid but dull farmer, and the town dandy, whose characters are interesting and realistic enough to keep them from being stereotypes. She's embedded in this hard farming life in the far north, with a strong father and mother and some lively and interesting younger siblings. The tiny town and its characters figure too, especially the strict but humane priest, trying like all of them to save what seems a doomed, isolated town whose children will inevitably move away.

Life is serious on this frontier, awesomely primal. The darkness of the houses contributes to the sense of harshness, yet the common bond of family, work and survival intensifies the relationships, and the moments of beauty and humor. Gathering blueberries on a warm summer day, wandering off to Maria's favorite spot by a waterfall, a manual gramophone playing The Blue Danube. The logger's neglect of Maria--his failure to write her from his outpost--seems a gap in the story. It at least serves to show her faith in him. The tension over whom she will marry gets turned up. She holds out against advice and temptation. Surprise ending gives food for thought. A beautiful elegy for a dying way of life.

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Good but the book is better

Author: LeRoyMarko from Toronto, Canada
29 March 2001

This movie follows the story as told by Louis Hémon in his book of the same name. Carole Laure is simply charming as Maria Chapdelaine, the daughter of a French-Canadian «colon». She's got to decide which pretender is she going to marry: the adventurous François Paradis (played by Nick Mancuso), Eutrope Gagnon the local farmer (played by Pierre Curzi) or Lorenzo Surprenant who works at a factory in New England (played by Donald Lautrec).

This movie frankly depicts the way of life of those who went north to farm the land and work in the forest industry.

The book is actually a classic in French-Canada, even though it was written by Louis Hémon, of France. The majority of high schools still have the book on their literature program.

8 out of 10.

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