A group of actors putting on an interpretive Passion Play in Montreal begin to experience a meshing of their characters and their private lives as the production takes form against the growing opposition of the Catholic church. Written by
Keith Loh <email@example.com>
The play in the opening scene appears to be a dramatization of the novel 'The Brothers Karamazov'. The scene filmed portrays where Smerdyakov reveals to Ivan Karamazov that he has murdered Fyodor, having been inspired by the philosophy he learned from Karamazov. Smerdyakov's suicide monologue is adapted from another part of the book - the diaries of the monk, Father Zossima. See more »
...your average beer drinker has the IQ of a performing dog; 10 points less and he'd be a geranium.
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Daniel Coulombe is recruited by Father LeClerc to jazz up the traditional Passion play (a dramatic representation of the events leading to the passion and Crucifixion of Jesus) staged in Montreal's Catholic Sanctuary. Coulombe, in turn, gathers a group of actors/apostles, ranging from unemployed actor Remy (now overdubbing dialogue on porn movies) to ambitious commercial actress Mireille. Together, they workshop a controversial and moving Passion play which leaves audiences awestruck and the priests reeling, as the production challenges the dogma and hipocrisy of the Catholic church.
Director Denys Arcand weaves a remarkably deep tale which comments on commercialism, selling out, spirituality, theological scholarship, fidelity, loyalty and more- but in a manner that is relatively subtle and humorous, so the film never feels didactic. The somewhat magical effects of the theatre come across beautifully; in fact, "Jesus Of Montreal" is a must for anyone involved with the Theatre. For those interested in film trivia, you'll notice that there are veiled biblical/mythical references throughout the film, (Magdalen lobster, the Lawyer as Satan, The Charon restaurant), and that the director appears as a judge when Daniel is on trial. The story itself is well constructed, and its somber denouement drives home the suggestion that resistance and a revolutionary viewpoint are liable to bring ill fortune...
You don't have to be Catholic- or even 'religious' - to enjoy "Jesus Of Montreal": this is a film for anyone who has ever contemplated the difference between spirituality and religion, or who has had to make a decision between doing what the system demanded and doing what they believe is the honest thing to do.
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