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Jesus of Montreal (1989)
"Jésus de Montréal" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  25 May 1990 (USA)
7.5
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 5,372 users  
Reviews: 42 user | 21 critic

A group of actors put on an unorthodox, but acclaimed Passion Play which incites the opposition of the Catholic Church while the actors' lives themselves begin to mirror the Passion itself.

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Title: Jesus of Montreal (1989)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 18 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Daniel
Catherine Wilkening ...
Mireille
Johanne-Marie Tremblay ...
Constance
...
Martin
Robert Lepage ...
Gilles Pelletier ...
Fr. Leclerc
...
Richard Cardinal
Cédric Noël
Pauline Martin
Véronique Le Flaguais
Jean-Louis Millette
Monique Miller
Christine-Ann Atallah
Valérie Gagné
Claude Léveillée
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Storyline

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 <loh@sfu.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

| |

Release Date:

25 May 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Jesus of Montreal  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Gross:

CAD 1,800,000 (Canada)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Quotes

Court Psychologist: Having to act in a passion play on the mountain... don't you ever feel this is ridiculous?
Daniel: No. The subject is great, though not very original.
Court Psychologist: Sure. But this part for an actor is somewhat flimsy, wouldn't you say?
Daniel: I don't know. The part of Jesus is not what I would call flimsy work.
Court Psychologist: You did come up with the private conservatory. Wouldn't you like to have a bright career and play the major theatres?
Daniel: I was away awhile. Seems normal to start at the bottom of the ladder.
See more »

Connections

Featured in The Story of Film: An Odyssey: Episode #1.12 (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

Quando Corpus Morietur
from "Stabat Mater"
Written by Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (as G.B. Pergolesi)
Performed by Christine-Ann Atallah and Valérie Gagn
Conducted by François Dompierre
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User Reviews

To thine own self be true...
8 January 2001 | by (Sydney, Australia) – See all my reviews

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.


27 of 31 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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