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Teen-aged sisters Jude and Maureen, living with their volatile father in Montréal, live a life of substance abuse, hustling and petty theft. After Jude's father kicks her out of the house for her abusive and thieving ways, Jude is forced to survive on the streets with the assistance of her odd assortment of friends, including middle aged pedophile Clarence, pre-teen male hustler Georgie, pimp Big Al, and Maureen's junkie boyfriend Gabe. Georgie has a crush on Jude, while Jude unrealistically fantasizes about a normal married life with Gabe. All the while, Jude is also trying to elude the sadistic Mink, who she inadvertently crossed. Written by
Despite Baliban's excellent portrayal of wise child Jude, and a series of wonderful character bits sprinkled throughout, Saint Jude fails to scale the heights it so desperately wants to.
Over -directed by L'Ecuyer (those fast motion shots of a world passing the characters by are used a little too often), who fails to capture the absolute essence of the film. Jude looks far too clean for a kid slumming on the streets, (literally too clean) and features some very stagy, awkward monologues that would have been better off left on the cutting room floor.
All this said the film has some very engaging moments, especially those involving Jude's wanderings, which have that joyous though melancholy sense of a young woman trying desperately to put her adulthood on hold for as long as possible.
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