Emile (2003)

R  |   |  Drama  |  9 January 2004 (Canada)
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Ratings: 6.5/10 from 640 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 14 user | 22 critic | 10 from Metacritic.com

In a story weaving the past and present together, Emile seeks redemption from the family he abandoned.



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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Complete credited cast:
Nadia / Nadia's Mother
Theo Crane ...
Maria / Nadia (age 10)
Janet Wright ...
Nancy Sivak ...
Frank Borg ...
Taxi Driver


As a young man, Emile left his Saskatchewan farm life behind to head to university in Britain, with his brothers, the older brusque and controlling Carl and the younger sensitive Freddy, left to run the family farm. This move was despite Freddy showing greater potential and thus probably benefiting more from academic life. However, Carl wouldn't allow Freddy to leave because of his mechanical expertise which was required to tend to the farm equipment. Emile vowed to return, but never did, which affected Freddy the most. Now in early retirement, Emile, still living in Britain, travels to Victoria, Canada to accept an honorary degree from the university there. In Victoria, he decides to stay with now deceased Carl's grown daughter Nadia, and Nadia's ten year old daughter Maria. Emile had never made any attempt over the years to connect with Nadia or Maria, who only really know him by name. On the surface to Nadia, Emile's visit is purely a need on his part for a free bed while in ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:




Release Date:

9 January 2004 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

Émile  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


CAD 3,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


When they filmed the part where Emile goes on the train, they didn't block off a section of the platform. As a result, you can actually see someone whip their head around after Ian McKellen passes by them. See more »


The film was shot in British Columbia but some parts of the action are set in Saskatchewan. In one Saskatchewan scene, there are mountains on the horizon. There are no mountains in (or visible from) Saskatchewan. See more »

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User Reviews

A very thoughtful story, a great character movie. If you're looking for another meaningless blockbuster don't try it.
23 June 2009 | by (Québec, Canada) – See all my reviews

Emile is an upper-class British man, a university professor who just retired. But also a man who has a past to deal with. Four decades ago he was a young farmer in Saskatchewan, living with his two brothers on the farm he was born. Their parents died young, making them responsible too soon of the family's farm.

The youngest brother wanted to be a writer, Emile wanted to be a scientist. They both didn't really care about the farm, which was unacceptable for their older brother for whom it was their fate. Therefore he became angry and violent, continuously putting them under pressure.

Emile found his way out with a scholarship to study in England, a premeditated way to abandon them and never look back. A country thousands of miles away to start all over, and forget. He only came back once ten years after when his two brother died to rent up the farm, learning he was the only family left of his young niece and left her in an orphanage without even seeing her. He went back alone to England and never came back.

Forty years after he first left, he has to go back for a second time, to receive a degree from a Canadian university. And now that he's an old man, he feels it's his last chance to make peace with his past and his niece...

Emile is a wonderful story about terrible choices we sometimes have to make. About unforgivable wounds you have to find a way to forgive.

During the whole movie there's a terrible tension between Emile and his niece. They both have a terrible need to know each other, and a terrible need to talk about the past, and you see them finding their way through, step by step.

Every moment has its emotion, every actor is brilliant, every line is thoughtful. You just let yourself go in the movie and finish it to think about yourself, about life, about your own choices. About things you've done and may need to be forgiven for. A true movie my friends

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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