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Forty-something Quebeçois Philippe Roberge is floundering in his life. He believes that no one listens to him or takes him seriously. A graduate student in Philosophy of Scientific Culture, he has just failed his Ph.D. dissertation for the second time, his theory of interest in outer space being a narcissistic response from man being widely rejected throughout the community. To make ends meet, he works selling newspaper subscriptions. And he has a cordial but basically non-existent relationship with his ex-wife. Philippe examines his life in response to the recent death of his mother coupled with his dissertation beliefs. Although she lived in a care home, he acted as her primary caregiver. His only remaining family is his younger gay brother, André, the two who could not have more different temperaments. As such, they do not get along. Following his mother's death, Philippe's thoughts about his life are influenced by three major incidents: being invited to speak at a major conference... Written by
The characters of Phillippe and Andre, who are told frequently that they resemble one another, are both played by writer-director Robert Lepage. This explains why there are almost never in the same shot together. See more »
Anomalies in the time-line. Phillipe is supposed to be seven years older than Andre, who was born in July 1962 (year of the laundromat ["lavoir"] scene where his mother goes into labor with Andre). But in July 1969, only seven years later, as Neil Armstrong is stepping onto the moon, according to the credits, Phillipe is 15 and Andre is 8. This would put Phillipe's birth year at 1954 or 1955. But in "present day", Andre reminds Phillipe that he is 42 years old. On their mother's will papers, the date of he death is 11 December 2002. But Phillipe should be 47 or 48 in 2002. See more »
I finally got to see this movie, and pretty glad I did. I know Lepage a bit because of works he did in theater (and the fact that he usually does plays is pretty obvious in the way the film is made, if you pay attention, specially the way he uses the background in many scenes).
I first have to warn a few people who are thinking about seeing this movie. Although the magic of it, by the way Lepage plays with scenery, background and various imaginative, non-realistic shots, is pretty accessible to everyone (like say Big Fish is), some people might discard the plot as simplistic and unworthy. If it is hard to actually say the opposite, the point is that to make a plot that's original or particularly thrilling wasn't the goal. It's basically just the day to day life of a dreamer who isn't quite successful in any aspect of his life (would it be on a professional or social basis). But the movie wants to show that despite theses lacks, the main character (I forgot the name) is still an original person, with imagination et interesting thoughts. To make that point, I might take the various imaginary scenes where Lepage take us, or simply the video the guy shots fort the SETI program. You'll notice that most of the interesting commentary and clever interventions by the main character are made while shooting this movie, and that he is alone doing so. It just emphasis the fact that he's apparently quite boring, but actually an interesting person.
Another clever idea in the movie is that there actually isn't many differences between the shots taken during the children hood of the guy (in the 70's) and the on taken in 2000, while he's 40. Besides, many transitions take place from 2000 to the 70's or the other way around without any warning. This is to show that the character didn't really evolved much. He was a dreamer when younger, and unlike many he didn't change when he grew up.
About transitions, they all are very very smooth, and you end up at the end of the movie not so sure if it wasn't only one long shot. Any viewer able to appreciate a movie for anything else but it's plot should see this one. The soundtrack, mostly Beethoven songs, is also quite fit.
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