6.9/10
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Félix et Meira (2014)

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In Félix and Meira, an unusual romance blossoms between two lost souls who inhabit the same neighborhood but vastly different worlds.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Félix
...
Meira
...
Shulem
...
Ruth
Josh Dolgin ...
Isaac
Nicola Vardaro ...
Homme hassidique 1
Sophie Weinbaum ...
Femme hassidique 1
Rivka Katz ...
Femme hassidique 2
Anne-Élisabeth Bossé ...
Caroline
Benoît Girard ...
Théodore
David Engle ...
Chahar
Koralie Sénécal ...
Elishiva
Océane Sénécal ...
Elishiva
Pamela Sarti ...
Femme hassidique 3
Valérie Jeanneret ...
Pharmacienne
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Storyline

Félix and Meira is a story of an unconventional romance between two people living vastly different realities mere blocks away from one another. Each lost in their everyday lives, Meira (Hadas Yaron), a Hasidic Jewish wife and mother and Félix (Martin Dubreuil), a Secular loner mourning the recent death of his estranged father, unexpectedly meet in a local bakery in Montreal's Mile End district. What starts as an innocent friendship becomes more serious as the two wayward strangers find comfort in one another. As Félix opens Meira's eyes to the world outside of her tight-knit Orthodox community, her desire for change becomes harder for her to ignore, ultimately forcing her to choose: remain in the life that she knows or give it all up to be with Félix. Giroux's film is a poignant and touching tale of self-discovery set against the backdrops of Montreal, Brooklyn, and Venice, Italy. Written by Oscilloscope Laboratories

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for a scene of sexuality/nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

17 April 2015 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Félix & Meira  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$15,000 (USA) (17 April 2015)

Gross:

$447,353 (USA) (17 July 2015)
 »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was selected as the Canadian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards (2016) but it was not nominated. See more »

Quotes

Shulem: Keep her safe and sound, because without her my life has no meaning.
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Connections

Featured in 2016 Canadian Screen Awards (2016) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Subdued Romance
17 April 2015 | by (USA) – See all my reviews

Felix and Meria begins with a traditional Hasidic Jewish dinner: singing, celebration and religious clothing. Everyone seems comfortable except for Meria, our protagonist, and immediately through visuals we sense that something does not sit well with her. Thus begins the major conflict of the film as Meria debates internally her commitment to tradition.

Because of the timeless nature of this culture, at the beginning it is deliberately unclear what time period the film takes place in. Meria is scolded by her extremely traditional husband for playing LP records, indicating the film is a period piece. Yet as the film goes on and Meria slowly ventures outside of her Hasidic bubble, we realize that the film does in fact take place in present day, yet we discover it through her eyes and slowly it becomes more modern. The visual palette (like a love child of last year's Ida and A Most Violent Year) distinctly drives Meria's journey. This makes the modern world look in a distinct way unlike anything I have ever seen in a movie.

While focusing on Meria and her doubts in her beliefs, it quick develops into a love story. Despite being married and living among the traditional culture, Meria falls for Felix, a bachelor without the same family values. This isn't the adulterous kind of romance - everything is subdued, making even holding hands feel like a display of passion. The suspense remains because of how forbidden the relationship is in the first place, and thanks to top-tier performances and direction, the relationship between protagonists never feels inauthentic.

The dramatic sequences scattered throughout the film significantly outweigh the overall narrative. The symbols are rich without being overt. As said above, this is a movie full of subtlety that matches the emotional tone of the characters. The only not subtle moment happens right after Felix and Meria first spend time together, when the film transitions to an isolated clip seemingly unrelated yet emotionally moving. I would have been happy to see more of these, but alas because it only happened once it draws more power to itself.

As stated above the primary conflict of the film is tradition vs. love, which is incredibly powerful yet not as universal in today's world. Unfortunately, Meria's husband is reduced to being a caricature and not given enough complexity as a character. Had he been more layered, it would increase the stakes in how difficult it would be for Meria to decide to stray away from him. Regardless, this is the romantic drama that people should yearn for. Most romance audience prefer the more saccharine Nicholas Sparks adaptations, but could truly enjoy seeing something much more subtle and powerful as seen in Felix and Meria.


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