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Mon Oncle Antoine (1971)

Mon oncle Antoine (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 12 November 1971 (Canada)
Set in cold rural Quebec at Christmas time, we follow the coming of age of a young boy and the life of his family which owns the town's general store and undertaking business.

Director:

Claude Jutra

Writers:

Claude Jutra (adaptation), Clément Perron (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
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5 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jacques Gagnon ... Benoit
Lyne Champagne Lyne Champagne ... Carmen
Jean Duceppe ... Uncle Antoine
Olivette Thibault ... Aunt Cécile
Claude Jutra ... Fernand, Clerk
Lionel Villeneuve ... Jos Poulin
Hélène Loiselle ... Madame Poulin
Mario Dubuc Mario Dubuc ... Poulin's son
Lise Brunelle Lise Brunelle ... Poulin's daughter
Alain Legendre Alain Legendre ... Poulin's son
Robin Marcoux Robin Marcoux ... Poulin's son
Serge Evers Serge Evers ... Poulin's son
Monique Mercure ... Alexandrine
Georges Alexander Georges Alexander ... The Big Boss
Rene Salvatore Catta Rene Salvatore Catta ... The Vicar
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Storyline

Set in cold rural Quebec at Christmas time, we follow the coming of age of a young boy and the life of his family which owns the town's general store and undertaking business. Written by Steve Richer <sricher@sympatico.ca>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is part of the Criterion Collection, spine #438. See more »

Quotes

Aunt Cecile: I can't find the figures for the nativity.
Uncle Antoine: Careful with the Virgin Mary. She's touchy.
Aunt Cecile: Where's Baby Jesus?
Uncle Antoine: Here comes the Holy Spirit. He'll know.
[Fernand walks in]
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Crazy Credits

The actor who plays the Big Boss is billed as Georges Alexander in the original French language version, but as George Alexander in the dubbed English version. See more »

Connections

Edited into La conquête du grand écran (1996) See more »

User Reviews

 
Notable for its tenderness and humor
10 June 2012 | by howard.schumannSee all my reviews

The first in the line of Canadian coming-of-age films that included Lies My Father Told Me, Who Has Seen the Wind, Les bons débarras and Léolo, Claude Jutra's 1971 masterpiece Mon Oncle Antoine has remarkably endured as one of the most admired of Canadian films. Set in the snow-covered landscape of Quebec in the 1940s, the film is notable for the tenderness and humor it brings to its story of the loss of innocence of a teenage boy and the awakening of Quebec to its dream of independence.

Benoit (Jacques Gagnon) is a 15-year old boy who has lost both of his parents and is being raised by his Uncle Antoine (Jean Duceppe) and his wife Aunt Cecile (Olivette Thibault). Antoine is the owner of a small general store in an asbestos-mining town who also serves as the village undertaker, and the film poignantly depicts the townsfolk in the rural village on the eve of their annual Christmas celebration. We learn from the outset that the mine owners are English-speaking and the French minorities are treated as second-class citizens, the clouds of contaminated smoke emanating from the mine signaling the unfairness of the system.

The film moves from comedy to drama and back again. Benoit discovers the village priest as he surreptitiously takes a nip of liquor, sneaks a look at a haughty neighbor, Alexandrine (Monique Mercure) as she tries on a corset, and innocently discovers his attraction to a teenage girl, Carmen (Lyne Champagne), who also works in the store. The turning point of the film, however, is the stunning sequence in which the young boy travels on horse and carriage with his Uncle into the winter countryside where they are to retrieve the body of a teenage boy who has succumbed to his illness.

This scene underscores Benoit's initial encounter with death, his awareness of his uncle's alcoholism, and the betrayal he feels when he discovers his Aunt's infidelity upon their return. Mon Oncle Antoine is a memorable and timeless classic and the freeze-frame when we recognize Benoit's transition from childhood innocence to a grudging maturity is as powerful as any including Francois Truffaut's The 400 Blows.


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Details

Official Sites:

-The original film

Country:

Canada

Language:

French | English

Release Date:

12 November 1971 (Canada) See more »

Also Known As:

Mon Oncle Antoine See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CAD750,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »

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