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Two very close brothers, one autistic, spend their days living in fantasy together until a girl inevitably comes between them.


Jean Beaudin
3 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »




Complete credited cast:
Xavier Norman Petermann ... Mario
Francis Reddy ... Simon
Nathalie Chalifour ... Helene
Jacques Godin ... Father
Muriel Dutil ... Mother (as Murielle Dutil)
Claire Pimparé ... Social worker
Christiane Breton ... Receptionist
Marcel Sabourin ... Therapist
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Esther Auger ... Shopper in Store
Yvon Boudrias Yvon Boudrias ... Souvenir Seller
Monique Champagne Monique Champagne ... Shopper in Store
Sylvain Cormier ... Benoît
Geneviève Gauthier Geneviève Gauthier ... Sylvia
Michel Gauthier Michel Gauthier ... Father's Partner
Michèle Lapierre Michèle Lapierre ... Marie


Set during summer in the Îles-de-la-Madeleine of Quebec, Mario and Simon are two brothers living in a fishing village with their mother, who runs a grocery story, and their father, who runs a fishing business. Mario is ten years old, mute and autistic. He is withdrawn from reality and living in a surreal world that only his older brother Simon and his stuffed coyote share. Mario is very close with and deeply admires his 18 year old brother, whom he depends upon for love and attention. Simon reads Arabian Knights stories to Mario, dresses him in sheik's clothing and they play out imaginary wars in an Arabian style fortress that they built. Everything changes when Helene, a beautiful young tourist comes between the two brothers. Simon falls in love and begins to neglect his brother to spend time with her. Mario feels rejected and discovers what hate and jealously are. He sets about a chain of events that lead to tragedy. Written by pr1mal_1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Fantasy







Release Date:

18 October 1984 (Canada) See more »


Box Office


CAD 2,000,000 (estimated)
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User Reviews

Good film
19 August 2011 | by lucas-addingtonSee all my reviews

I saw this film years ago and found it surprisingly good. The film does a good job at showing just how much the older boy will do for Mario. The scene with the fireworks was great. It also captures the angst and internal conflict that the older boy feels with his growing interest in girls and how this conflicts with his desire to protect and maintain Mario's world.

The most interesting thing about it was that less than a decade later, it was essentially remade as "What's Eating Gilbert Grape" starring Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio as the two boys. What's interesting is that I have seen no one ever link the two films. The endings of the two are different, but the bulk of the story is the same.

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