In 1968, Canada saw the election of a Prime Minister unlike any other in its history, Pierre Elliot Trudeau. Handsome, witty, idealistic, flamboyant, courageous and debonair Trudeau rides on an unheard of crest of popularity nicknamed "Trudeaumania" that sweeps him into the highest political office in the country. At the same time, he develops a passionate romance with a young Margaret Sinclair that soon leads to marriage. However, events would put both Pierre's political and personal life under the gun as he must struggle with traumatic events like the terrorist crisis that grips Quebec in October 1970 which forces him to declare temporary martial law being but the first of the major challenges. At the same time, the demands of being a Prime Minister's wife takes its own toll on Margaret as her relationship with Pierre begins to disintergrate. Eventually, both pressures do their harm as the couple divorces and Pierre's political standing falls even as his Quebec Seperatist foes rise ...Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
There are two unrelated Jean Marchand's listed in the credits next to each other. One is Trudeau-era Cabinet Minister Jean Marchand played by actor Raymond Bouchard and the other is actor Jean Marchand who plays Marc Lalonde who was Trudeua's Finance Minister. See more »
The 1960s-1970s pastiche style of this telefilm was so very well accomplished that it made me realize again why I HATED films of this era so much--the semicoherent lets-pretend-we're-tripping mise en scene, the syrupy musical interludes, the overall style-over-substance approach. But then around the three-quarters point I realized how RIGHT this approach is to this particular story. What "Trudeau" says to me is that Trudeau was put into office because he seemed to fit the style of the times--as one of his handlers terms it at the beginning of the film, he's "sexy"--but, as is demonstrated over and over, he utterly lacked the stuff of a real statesman, as reflected not only in his fumbling of various Quebec separatist uprisings but in his personally and politically suicidal choice of the immature, abusive narcissist Margaret Sinclair as his consort. I found "Trudeau" painful to watch, especially the scenes in which the aging Trudeau is browbeaten and humiliated by his hystrionic child-wife, the objective correlative of his former glamorous self, which contrasts with smarting irony with the progressive revelation of his inability to deliver the goods ("What do you want me to do about it?" he squawks to an aide, not the first or last revelation of this very hollow man's essential cluelessness.) I bought "Trudeau" wanting to see more of Colm Feore after being enchanted by his portrayal of Glenn Gould, another stupefyingly complex late 20th century Canadian mass media icon. Weirdly, and appropriately I think, Feore's Gould comes across as a far warmer, more authentic personality than his cold, brittle Trudeau. Polly Shannon's whimpery Margaret just made me want to slap her in the mouth, which I think is perfectly appropriate to the character. Most of all I just loved the way the director used Patrick McKenna in this film, not giving him that much to DO but posing him strategically near Feore at crucial moments, his chubby, mobile face and beautiful huge gray eyes telegraphing perfectly all the ideas and emotions that the fuzzy, chilly stick figure next to him just isn't grasping.
3 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this