Regarding 'Battle of the Brave', (for Francophone audiences; 'Nouvelle-France'), I fully understand the numerous comments concerning the film's lack of depicting Québec's most decisive battle between French & English forces on the Plains of Abraham, in close proximity to the fortress stone walls of Québec City, set during the French & Indian War in 1759.
Half way through this picture I too wondered if the epic Canadian battle, which in effect greatly contributed to forever ending France's Canadian portion of her overseas empire of 'New France', as well as her vast American geographic holdings. The images of the great battle were depicted so quickly, due to drastic, misguided editing, which in retrospect was a major blunder, but then again, this film does have very redeeming & colourful period qualities, plus its core impassioned, adventurous essence throughout its entirety.
Saying all that, if we view this story as what I real believe was the intended depiction, a romantic drama with a few comical overtones, yet very emotional & riveting love story involving the heart and soul of French Québec, the combination of the native Indians and the working French contrasted by the upper crust French set in the final days of the French and Indian wars, then this is a fine movie. The orchestral suite, coupled with the concluding song.
For French speaking audiences, especially Québec's Québécois viewers, this climatic French love story, set during the final era of French control over the Provence of Québec as the historical background, really has a heart felt, far greater significance since the root of this story is their own ongoing history.
This movie has a wonderful international cast, staring Noémie Godin-Vigneau as 'Marie-Loup Carignan', who was born in Hull, Québec.
David La Haye, from Montréal, gets second billing as 'François le Gardeur', the freedom loving, patriotic lover of 'Marie-Loup'. François continues to seek justice for the people of 'Nouvelle-France' from the greedy French overlords. He is one of the real heroes of this picture.
Another Québec native, Juliette Gosselin perfectly portrays the 10 year old France Carignan. Juliette has a great acting future! The back stabbing abuser of Marie-Loup is viciously portrayed by Sébastien Huberdeau, yet another rising star from Québec. This is one rat which is easy to despise. Real fine acting! The beautiful, dark-haired Swiss/French actress, Irène Jacob is the alluring, well kept, Angélique de Roquebrune. Prior to 'Battle of The Brave' a few of the movies Irène Jacob's played major roles included; 'U.S. Marshals', 'Incognito', 'Londinium', 'Letter from an Unknown Woman' & 'Spy Games'.
The accomplished seasoned French actor Gérard Depardieu (Châteauroux, France) plays a rather torn Catholic priest, 'Le curé Thomas Blondeau' who attempts to do the right thing, however his guidance does not always assist the realities he tries to minister to. Some of Monsieur Depardieu's more recent films include 'Bon Voyage', Olé!, 'Last Holiday', Quand j'étais chanteur, & Boudu, plus this very busy actor has no less then ten other movies in the works, due for release in late 2007 and during 2008, including 'Public Enemy #1'(Ennemi public n° 1, L')as second billing 'Guido' which is the story of Jacques Mesrine, France's public enemy No. 1 during the 1970s. 'Disco' is another new movie which Gérard Depardieu got the leading role as 'François Jackson'.
The rest of the cast is also excellent even if their parts are relatively brief such as Tim Roth as England's William Pitt able young politician and toward the conclusion of the American revolution he would serve as Prime Minister until his death in 1894. Jason Isaacs plays the stubbornly ultra-snooty British General James Wolfe, who in 'real' history dies of his wounds during the British victory on the Plains of Abraham against the very capable French commander of 'Nouvelle-France' General & Marquis de Montcalm who also dies in the same monumental battle, which is not shown in this movie. Even Benjamin Franklin (Colm Meaney) shows up serving as the official American colonial representative to the English Crown.
The memorable, harmonious musical theme is done by noted Scottish composer Patrick Doyle, who also scored 'Gosford Park', 'Donnie Brasco','Great Expectations' & 'Carlito's Way' among other movie scores. At the conclusion of Battle of the Brave, Céline Dion's incredible moving voice sings a beautiful ending rendition of Mr. Doyle's very nice score.
Please watch this film for what it is intended to be, a throughly well casted, dramatic, romantic period piece, with little touches of humour, shown in visually splendid cinematography, coupled with extremely well done mid-1700s French, English & Canadian Indian attire, especially the stark contrasts in clothing, contingent on ones particular economic class throughout this entire movie.
The interiors of the early Canadian settlers are modest but functional houses, compared with the incredibly crème de la crème of French Canada's upper crust, and those shown in France along with British governmental & military cultured aristocracy.
Although there are some acts of war shown in this movie, the real battles are the love-hate relationships. The title does tend to mislead people.
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