Battle of the Brave (2004) Poster

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30 millions dollars gone away for this
darius660822 November 2004
That's the worst film I saw since a long time. Historic accuracy is totally non-existent. For example, James Wolfe, who his depicted as an anti-French Canadian, is shown in London during the summer of 1759. Natives are like Indians of a bad Hollywood movie of the 60's : They wear deerskin clothes and ride horses (The Montagnais had never ride horses). The film is taking place in Quebec City, but footage is set in Louisbourg, showing the Atlantic Ocean.

The original scenario was supposed to include the Battle of the Plains of Abraham, but the producers drop this idea saying that costs for uniforms and participants would be more than 4 millions dollars ! I think they never heard about re-enactment.

All the movie is planned to be a new Titanic : an impossible love during an historic tragedy (the fall of New-France). There's even a song performed by Celine Dion at the end of the movie (Yes, I stayed till the end of the movie, but I deeply regret). But the worst thing of all is that this movie cost 30 millions dollars. I just don't know how they spend all this money.

Sorry for my anger, but I'm just too irritated.
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Melodramatic Tearjerker on Historical Tableau
August199122 November 2004
Ultimately, this movie is a Brazilian soap opera. There are intrigues and billets-doux. The pop theme, recorded by an orchestra in Prague, is good but over-used. At least seven or eight crescendos cover various characters when they either grasp each other, look at each other or wistfully stare out windows while thinking of each other.

I didn't mind the historical and geographical inaccuracies. The need for financing seems to have motivated scenes of Pitt and Voltaire. (Was the inclusion of Franklin a failed attempt at American financing?) In fact, these scenes were not necessary since the movie used symbolism. The basic facts arguably fit the presentation. A case can be made that New France was abandoned by France, abused by the Catholic Church and strung up by England. Marie-Loup, get it? In the movie, she is illiterate but very articulate. Indeed, everyone spoke with modern international accents from mouths with white straight teeth. (So what! It's only a movie!)

Jean Beaudin made "J. A. Martin Photographe" which was both a beautiful and sensitive movie with Monique Mercure in the lead. She's in this one too but her presence only hearkens to the past. Despite its flaws, I enjoyed "Nouvelle France" but I'd probably enjoy any movie about the history of northern North America. If you have no interest in such history, this movie will be a convoluted Brazilian soap opera.
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Misleading title; wonderful love story
kanemorin29 December 2006
I am NOT a Canadian historian but I am a lover of romance in film and I found this to be a touching, heart wrenching love story, well acted with breath taking scenery and, as background, an interesting look at Canadian life in the 18th century. I have visited Louis Bourg in Quebec with my family and was thrilled to see it "come to life" on the big screen. Whether or not the film is historically accurate is, I believe, unimportant since I believe the history touched upon was more or less for ambiance and was not the focus of the producers/writers. It is, instead, most definitely a love story, and viewed in that perspective, I found it to be brilliantly and sensitively acted. Perhaps I had the advantage of not hearing any "hype" in advance before I sat down to watch it. It was recommended to me by my aunt who wrote that I "had to see it". I'm very glad I did. Melodramatic....perhaps a bit. But, in the end I felt emotionally satisfied and that's worth a little melodrama in my books. And my French-Canadian husband enjoyed it as thoroughly as I did.
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Film can't decide what it is and is bad at everything anyway.
petitnord25 October 2005
Please, do not waste your time and money with this stinker of a turkey.

This is an over-the-top melodramatic love story set against the background of New France (aka Quebec in the 18th century). Or is it an historical saga of New France with an epic romance thrown in? I don't know, and at this point I don't care anymore.

There is a rich story to be told out there about the intrepid French adventurers, rogues and other assorted characters who settled Canada and parts of the US. This is not it. The characters are total clichés, the story is overblown, breathless and devoid of any charm, and before long all the viewer wants to do is get the heck out of the theatre, have his or her head checked, and get hold of his or her anger at being taken in by the hype.

This film was the biggest disappointment of my year in terms of cinema, especially since, as an historian and a French Canadian or Canadian of French descent (or whatever) I am a) a believer in the fact that the story of my people in this country has yet to be told as well as it could on film b) interested in this subject c) a film-lover who thinks cinema these days could do wonders with this grandiose and tragic story.

As I said, do not waste your time with this frustrating bit of claptrap.
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Pretentious film
jmlesfesses-14 August 2005
This is the one major problem with this film, along with a good deal of québecois' biggest movies: Done in a pretentious way by pretentious people.

It's really sad, but "big shots" movie makers (driving Dodge Stratus...) from this province believes They Got the Thruth, They Know What the Little People Like.

We're not a rich province, every time a big movie like this (30 millions?!!?) is made, it's cutting off a lot of others who won't see their movie made because of lack of governmental help. So it generates mediocrity; only movies from "friends of the family" are going to be made.

I sound angry and I am. I went see Nouvelle-France expecting a journey in the lives of my ancestors, but i found myself stuck in a pool of inconsistencies: french accent (we gotta please our cousins, so f*** our québecois' language)and lack of historical research is only a few. Add a campy love story and the same music score playing again and again and dumb québecois' viewer is gonna open up and ask for more. I'm glad this pretentious piece of s*** didn't do as planned by the Dodge stratus Big Shots... It's gonna help movie makers who aren't in the very restrained "movie business" of Québec.

Rent Cruising Bar instead and have a real good time.

PS: I'll never forgive them for ruining such an awesome title.
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Well, could have been better...
dash30919 November 2004
This was supposed to be one big hit but the result is somehow nebulous . One big problem of this movie is the excessive emphasis on the tragic love story . The historic context is very nice and the war that is going on is just the background of what is happening with the main characters even if one of them is actively involved ( just a little, though ) in the political events . Even for those who might appreciate this tragedy, and believe me it's a real one, the movie will seems never-ending and slow-pace . The acting is pretty good ( the little girl is marvelous ! ) but too theatrical .

There was a battle going on in Quebec city but it was greatly reduced in the editing process . Some of the best scenes were just cut off as well . The photography was nice for that kind of movie and the visual research was very realistic and interesting .

It could have been better though...
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A beautiful tear-jerker
seawallrunner14 December 2004
Beautiful film to be enjoyed for what it is - a lovely way to spend an afternoon at the cinema. Sweeping vistas of the province of Quebec, beautiful shorelines, spectacular forests and yes there's a love story in there as well.

There are some historical inaccuracies, true. If you want a documentary, look elsewhere.

For pure entertainment value, the film delivers. Beautiful costumes, a nice story, good acting, a number of tears at the end of the film.

Beautifully done. A nice 'first date' movie, or a nice mother-and-daughter film.
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Beautiful film, great acting
bjeancoq4 January 2007
This movie starts out slowly, building the plot carefully. The filming is wonderful, the scenery is beautiful, and the actors are believable. Gerard Depardieu is at the peak of his powers, and gives a commanding performance, even though he doesn't play the lead. Set during the period when England seized Quebec, the storyline covers a fascinating era. The costumes and interiors of the British and French ruling class contrast with the simple clothes and homes of the early Canadian settlers. And in keeping with the times, the French are portrayed as friendly with the local Indian tribes. The historical details are accurate. However, in the final analysis, the plot's the thing, rich in drama and romance, tempered with comic relief, and building to a magnificent conclusion. Well worth seeing.
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Probably the worst film I've seen this decade.
film-21819 April 2005
A film about an interesting and sensitive period of history, filmed in beautiful surroundings, managed to present an appallingly trivial and clichéd production, grossly clumsy script, poor continuity, intrusive slushy music, sugary casting, and pallid acting.

It was a toss up between the script and the acting as to which was worse. The script probably won - the historical background, backstory and character descriptions were spelt out in painful detail in the dialogue. .. actually words can't describe quite how bad this film is.

In a pre-release screening there was a massive exodus from about thirty minutes in. At about an hour many of those who remained were laughing loudly. I should add I am a Francophile, I am fascinated by Canada, and love historical film. This really was a one off.
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What a waste..
lupinlevorace20 February 2005
It's really a shame to see so many talented people involved in what's happen to be a very waste of talents. The plot is cliché. The directing is too self conscious and the characters are almost caricatures. One of the most disappointing aspect of this film is Gerard Depardieu's performance in the English version (this movie was shot in french and English at the same time). Although he is one of the best actor in the film, he gives the worst performance of them all. I must say that Bianca Gervais come very close though...

On a more positive note I must say that the newcomer Juliette Gosselin gives an amazing performance in both version. Unfortunately that the only good thing I remember about this film...

By the way I must apologize for my not very good English...
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critique of the critique
m_cepoi12 April 2010
To all those who lashed out at the film here: yes, the film gives sometimes the impression of being a bit pretentious, but whoever comes with such harsh criticism should also provide his own scale of values. So what is yours? What do you consider to be a really good film? OK, I understand, their should be 10 lines of text, and some egos need a place to show off, but frankly, who cares? The further one goes into details, scrutinizing it, the more looses the good impression that the film leaves

In these times, when the world is invaded by Avatars, even this sentimental film is an achievement.

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Something different
Wuchakk4 April 2012
"Battle of the Brave" is a 2004 Canadian film originally titled "New France" since the story mainly takes place in Quebec during the closing years of France's control of the province and the French and Indian War circa 1759-63.

As other reviewers have pointed out, "Battle of the Brave" is not the most accurate title since it gives the impression that the film will focus on General James Wolfe victory over General Louis-Joseph de Montcalm on the Plains of Abraham outside Quebec City in late 1759. While this battle figures in as a brief backdrop it's not the focus. The focal point is a young peasant single mother, Marie-Loup, and her mutual passion for an aristocratic trapper, Francois. Francois seeks justice for the people of New France from the greedy and disloyal French overlords, but is ultimately forced to flee to France. A well-intentioned lie prevents Francois from taking Marie-Loup and her daughter with him, and this leads to tragedy.

As you can see, "Battle of the Brave" is more of a love story with a historical backdrop a la "Titanic" than a big battle picture like "Braveheart." As such, it may appeal more to women than men intent on seeing an action-oriented historical picture. Which isn't to say the movie's all romance; there's drama, comedy, history and flashes of action.

Actually, the title "Battle of the Brave" isn't all that inaccurate; it's just that the "battle" is on a much smaller scale than "Braveheart." The battle of the brave here is in the hearts of the main characters as they make hard and sacrificial choices during a time of great political upheaval. Unfortunately the DVD cover doesn't denote this; it suggests a big battle flick with huge armies along with the statement, "RISE. UNITE. FIGHT.", which is totally misleading. Why falsely market the product? Don't producers know bait-and-switch tactics will ultimately turn people off to the film?

I admit that the first time I saw "Battle of the Brave" I was somewhat disappointed because I was expecting something more along the lines of "Last of the Mohicans" (1992). Viewing it again recently, I was fully prepared for its uniqueness and even utilized the subtitles so I could keep track of the characters and not miss any of the accented dialogue, which I recommend. As a result, I quite enjoyed the movie. I was able to follow what was going on and successfully entered the world of the characters for the next couple hours (the film runs 143 minutes). Besides, who wants another "Last of the Mohicans"? We already have that. "Battle of the Brave" is totally unique and completely non-"blockbuster."

The film has high production values (it was the most expensive film ever made in Quebec) but it has a peculiar vibe that the viewer has to get used to; the tone is more akin to a TV movie (with a huge budget) than "Last of the Mohicans" or "Rob Roy," but I don't necessarily mean this in a negative sense.

With the exception of Gerard Depardieu, who plays Father Thomas, the main characters are relatively obscure French actors, but they all rise to the occasion. David La Haye as Francois is a likable and believable male protagonist. The actresses who play Marie-Loup, her daughter France, and their family friend Acoona are likewise great. I particularly appreciate Bianca Gervais as the part-native Acoona. Speaking of which, I like the respectable way the film figures in the Innu people, albeit small.

One reviewer lambasted the film as "seethingly anti-Catholic," but the ending totally refutes this absurd claim. Did he even finish the film? Actually the picture is brutally honest with its depiction of people, governments and institutions – all can be corrupted and corruption comes down to the individual. Just the same, honor and integrity are rooted in the individual before anything else. Governments and all institutions are only as good or bad as the individuals from which they're comprised. Thankfully, there's a remedy to corruption: humble repentance. Confession stops prosecution and humility attracts grace, which leads to positive change, even if it's upon one's deathbed.

The ending scene is powerful in a subtle way. No matter the tragedy, beauty and positivity can arise from the ashes.

Speaking of the ending, the credits sequence features the excellent song "Ma Nouvelle France" by Celine Dion, sung in French.

But the story leaves a few questions ***SPOILER ALERT***: Why did Father Thomas lie to Marie-Loup about Francois' letter? Was he simply concerned about her safety in a time of political unrest or did he love her so much he selfishly couldn't bear to have her removed from his life and influence? Why does France call Francois "Father" (capitalized) at the very end? Why didn't Marie-Loup simply tell the truth at the trial? After all, what legitimate court would convict an 11 year-old girl who was simply defending herself from a drunken rapist (unless, of course, the court was heavily biased toward Xavier)? ***END SPOILER***

The film was shot mainly in beautiful Quebec and Eastern Canada, which makes the film realistic. (Wouldn't it have been absurd to shoot it in, say, British Columbia, as was the case with "Pathfinder"?). (Speaking of which, "Pathfinder" is well worth checking out; it's a great 'guy flick'; the antithesis of "Battle of the Brave").

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Wanted to tear the bad guys to shreds!! Noemie is incredible!!!!
Deepfried-Egg2 January 2007
This movie really made me care for the main characters! By the time the middle of this movie rolled around, I was wanting to marry the leading lady myself! Noemie is incredible and beautiful in this film!!!! Braveheart, Last of the Mohicans, The Patriot, Gladiator all got me riled up and angry with the bad guys, but this one got me so ticked off that I wanted to jump into the movie screen and beat them to a pulp!! I'm getting worked up again right now just thinking about it! There was hardly any action set pieces in this film, but I didn't care. Naomie is the reason to watch this film. I rented this movie because Jason Isaacs, Tim Roth, etc. were in it, but none of the big names had much screen time at all except for Gerard DippyDoo who I wanted to behead by the end of the movie!!! Ugh..I'm still angry with him even now!! I had never seen the very talented actress Noemie before this film, but as Mary-Loup she absolutely stole the show! She lit up every scene she was in. Without a doubt she is now my favorite movie actress! Her English is very good too considering she's French. She looked very believable and natural with that bow and arrow. Hope to see her in some more action roles soon!
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For me this movie was very realistic and touched multiple points
alaskanlawnmowing15 January 2007
Warning: Spoilers
This movie did not attempt like most theatrical movies, to be a historical documentary nor just a pot boiler romance like many boring Dickens-esquire type features. It had the movie from observe view various characters, on multiple levels-that of the two lovers, the British gov, French gov, various characters like Marie-Loup's daughter, the priest (Depardieu) etc. To me, it was a tragedy, and it was a battle not against governments, but Francois and Marie-Loup against all the other unknowing, uncaring, hating, jealous characters who were miserable themselves and wanted to take it out on these two who had finally found themselves with each other. It really is a beautiful movie and is tragic like many French story ideas are. I really like the characters of Francois and Marie-Loups. It is not a bad movie and will keep one feeling for the main characters who have to go through so much BS, and perils for each other, in the end losing each other on earth but not spiritually. I enjoyed it very much.
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A romantic adventure set in 1750s French Canada
geostrategic22 May 2007
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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French Canadian point of view
private_5424 November 2004
This is, literally, one of the most uselessly complex and "I-want-to-make-my-way-into-cinema-history" movie ever produced. I cannot think foreigners will see this movie and understand THAT as an accurate review of what happened to my country. I left the theater 38 minutes ago, and I am still shaking with anger.

First of all, cut the all-charm hero who's good at everything and the tough and revolutionary woman who dears go against armed guards by punching them in the face. I do not buy. I got nothing against Noémie Godin-Vigneault, she did a worthy job, but her character's flawed. Cut also the dull love story, absolutely unimaginative. The secondary characters, like Marie-Loup's father, like Voltaire and France Carignan, Marie-Loup's daughter. They deserve credit.

And finally, how dare did they destroy one of the finest North American piece of history by wanting to copy the "historical-moment-in-a-love-story" like Titanic and Pearl Harbor did. Historical values are not even respected. 4 years passed between the capitulation of Quebec and the Treaty of Paris. 4 years. Well, it seems nobody aged a day.

Please, before or after seeing this movie, ask for a French Canadian, for the REAL version of what happened. That way we can keep our dignity intact.
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I would rather someone stab me in the thorax
ohnoheisdead20 November 2004
This was truly the most painful experience I have had in quite some time in a movie theater. I will forego such facile criticisms as 'maudlin' or 'historically inaccurate' or 'horse's crap's crap' because quite simply our sympathies would then immediately go out to these words. If a director's to make a sweeping grandiose love epic, well for god's sake MAKE A REAL DAMN SWEEPING GRANDIOSE LOVE EPIC! Why bother with such laughably unconvincing second rate harlequin romances and such boring interchanges between characters we could care less about when the most decisive battle on Canadian soil is taking place? And for the pompous people thinking 'oh well, this story must center characters!" well you're wrong, dead wrong.
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Should have been : A Movie Set in New France
musicfreak-211 December 2005
As a Canadian History major, my first thing to say : HISTORICAL FACTS ARE NOT ACCURATE! How can a producer do that? The deportation of the Acadian wasn't in 1759 when we see Franklin in London, but in 1755! How can he pass that in the movie? The scenes in Londo were useless too. Then for the story for anyone that read "Les Anciens Canadians", you have the story line right there. It's the story of La Coriveau, that "witch". Add a love story too and a tragic relationship between mother and daughter ending. Sure, it brought tears to my eyes. But that's it. Then there's the fact it's apparently set up in Québec City, but it's mostly shot at the Forteresse de Louisbourg. Sure it's a historical site and it's accurate to the time, but it was obvious that the scenes were not all set in Québec City. Overall, if you're looking for a documentary of New France, go get Candad : A People's History, a real documentary on the history of Canda and NEw France. If you want a love story that will bring you tears, a story set up in a wonderful forest, watch New France.
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Interesting period piece
truscott6 February 2014
While the overall production lacks the feel of a first-rate movie, I found this film highly engaging in that the female lead and some supporting performances were just excellent. The relationship between the mother and daughter was as strong as I have ever seen portrayed, with excellent performances by both. Unfortunately, the cast of usual suspects, reprising roles from other similar movies, detracted immensely from the film. They should have just found new faces. I'm a history buff, and rarely enjoy romance driven films.. but this one actually caught my attention and I liked it. With better performances from the "famous" actors, and a little less sap in the music score, this could have been a far more enjoyable film. But overall the two lead characters gave outstanding performances, and I really enjoyed the story and cinematography.
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A Huge Budget Period Piece from Canada : All Parade and No Circus
gradyharp13 November 2006
Much can usually be forgiven in period pieces that ask us to recall important historical events and spice them with enough love interest to keep the story going. BATTLE OF THE BRAVE tackles the 18th Century struggle for the control of Quebec (an all of Canada) between the British and the French with sidebars form the new America. It has the makings of a sweeping epic of fascination, but sadly in the hands of writer Pierre Billon (whose script deserves a Razzie award for worst of the season) and the scattered, unfocused, and confusing direction by Jean Beaudin this film is a dud - a two and a quarter hour tedious mess of a film.

Even a cast a fine actors - pairing Noémie Godin-Vigneau as Marie-Loup Carignan with David La Haye as François le Gardeur, adding the lovely Bianca Gervais as Acoona , the venerable Gérard Depardieu as Le curé Thomas Blondeau, and the likes of Irène Jacob, Vincent Perez (ridiculous in period wigs), Tim Roth as William Pitt, Colm Meaney as Benjamin Franklin, and Jason Isaacs as Général James Wolfe - doesn't help. Veteran actors such as these must have cringed at the crude lines written for their characters! Cover the whole mess in a sappy musical score by Patrick Doyle and the result is a long film to be avoided. Sad to say such bad things about a costly project, but be warned....Grady Harp
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very disappointing
pol-edra1 October 2008
Warning: Spoilers
From the title, the tag-line, the plot summary on the DVD etc..., I expected something at least slightly epic, with the historical fiction and the romance concurring to thrill you; that's what they did in Last of the Mohicans for example, and I think they did a superb job. Maybe I had standards too high for this movie and didn't give it a fair chance. But the scenery was barely OK (how could they not come up with something more beautiful when they have such landscapes to work with?), the two lovers had no chemistry whatsoever, and the plot was just so predictable it felt like it had been drafted in 5 minutes by a twelve-year-old -- and not a very imaginative one. Nouvelle-France is a love story set in an eventful historical age. But the history of Nouvelle-France is hardly a side note, and the love story is banal and fails dramatically to make the viewer care for the lovers' fate. Surprisingly, the only good parts about the movie came from something completely unexpected and unadvertised: the relationship between Marie-Loup, the heroine, and her children (one natural, one adopted). If only they'd concentrated on her family and forgotten about the love story, it would have been a much better movie. Marie-Loup's parents should have been given more screen time and character development, the politics going on in Britain should have been more than a three-minute scene with barely any connection to the rest, the rotten baddie should have been either more developed or removed from the script completely (why hire actors like Vincent Perez, Tim Roth or Jason Isaacs to misuse them so badly?) Bad work overall.
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Hilarious movie
newatt-231 July 2007
From the second the music swelled (second one of the movie) and it was movie-hack tripe, I knew I was in for a very long ride. Horrendously clichéd - (I laughed a lot and knew how the plot ended WELL before the ending) - they didn't use Louisbourg particularly well and the costuming and hair were kinda awful. (My particular favourite makeup moment is that the only way they age Depardieu as far as I could see was by putting a straight hair wig on him, instead of wavy). I could go on about the ridiculous unsuitability of the music for a long time -- the movie could be improved massively by an 18th century score.

(ETA: AH, it's that horrible moviemusic guy Patrick Doyle who's responsible for the score - say no More! He should NOT be allowed near historical movies -- he should stick to 20th century settings.)

The "visit to the notable people portion" was also hilarious particularly his little visit to Madame Pompadour who was not particularly convincingly played.

I thought the only actor who appeared grounded in the century at hand was Michael Maloney as James Murray. He absolutely stole the show for all 30 seconds he was on screen. Tragically, he made you see what the movie could have been.

The love scenes did have some heat - the two leads were stunning together.

The most awful scene for historians is where they're at the big leavetaking dinner in Britain before Wolfe sails and he lifts his glass and says the first two lines of "How stands the glass around" aka "Why soldiers why" as if it's a toast. Absolutely excruciating failure at historicity, much better to leave it out. Thousands of people know the damn song and thousands more believe the rumour that Wolfe and company sang it (probably drunk, not all stuffy like this bunch). Daft.
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No new, no France and no New France
zav-33 April 2008
The title "New France" tempted me immediately. So here we are, in front of the screen. After some introduction, a wonderfully bombastic bass offstage voice promised:

"A bunch of snow-covered peaks in North America, over a territory ten times the size of France. The same France that was on the verge of selling us in exchange for a handful of islands. The British Army was getting ready to attack the city where I was born and, once it had taken Quebec City, England would gain a new empire. That was our destiny, and this is our history..." (my words the way I remember his).

Wow, I thought in awe, eyes and ears wide open... And that's all, folks. All that went on was a second or third class Bollywood-like soap opera. Louisbourg appeared a couple of times, unmentioned, but not at all the promised Quebec City, and of course no "destiny" and no "history". Swindle, or just stupidity? It's up to you, buddy.
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By far, the worst movie ever made. A total waste of money and time.
vdebrey19 March 2007
The actors were not believable, The story was really weak, total sap, and completely predictable. Really disappointed in Depardieu. It was a shame that they did not focus more on the struggle of the Canadian fight for independence. We have seen this love story many times before, only with better actors! We had to wait for the last 15 minutes for a small sense of drama! The soundtrack was totally disturbing. The underscore hit you over the head with sentimentality. But really over the top. The only thing we found OK was the fact that they let the Indians speak their language. And we found the cinematography, of the Indian village relatively realistic.
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good idea, nice intentions
Vincentiu29 August 2012
interesting idea. good intentions. impressive. and almost realistic. a tragic love story in war time is not new subject. and its potential is huge. but in this case , the desire of director to create a touching story makes all ingredients fragments from a pink play. Manichean solution, the Charming Prince not very convincing, the priest in ambiguous position, the political case of Quebec and realities of county - in different directions. only, the fantastic performance of girl as key of this Baroc movie with taste of soap-opera. and few portraits of historical it enough ? the answer is part of expectations. the truth is just the impression as end of film.
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