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Félix and Meira is a story of an unconventional romance between two people living vastly different realities mere blocks away from one another. Each lost in their everyday lives, Meira (Hadas Yaron), a Hasidic Jewish wife and mother and Félix (Martin Dubreuil), a Secular loner mourning the recent death of his estranged father, unexpectedly meet in a local bakery in Montreal's Mile End district. What starts as an innocent friendship becomes more serious as the two wayward strangers find comfort in one another. As Félix opens Meira's eyes to the world outside of her tight-knit Orthodox community, her desire for change becomes harder for her to ignore, ultimately forcing her to choose: remain in the life that she knows or give it all up to be with Félix. Giroux's film is a poignant and touching tale of self-discovery set against the backdrops of Montreal, Brooklyn, and Venice, Italy.Written by
The film was selected as the Canadian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards (2016) but it was not nominated. See more »
When Shulem hits Félix, you can see Meira in the background trying not to giggle. Considering the tensity of the scene and the nature of Meira's character, it's very likely this was unintentional and a break in character. See more »
Keep her safe and sound, because without her my life has no meaning.
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Maxime Giroux's 'Felix and Meira' tone is set from the very first frame, captured in black and white. Malka or Meira plays with her soup with a soup spoon, a Shabbos meal. Her husband with finely curled ear locks, wearing a black hat trimmed in sable, and wearing a long black silk coat celebrates the Sabbath with gusto, in song and food and the pouring of wine. Meira feels estranged from this world of ultra Orthodox Jews, living in Montreal. A community that keeps very much to itself; insulated religiously in a world of Yiddish and Hebrew, prayers and rituals. A world in which husband and wife sleep in separate beds, according to tradition; coitus takes place only during days of ovulation; menstruation renders her impure, a ritual bath cleanses her. Malka wears a wig, long garments, She has but one duty to bear her husband many children. She doesn't; after the birth of her daughter she takes up pen and notebook to draw; she has a certain talent. She likes music which her husband forbids. She's listless and wanders aimlessly in her mind. In secret, she takes birth control tablets, for she doesn't want more children. And into her universe comes a secular man, an artist of sorts, a lost soul who feels empty because a strict father has never shown him love or interest since he didn't follow in the man's footsteps, it's inferred. So Felix travels and is now back in his own flat in Montreal, perhaps in Westmount, a Jewish enclave of Anglophone Jews. And as the narrative develops these two souls collide and a desperate, quite love arises between them. Too, late Meira's husband declares his love for her, but she is beyond his pleas for she has left an tradition from which she cut herself off and can never return. (Woody Allen treats the theme but without tragedy in 'Fading Gigolo', and Boaz Yakin treated seriously in the 1998 film 'A Price Above Rubies', with more or less the same outcome as Giroux's film.) The closing scenes are shot in Venice, on a grey day. A in an aside, Meira wishes regrets she has taken her daughter out of structured community, for life with her and Felix. Felix stolidly stares into the mournful cast of Venetian light. The pairing will never be happy, but, it is suggested, that in desperation they will cling to each other.
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