Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB
Canada, 2005. Cinémaginaire Inc.. Screenplay by Luc Dionne, based on the novel by Andre Mathieu. Cinematography by Louis de Ernsted. Produced by Daniel Louis, Denise Robert. Music by Michel Cusson. Production Design by Michel Proulx. Costume Design by Francesca Chamberland. Film Editing by Isabelle Dedieu.
Riveting drama based on the true story that rocked all of Canada in the 1920s. A married woman suffering from tuberculosis is taken to hospital where she will spend the remainder of her days, leaving her children to be raised by her parents while her husband Telesphore lives alone at home. Telesphore’s dead cousin’s wife shows up with her own children and proposes they put their houses together, then encourages the parish priest to put it in her now-husband’s mind to bring his own children home.
What results is a monstrous case of abuse, with 11 year-old Aurore, the more sensitive and non-linear thinker of the bunch, receiving the worst of the hideous treatment that the certifiably insane stepmother and mostly absent father inflict upon her. The story, which has been filmed, staged and written about countless times since it hit the public sphere, is brought to rich life by newcomer Luc Dionne, and fleshed out by superb period detail and incredibly deft performances by the entire ensemble cast. A riveting heartbreaker that you won’t easily forget.