Evicted from a rooming house in Moncton, Anna is forced to live on the streets as her son, whom she placed for adoption 20 years earlier, seeks to see her again. She finds refuge in hiding in the house of an elderly couple. When a drama shakes up the couple’s life, the owner of the place, Victorine, will discover Anna’s secret.
Released in December in Acadia, Notre Dame de Moncton, by Denise Bouchard, hits theaters in Quebec this Friday. The Acadian filmmaker signs here her second feature film, and one of the rare French-language fiction films produced in New Brunswick.
Based on the screenplay by Mélanie Léger, the director delivers a benevolent work, full of good feelings, on the surprising encounter between two women, Anna (Laurie Gagné) and Victorine (Louise Turcot). Although everything seems to keep them apart, chance will bring them together and put a balm on their wounds.
Alas, Notre Dame de Moncton pours too much into the melodrama and its scenario is implausible. We understand that the creators wanted to avoid the misery of homelessness and marginality. To show that “life is full of surprises” and that redemption exists. Kindness too. Despite the suffering and the dramas. The story still needs to be believable. Here, we do not believe for a minute that Anna can live clandestinely in the basement without the knowledge of her owners, while we hear every noise and conversation throughout the house.
There are zany dramatic scenes, holes in the story and stereotypical secondary characters (Raoul, the convenience store clerk is reminiscent of hairdresser Christian in Chez Denise…a show that aired from 1979 to 1982!). And the writing is clumsy. Like this passage from the diary of the unfaithful husband: “I am accompanying my wife to Cuba, but I am thinking of you Sonia. The relief of the mountains reminds me of your sensual curves. »
In the role of Anna, Laurie Gagné lacks experience for a first film role. She sighs and rolls her eyes halfway through the film. Alas, all the actors are poorly directed… Even Louise Turcot and Gilles Renaud, who are also two wonderful performers, play out of tune in certain scenes. Damage.