Post Mortem
dir-scr Louis Belanger
with Gabriel Arcand, Sylvie Moreau, Helene Loiselle, Sarah Lecomte-Bergeron, Ghislain Taschereau, Pierre Collin, Roger Leger, Francois Papineau, Vittorio Rossi
release London Film Fest Nov.00
winner best actress Moreau, screenplay, Claude Jutra Award (Genie 00)
99/Canada 1h32 3 out of 5 stars
Review by Rich Cline
After-death experience. Linda (Moreau) is more than a little freaked out when Ghislain (O'Brien) pursues her.
There's an outrageous premise underlying this smart, creepy character drama, which doesn't emerge until about halfway through the film. Suffice it to say that it's utterly unbelievable ... and yet based on fact. The story centres on Linda and Ghislain (Moreau and O'Brien), two lonely people in Montreal who are brought "together" through outrageous circumstances. Linda is a single mother who supports herself by picking up men and robbing them; Ghislain is a loner on night duty in the police morgue. When they meet, it's through the most outlandish of situations and neither is quite sure (or equipped) to deal with it.

As a tale of two lonely hearts struggling to find their way in the world, this is a startlingly moving film. The way they are brought out of their respective shells is just a tad beyond disturbing, yet Belanger crafts the film so well that he brings out the themes effectively, touchingly and with a real sense of unexpected humour. The triptych structure helps make the film much more interesting than it would have been had things been told chronologically ... or from one specific point of view. We instead get to know the characters separately, then we learn slowly (but very surely) about how their lives intersect. The actors are brave and thoroughly convincing in their roles. And the unusual structure, which also includes flashbacks and fantasy sequences, weaves together remarkably to tell a deeply personal--and haunting--tale.

[very strong themes and situations, nudity, violence] 15.Nov.00

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2000 by Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall