In this edition of Movie Night in Canada, we check out a title from a province well known for its stellar filmmaking: Quebec.
From precocious talent Xavier Dolan to directors like Denis Villeneuve and Jean-Marc Vallée who have crossed over to Hollywood, Quebec filmmakers have been garnering both domestic and international attention and acclaim.
Among them is Philippe Falardeau.
Falardeau may be best known for his 2011 poignant drama Monsieur Lazhar, about an Algerian immigrant who bonds with the students of a teacher who has committed suicide, which was nominated for a best-foreign language Oscar and won six Genie Awards.
He also won accolades for his 2008 film C'est pas moi, je le jure! (It's Not Me, I Swear!), the bittersweet tale of a 10-year-old boy with an overactive imagination whose mother abandons her family.
Victoria Film Festival director Kathy Kay picked Falardeau's first feature film, La Moitié gauche du frigo (The Left-Hand Side of the Fridge) from 2000, as what she'd recommend for an underrated Canadian gem.
This comedic feature follows Christophe, an unemployed engineer searching for a job who allows his roommate Stéphane to film him for a documentary. However, when Stéphane's filmmaking starts to intefere with Christophe's progress in his job search, tension arise between the two.
Here's what Kay had to say about The Left-Hand Side of the Fridge:
My film selection is one that we screened at the 2001 Victoria Film Festival, La Moitié gauche du frigo (The Left-Hand Side of the Fridge) directed and written by Philippe Falardeau who later went on to create Monsieur Lazhar. To be honest I would actually recommend any of his films. La Moitié is a true auteur vision of the modern economy and has a strong script and reality TV concept well before its time. Falardeau created a really intelligent film both comic and tragic.
Falardeau won the Claude Jutra Award at the Genies for this film.
C'est tout for this Quebec-themed edition of Movie Night in Canada, but there are plenty more to come so stay tuned.