Starring Marie Brassard. In French, with English subtitles. Rating unavailable.
The French title of this sweetly mysterious comedy translates as The Heart of Mrs. Sabali. That tells you a lot, because an organ transplant irrevocably alters the life of a mousy woman named Jeannette, played by Marie Brassard, whom some viewers may find more quirky than charismatic. She leaves a sexless relationship in search of new love and finds an ardent suitor (Tu Dors Nicole’s Francis La Haye) who paints lobsters on tree rings. He may have other strange inclinations.
Meanwhile, that new organ keeps pulling Jeannette in the direction of the family of a murdered African woman who donated it. This leads to several musical interludes with blind Malian singers Amadou & Mariam, as well as some misunderstandings when the dead woman’s young son (Youssef Camara) starts getting too attached. And then there’s the fact that our offbeat heroine’s many female coworkers happen to be pregnant at the same time.
Following all that? It doesn’t matter, really, because story isn’t the chief appeal of this 80-minute feature by Winnipeg-trained, Quebec-based director Ryan McKenna, working from a story by Becca Blackwood, who also did the fantastic costume and set design—both of which emphasize shocking fields of bright primary colours, especially around the fictional railroad company where everyone in the story seems to work. A quirky treat on many levels, this one may leave you scratching your head at times, but it’s got plenty of heart.