VIFF 2014: Quebec's ensemble drama Miraculum impresses

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      Miraculum (Canada)

      This impressive ensemble French-language drama by Podz (Daniel Grou), about several individuals linked together by a plane crash, is delivered by a strong cast. At the story’s heart is the moral dilemma faced by a nurse (standout Marilyn Castonguay) who wrestles with donating blood to save a plane-crash survivor’s life; doing so means going against the teachings of her Jehovah’s Witness faith. Her own fiancé (played by renowned writer-director Xavier Dolan) is dying of leukemia; he can’t receive hospital treatment also due to his faith. Meanwhile, two casino employees cheating on their spouses plan a romantic escape, inspired by a conversation with a drug-abusing businessman, who is preparing for his annual getaway to Cuba with his alcoholic, unhappy wife. Elsewhere, a drug mule struggles to defecate his delivery out of his system. While solidly made, the gloomy mood is relentless. Consequently, the emotionally clausterphobic range contributes to repetition and predictability rather than insight through contrast.

      October 4 (9:30 p.m.), Vancity Theatre; October 6 (4:45 p.m.), Cinematheque. 

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