Kamloops Film Festival in review: Ville-Marie

Each year, The Omega reviews the films presented at the Kamloops Film Festival. The festival came to a close on March 11.

Over-dramatic, tone-deaf and extremely self-serious, it is truly a shame how big a misfire this family drama ends up being. The second feature from Canadian director Guy Édoin centres on several stories in Ville-Marie (also known as downtown Montréal) from several people who work at the understaffed hospital to a movie set, but mainly focuses on the distant relationship between an actress and her gay son.

Each character is so directly focused on one or two aspects of their life that the audience is never shown any sort of development of them. The incremental changes that do happen within the script seem plotted from some soap opera, ruining any semblance of realism that the filmmakers were trying to achieve. This is in no part improved from the meandering sense of pace that follows the film. The runtime of only 101 minutes is compounded by its plodding camera movement that eschews any inventiveness that could spice up the proceedings by making almost each shot into a slow push in (Trust me, once you notice it, it becomes extremely repetitive.)

And yet the film is more of a disappointment to its actors than anyone else. Monica Bellucci puts up a layered and convincing portrayal of an actress who is plagued by the misdeeds of her past while her son, Alicia Schneider, is also good in the admittedly short amount of time he is given on screen. It is the odd amount of time given to the side characters of an ambulance driver and nurse that serve an analogous and completely unnecessary addition to the proceedings. The little plot that actually occurs between the characters doesn’t help the film from missing a large sense of relevance and attempt to be anything other than boring.