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TIFF 2015 Review: Ville-Marie

Guy Édoin’s Ville-Marie announces itself immediately, with a blast of classical music, followed by a wallop of a beginning, which this reviewer is loath to spoil.

Regardless of the action of the remaining film, that opening image remains indelible, the character of Thomas waking slowly the street in Montreal, faced away from the camera, curly hair on display, looking more than a little bit like his brother Niels, star of Dolan’s Heartbeats. Then, suddenly, the entire experience of the film is informed by the action that happens next.

It does not matter then, that the visiting actress played by Monica Belluci is revealed to have a close connection to Thomas. Nor does it matter that Pascal Bussièries becomes closely connected to the action and that her name just happens to be Marie, perhaps giving a dual meaning to the title of the film. It is also irrelevant, though welcome, that Édoin is a true professional, holding the camera absolutely steady, and getting the most out of his cast and especially his crew.

Basically all that counts is this first sequence, informing the theme and style of the rest of the film. One can imagine that Ville-Marie is the type of film that does not come about through an accident, that everything on screen, (including shots of filming within filming), is meticulously planned by Édoin, and can carry significant weight only to the viewers that allow themselves to be willing to stay in, not just visit Ville-Marie.

[star v=35]