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‘Mon Oncle Antoine’ – Quebec Gold

Mon Oncle Antoine

Directed by Claude Jutra

Canada, 1971

Mon Oncle Antoine could easily have been directed by Louis Malle. Its bittersweet tone, its curious, naïve protagonist, its meandering semi-narrative structure all find cousins in such films as Murmur of the Heart (released the same year, 1971), Lacombe Lucien, and Au Revoir Les Enfants.

For that matter, Mon Oncle Antoine could easily have been directed by Bill Forsyth. Its rejection of traditional narrative principles, its look at a small, tightly-knit community, its balancing act of comedy and coming-of-age all find cousins in such films as That Sinking Feeling, Gregory’s Girl, and Gregory’s Two Girls.

While Malle, Forsyth, and Claude Jutra might form some distinct directorial triumvirate, Mon Oncle Antoine is still uniquely Jutra.

The plotting is simple. Adolescent Benoit (a magnificent Jacques Gagnon) lives in foster care with his uncle Antoine (Jean Duceppe) and aunt Cecile (Olivette Thibault). Also in

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