9 January 2005 | LeRoyMarko
A family's distressful life
The story is set as the war starts to rage in Europe. It follows years of depression in Montreal. Life is miserable in working class neighborhood like Saint-Henri. Some aspire to something better, maybe even a life at the other end of the city, Westmount, where rich people live. It's a great story by Gabrielle Roy, but not a great film by Claude Fournier. The movie wants to be a tear-jerker, but except with a few scenes, fails to be. The acting is mediocre. Some lines seem to be delivered by high-school drama students. All the actors in this movie have had better performances. And the director seems to pay little attention to details: it's always the same streetcar (#200) and it's always going by right when you need it. For all those reasons, "Bonheur d'occasion" is not a memorable film, even if it had the potential to be.
Seen at home, in Toronto, on January 9th, 2005. I first saw it in a French class while in high school, in Hearst (Ontario), about 15 years ago.