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  • Rarely does a 3 hour political docu-drama have more than its subject matter to hold the viewer's interest. However, Canadian director Jerry Ciccoritti does not rely on his intriguing subject matter but tries many things to make "TRUDEAU" a ground breaking effort in this genre. His camera shots and techniques are staggering in their diversity. The film is full of visually effective montages, clever, seamless blending of real life footage and other arty editting techniques. The movie has as much cinematic flare as Trudeau had political flare. One such scene has Trudeau and his two henchmen(Duncan and Greenbaum) running and hiding from screaming girls, a parody of the Fab Four films. This was a neat summary of how Trudeaumania was as big as Beatlemania in the 1960s. Another original technique was the use of various time markers. During the FLQ crisis segment, which was a short 2 week event, Ciccoritti uses a shaded timeline to keep track of the event. During the Quebec Referendum/Constitution segment, a much longer event, the full date was displayed. Never have a seen a film with such sensitivity to the audience's potential problem of following events. Another thing that will cement this movie into Canadian lore is the cast. Patrick McKenna(RED GREEN SHOW) and Don McKellar(TWITCH CITY), more known for their comic style, get a chance to show their dramatic talents. The cast also includes veteran ensemble stars like Eric Peterson and R. H. Thomson(the King of Canadian mini-series). Ciccoritti's choice of Colm Feore(INSIDER, PEARL HARBOR) was perfect. Not only does Feore have star appeal, but his performance of Trudeau is award winning. Not only did he have the voice and mannerisms down pat but Feore vividly expressed the prime minister as a real character, not a caricature. Overall, this movie will delight Canadians and should have universal appeal as well.
  • While my mother would tell me stories of what happened when I was younger, the four-hour miniseries, "Trudeau," was like a knowledgeable neighbour filling in the external details about the politics and events of the time.

    Through the music of the time, interspersed with clips from actual news footage, and the actors' performances, we were brought through such groundbreaking events as the October Crisis, the Québec Referendum and the bringing home of the Constitution to Canada.

    The role that Margaret Sinclair Trudeau played in the life of Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau and his political life is given its due importance in this production. Margaret was played as a strong support to Pierre, in spite of their marriage breakdown and Margaret's escapades with drugs and hanging out with the Rolling Stones.

    While it was only touched on during the broadcast, Trudeau's legacy is the maturing of a Canada that welcomes languages and cultures from around the world. Additionally, Trudeau's statement that the government "has no business in the bedrooms of the nation" made it easier for divorcing couples and those with so-called "alternative lifestyles" to have the opportunity to participate more fully in Canadian society.

    This piece was casted, not with look-alikes, but with actors who could convey the essence of the players of a generation ago. Anyone with knowledge of the era could easily recognise the premiers, aides and other characters played by a group of very familiar actors, whose performances were nothing less than stellar. Kudos to Colm Feore (Pierre) and Polly Shannon (Margaret)!!!

    This production was broadcast with closed captions and descriptive video making it a trendsetter in accessible TV for the hearing and visually impaired.

    Some might argue the most memorable line from Trudeau was, "Just watch me!" However, after seeing this miniseries, I think it should be, "This is us! Here we are!"

    And we are, indeed!
  • It is hard to find fault with this terrific effort...great script, great actors etc...but why do they screw up such a super show with dumb things. Although I am complaining about only a couple of parts of the show, I do not know why these things took place. For example, at the end of episode one, after a great re-telling of the P.Laporte-J. Cross FLQ crisis, they resolve it with a multi-screen ending, that had no narrative, and made absolutely no sense at all to those who do not know how it ended. It was as if the director and editor suddenly realized that they only had 60 seconds left to wrap it up and tried to do everything at once. If you were new to the story and did not know how the events unfolded then you would have been lost. Likewise at the end of the second episode, so 'genius' decided to use an actual speech by the real Trudeau, but made it into a grainy scratch filled piece of black and white film as if it had been film in the time of Laurier not Trudeau. What exactly was the point of that. The only other complaint I had was a scene in which Trudeau and his reporter 'friend' were coming up the steps into the Centre Block and unlike every other shot in the series, someone decided to jump cut it as if it were a rock video. Again, what was the point of interupting the flow of the show to do that (unless it was to cut out the person walking in front of them). However, on the whole, the show was great, the portrail of historical figures fascinating. John Turner, Mitchell Sharp and even John Munro came across very well as did Pelletier, Marchand and Lalonde to mention just a few. But then why did they not use an actor to portray Joe Clark, using newsreel footage for his parts and not anyone else, including Levesque. These examples of disjointedness were irritating as they all interuppted the narrative flow of a great show.
  • Phenomenal performance from Colm Feore (who HAS lived in Canada for 40 yrs. despite being Boston-born). It is eerie, you almost believe it really is Trudeau, the voice, mannerisms are spot on. Peter Outerbridge is particularly strong as Jim Coutts. The mini-series in typical CBC fashion deifies Trudeau while ignoring the real harm he did to Canada: flawed constitution that left out one of the founding peoples agreement to it, rise of alienation & the threat of separatism, the ruin of the economy, staggering debt & out-of-control spending. Trudeau was reviled outside Canada as a world leader; Thatcher & Reagan wouldn't give him the time of day! That being said, he was a man of conviction & courage & the miniseries brings that element out well. The extra features on the DVD, particularly the 1968 Liberal leadership convention documentary, is particularly good in presenting the political intrigue & drama of the time. A movie well-worth seeing or owning for that matter!
  • Pierre Trudeau was one of our greatest leaders, love him or hate him, and this documentary helps endear him to a younger generation, people like me, who weren't alive when he was Prime Minister of Canada.

    The film takes you through his terms as PM, with a keen eye for detail. Portions include the invoking of the War Measures Act, which sparked controversy all around the world; his marriage to his first wife, Margaret, the catastrophe with the FLQ, and much more.

    The acting in the series is top-notch, except for Polly Shannon, who turns in an uneven performance as Margaret. She's often either very excited or very down-in-the-dumps, which was realistic, but she didn't really capture the essence of Margaret, or so I think.

    Colm Feore, who looks nothing like Trudeau; turns in a great performance as the man himself. Despite the non-resemblance of the two men, Feore has all of the famous quotes, body movements, and mannerisms of the former PM done to a T.

    Patrick McKenna, who many Canadians remember as loveable-dope Harold Green on 'The Red Green Show' turns in a solid performance as Duncan. This was one of his first serious roles, and he did an excellent job.

    I think that Pierre himself would have enjoyed this miniseries, as it is brilliantly lit, shot, and edited.

    Even though he is widely regarded as 'Eastern Canada's' PM; Trudeau was the man that people around the world identified as Canada during the 1970's, and he was a fine ambassador for our country.

    The CBC, a government-controlled operative, does a great job in showing us the trials and tribulations of Trudeau's life. This is easily their best film since 'White Lies'.
  • Very good movie done in a very interesting concept. It's a visual treat. The way the director uses the camera, the split-screen, files from the archives, is just great. The acting too is good. Colm Feore is absolutely fantastic in the lead role. Man, he's got it! I think Polly Shannon also gave a good performance as Margaret. The rest of the cast to their job very well.

    When watching "Trudeau", try to not think of it as a documentary. Because this is not one. It's a fiction, based on real facts, with add-on material.

    I think it's a first for Canadian cinema. "Trudeau" is a movie that really surprised me.

    But I must admit that I prefer the first part of the movie. The second one was a little bit too much on the political side of his life.

    Out of 100, I gave "Trudeau" 82. That's good for *** on a **** stars rating system.

    Seen at home, in Toronto, on March 31st and April 1st, 2002.
  • The 1960s-1970s pastiche style of this telefilm was so very well accomplished that it made me realize again why I HATED films of this era so much--the semicoherent lets-pretend-we're-tripping mise en scene, the syrupy musical interludes, the overall style-over-substance approach. But then around the three-quarters point I realized how RIGHT this approach is to this particular story. What "Trudeau" says to me is that Trudeau was put into office because he seemed to fit the style of the times--as one of his handlers terms it at the beginning of the film, he's "sexy"--but, as is demonstrated over and over, he utterly lacked the stuff of a real statesman, as reflected not only in his fumbling of various Quebec separatist uprisings but in his personally and politically suicidal choice of the immature, abusive narcissist Margaret Sinclair as his consort. I found "Trudeau" painful to watch, especially the scenes in which the aging Trudeau is browbeaten and humiliated by his hystrionic child-wife, the objective correlative of his former glamorous self, which contrasts with smarting irony with the progressive revelation of his inability to deliver the goods ("What do you want me to do about it?" he squawks to an aide, not the first or last revelation of this very hollow man's essential cluelessness.) I bought "Trudeau" wanting to see more of Colm Feore after being enchanted by his portrayal of Glenn Gould, another stupefyingly complex late 20th century Canadian mass media icon. Weirdly, and appropriately I think, Feore's Gould comes across as a far warmer, more authentic personality than his cold, brittle Trudeau. Polly Shannon's whimpery Margaret just made me want to slap her in the mouth, which I think is perfectly appropriate to the character. Most of all I just loved the way the director used Patrick McKenna in this film, not giving him that much to DO but posing him strategically near Feore at crucial moments, his chubby, mobile face and beautiful huge gray eyes telegraphing perfectly all the ideas and emotions that the fuzzy, chilly stick figure next to him just isn't grasping.
  • It's typical that the Canadian press (including 'The Toronto Star' and 'The Globe and Mail') would overhype a docudrama like this one. For one thing, it's about the beloved Pierre Elliot Trudeau, who, despite his flaws, seemed to capture the hearts of many a Canadian in a manner usually reserved for members of the Royal family, and maybe the Kennedys.

    The more disturbing trend illustrated by the press of late is the tendency to write blindly self-congratulatory articles on Canadian content. As if the CRTC didn't limit our content choices enough as it is. Just look at all the glowing press that the Simpsons' "Toronto episode" unfairly garnered.

    But back to the matter at hand. "Trudeau": the much hyped, much touted biopic miniseries starring a bevy of Canadian regulars, such as Colm Feore, R.H. Thompson, Patrick McKenna and, surprise, surprise, Don McKellar. Oh, and it stars Polly Walker as Margaret. Now, who is Polly Walker, and what's the big deal here?

    Jerry Ciccoretti's direction is admirable at times, working with what must have been a limited budget. Instant giveaway: excess of stock footage from the CBC archives. At other times, however, Ciccoretti gives into cheap mimicry of better filmmakers (yes, Jerry, we get the Richard Lester references). This also involves a mind-boggling over-use of cheap video effects, including split screen, freeze frame, and "wacky font library" titling. All this >reminds me of that video project I got an A on in High School (I think it was about the school's lacrosse team).

    Back to the acting. Colm (pronounced "Caw-lum," as Cynthia Dale so eloquently introduced him at the end of the first episode) Feore is passable in the title role. I've never been a huge fan of his overly affected Stratford festival style of acting. But he generally pulls it off. Still, it raises the debate of acting vs. mimicry. Where's the passion, Colm?

    Polly Walker is gawdawful as Margaret, although one wonders as to how much she was given to work with, considering the muddled direction and the real-life woman she's modelled after.

    The supporting actors generally do better, culminating tour-de-force performances by Eric Peterson as Tommy Douglas and Luc Proulx as Rene Levesque.

    In the end, I'm sure that "Trudeau" will pull in record ratings for the ailing CBC. But it's still sub-standard entertainment. We need new directors, and new fresh talent to grace our TV screens if we want TV to survive in this country. Otherwise, we can tune in to better fare from the UK or, dare I say it, the US.

    And the press better learn how to criticize, because this is imperative if our country wants to grow in the arts.
  • At this point I have seen only the first half of this series but I'm eager with anticipation for the second part. This is as good as anything CBC has ever done. Colm Feore doesn't look like Pierre Trudeau nevertheless he IS Pierre Trudeau, down to the arrogant shrugs and the puckish intellect. Polly Shannon is a believable Margaret Trudeau (even if Margaret herself was a bit unbelievable in real life.) They dwell a little too heavily on the Pierre and Margaret soap opera. Some of the key players --- John Turner and Mitchell Sharp --- are not recognizeable and identifying people becomes difficult. (Jean Marchand is well done.) But all that aside, this is a top notch effort. It uses novel production effects which are effective without being either gimmicky or artsey-dartsey. They move the story along briskly. The old newsclips are integrated to powerful effect. It will be interesting to see if CBC sells this series outside of Canada. As excellent as it is to Canadian eyes, it might be confusing to outsiders. Hell, most Canadians don't understand Canadian politics! But I'm delighted to see that nevertheless, those same confusing politics have pointed CBC back in the right direction!
  • There isn't much to be said about this movie, especially anything negative. The director plays a critical role in making this movie the gem that it is. This movie allows one to feel the full spectrum of emotions that isn't seen often in the current releases. Very strong movie, well-made. touching, even for a 25 year old chap like me. Very refreshing to see home town scenery in a movie, soundtrack for this movie is incredible and well chosen for each interlude. I've read a few books on Trudeau and have to point out that the information in this movie is quite accurate.

    Bravo Jerry, rest in peace Pierre and Michel.

    JMH
  • I'm a conservative; and even those who are die-hard conservatives, or hated Trudeau, will really enjoy this flick. I bought it after watching it and renting it about a dozen times.

    The historical accuracy was great - which is very funny for a historical movie (because not a lot of these kinds of movies are historically accurate). Its hard for me to determine what my favorite scene was because they were all great. Even the opening of the movie with the old CBC colour butterfly was great, and set up the atmosphere for the film. It gives everyone a chance to see how popular politicians got started, and made their mark, and how others were hated and why they were hated. It was definitely not biased whatsoever.

    This movie has made it in my top three most favorite movies.
  • Love Pierre Trudeau or hate him, it was hard for Canadians to take their eyes off him. Brilliant, idealistic, bombastic, condescending, egotistical. Sometimes cruel and sometimes kind, but never boring, Trudeau was absolutely 'The Man'. Colm Feore (himself both egotistical and brilliant) delivers a performance that is absolutely stunning. He reminds Canadians who grew up with Trudeau what they had and shows those too young to recall what they missed. Aided by a deeply talented supporting cast and clever (sometimes too-clever) direction, this is should be must-see material for all Canadians. Articulate, witty politicians? Young, sexy women? Idealism? Who said politics has to be dry and boring? See this movie.
  • I haven't seen it all but I might just watch all of it one day but I saw some of this in my Socials 11 class and heres what I thought of it.

    It may be the worst TV Movie Ever Made.

    There is nothing I liked about this movie, for example, I learned that Pierre Trudeau liked to get chased by girls with his two security guards just like The Beatles In A Hard Days Night and how he was a creeper who liked to date 21 year old girls when he was 47 years old. This is ridiculous. Why in the world do they focus more on effects then the story of his life? Thats just like saying Citizen Kane's Story was about The Title of the movie and how it became to be the title.

    The effects bother me to much in this movie due to the fact it is severely out of place. They fast forward the movie when its not suppose to be, the Richard Lester Style direction is terrible. Trudeaumania? WHAT THE **** IS THIS!? A Rip-off Of Beatlemania? The editing is horrible and the scenes that are pasted together make no sense. This also rips off A Hard Days Night due to the fact that they copy Paul McCartney's lines from the interview scene.

    I didn't even get to the Parts of the Front Liberation Quebec! Thats how bad it was! This might be the worst movie I have ever seen without even finishing. I think it could be worse then Cats and Dogs 2. YES. I said it. WORSE THEN CATS AND DOGS THE REVENGE OF KITTY GALORE. This Movie Is Slightly Better Then It. SLIGHTLY. But it may as well be the worst movie of the 00 decade.

    2/100 F This is the fourth F I gave to a movie. Lets hope I never see anything like this again.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Trudeau was a decent miniseries. A good actor was chosen to play Trudeau. The old cars looked period authentic.

    Today as the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council prepare to release 4 superflus to kill billions and stop global warming, the Canadian Government who were too lazy to build enough long term bunkers seem only interested in saving themselves and seem to have already written off the people who voted for them as doomed. Hopefully some bunker will find room for the surviving members of Prime Minister Trudeaus family. My Family and I are going to an American bunker because as the American Shadow Vice President I must make sure that the American Leadership survives so our opponents do not think we Americans and British people are weak. It is unlikely that anyone can stop the plan to kill billions with superflus. It was ordered by the Creators of Humans the Care Rank Ki Aliens. I am loyal to the Creators of Humans but as a Christian it is against my religion to murder or commit suicide and I think that my boss the American Shadow President Jack F Kennedy understands this. There are other CBC movies and miniseries worth watching like Riel. I am an historical supporter of Prime Minister Sir John A McDonald.
  • RoxyGirl7730 September 2003
    Why would they have an American play the role of someone who was Canadian through and through? Just curious considering mostly all of the rest of the cast is Canadian?? I am just surprised because it's a Canadian mini-series, about a Candian Prime Minister, filmed in Canada etc......... Colm Feore did an excellent job though.
  • Wonderful acting, but poor directing and editing ruined what could have been an excellent work. "Trudeau" had the potential to educate a younger generation about one of our greatest national figures, but the piece placed style above substance, resulting in unfulfilled momentum and incomplete sequences. An unfortunate result.
  • This is one of the most anticipated TV movies in Canadian history an boy was it a let down. It's not for a lack of dramatic material or talent of the actors. I blame the director completely.

    What was he thinking with the cheesy special effects like a young girl passing a rose to Trudeau which turns technicolour as she gives it to him, or Monkees-like hijinks representing Trudeaumania, or constant obtrusive switching to black and white and use of multi screens? The only real positive comment I have is that Colm Feore did an incredible job as Trudeau, capturing his vocal and physical mannerism perfectly, but more importantly offering an emotional depth to the character.

    Trudeau's life and times are an excellent source of dramatic material that was just ruined by the direction that seemed more intent on picking up young viewers than doing justice to the story. I'd hate to think of how much money the CBC spent on this!!!