A Brother’s Love – A family resemblance
Good surprise from the Un Certain Regard selection of the Cannes Film Festival,
the first film of Monia Chokri is the funny version of the hypersensitive cinema
from his compatriot Xavier Dolan.
By Jacques Braunstein
Reading time 2 min.
The Canadian actress Monia Chokri debuted her career with filmmaker Denys Arcand (The Age of Ignorance) and learned the ropes with Xavier Dolan (Love, Imagined, Laurence Anyways…). In her first film as a director we meet these two influences. A Brother’s Love features family meals that have the same heart-rending intensity, except that the young Canadian prodigy treats them in comic mode.
Scenes from everyday life
as embarrassing as paroxysmal
Sophia (Anne-Elisabeth Bossé, also starring in the two Dolan films mentioned above) has just completed her Ph.D. in philosophy and lives with her brother (Patrick Hivon) while waiting for a hypothetical teaching job. When she has to abort, her brother falls in love with her gynecologist (Evelyne Brochu, seen in Tom at the Farm of the same Dolan), without seeing – even though he is a therapist – the heavy symbolism of this relationship… Follow scenes of everyday life as embarrassing as paroxysmal in the apartment and colorful dinners at their old leftist parents’ house.
Impressed by the virtuosity of this series of moments of bravery – which are worth the movie the “Coup de cœur” prize from Un Certain Regard committee in the last Cannes Film Festival – we are even more circumspect about the general moral of this story. Forget your dreams and learn to be satisfied from your opportunities, you will find love if you lower your expectations and learn to look around yourself… And many more claptraps evoking romantic comedies from the nineties, with the TV show Friends used here as a main reference. There is worse yes, but there is more exciting too…