Personnal review : I just saw that movie yesterday at the Quebec City Film Festival
I admit I wasn't sure what to expect going in. I didn't see Guy Édoin's (cinematographer, director and scenarist) first feature movie (this is his second, but he made 3 shorts before that). But I was blown away. Right from the very first scene, this movie takes your breath away, and it doesn't let it go until the credits roll in, even if the pace is not that fast. This is an ensemble movie which story follows 4 characters : a French actress coming to Montreal to shoot a movie, and hoping to reconnect with her son; her son, who went to Montreal to study 3 years before; a paramedic who has his own demons; and a nurse who does her best to hold together an understaffed ER. All of these will eventually converge to Ville-Marie hospital in downtown Montreal, which is also the name given to the French settlement that later became Montreal, when it was founded by de Maisonneuve in 1642.
I liked how, despite featuring quite heavy and dark themes, the movie keeps a neutral and realistic tone, never to fall into melodrama, nor in pseudo philosophical good feeling BS (as would be sadly expected from Hollywood). It never thinks for the public, only showing the human resilience, while acknowledging the deep repercussions such events can have on people. I felt every actor was perfectly cast in their role. They succeeded in building much depth for themselves, which is always a concern for ensemble films, where each main character much share their screen time with so many others.
The mise-en-abyme movie scenes being shot are a very nice homage to 50's late golden age Hollywood movies. And they hold their place in the movie as well. Unfortunately, I can't say any more about that without making it a (small) spoiler. The visual style of the film is also nice, with many scenes shot during the night, and considering they shot it on film, it's even more impressive. In the image of the rest, it's not distracting, but we say something well done is usually not noticed. So much is said without words in this movie : from close ups of objects to a tear slowly falling on a character's cheek; to the music score which does the "talking" while nothing so special is happening on screen; to a wide angle shot with barely anyone moving that screams its message to anyone attentive enough to see it. Many focus-out-of-focus shots with similar effect. All in all, I'm taken aback at the way all of this fuses so seamlessly together to form such a magnificent film while at the same time never falling into any excess, be it dialogues, emotions, messages. Just like all the characters, we get our feelings numbed down, ready to accept whatever life throws at us, knowing no matter what, we'll keep walking.
If you get the chance to see this movie, be it in a movie festival or if it gets released where you live, I couldn't recommend it highly enough.
Warning though: this movie contains many potential triggers, for various people.