Familia

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89%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 9

66%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,362

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Movie Info

Michele, a divorced aerobics instructor with a gambling addiction, loses her job and seeks refuge with a childhood friend, Janine, who lives in a seemingly comfortable middle-class suburban neighborhood. Michele's rebellious teenage daughter, Marguerite, and Janine's shy and reserved daughter, Gabrielle, become friends, leading to unforeseen tensions that force both generations to reassess their values.

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Critic Reviews for Familia

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (1)

  • Pic would play much better as an ironic Altmanesque comedy, since its moments of pure drama are the weakest. Still, this is a largely entertaining feature debut.

    July 28, 2006 | Full Review…

    Derek Elley

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Open-ended, inconclusive, heartfelt, unsentimental and curious, it's a movie that respects something too few popular entertainments do these days: our right to stumble our way from one day to the next.

    July 28, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • A smart, well-modulated drama from first-time Quebec director Louise Archambault that packs a powerful after-effect.

    July 28, 2006 | Rating: 3/4
  • Steering well clear of soap opera, the film offers a slice of life that women will surely recognize and men would no doubt benefit from seeing.

    September 10, 2005
  • Don't let the DVD slick's happy smiling faces fool you; this is no flimsy chick flick, but a hard headed, big hearted expose of contemporary life

    May 23, 2008 | Full Review…
  • Tackles some heavy domestic issues for a sitcom film and does so incisively and intelligently.

    July 4, 2007 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Familia

  • May 04, 2011
    This French-Canadian film tells a largely depressing tale of three families, with tenuous connections, that are slowly unraveling. Michelle (Sylvie Moreau), a woman with a gambling addiction, and her out-of-control teenage daughter, Marguerite (Mylene St.-Sauveur) move in with a friend, Janine Macha Grenon), and her daughter, Gabrielle (Juliette Gosselin), son, and frequently absent husband. Conflicts ensue and finally spiral out of control, and both women find their worlds falling apart. Add in a young woman, Kate (Emily Holmes) that Janine befriends with what are finally revealed as ulterior motives and a recipe for disaster is in place. Terrific acting by all of the principles. The story wears a patina of gloom throughout, and the camera angles convey a sense of claustrophobia that emphasized that Michelle is facing ever fewer viable options. There are scenes of mild depravity as a result of her desperation that are tastefully handled. This was not a fun film to watch, by any means, but the quality of the production kept the viewer engaged. A couple of holes in the plot that may have been due to over-zealous editing, and plot twists that could be seen from a mile off detracted only slightly from the experience. The ending left one hopeful that life would go on, just not as originally configured.
    Mark A Super Reviewer
  • Apr 09, 2008
    <div align=center><b>FAMILIA (2005) directed by Louise Archambault starring Sylvie Moreau, Macha Grenon, Mylène St-Sauveur</b></div><p><div align=justify>Michelle is a compulsive gambler, she has a 14-yea-rold daughter be she can barely take care of herself. She steals from friends and even her daughter so she can somehow get a few bucks to play a poker game or have a try to one of those slot machines. She lets her mom's husband touch her for a few bucks as well. She has no self-respect. She is manipulative and she is good at idea, she makes people care for her, even though they know most of what she says is a lie.<p>Janine has two kids. Her husband is always away for work living in hotel rooms, or at least, thats what she thinks. For her, appearances are more important than anything else. She is a little snobbish and repress all her feelings. She is annoyingly mannered but she also really is a sick person, but no one can tell, and when she tries to express it, even her mother makes it sound ridiculous, not to change the appearances that everything is always alright.<p>Margot is Michelle's daughter. She spends the night in clubs, wake up in the bathroom no clue what happened to her. She acts cool cause she drinks. She is like that cause her mother is irresponsible.<p>Gabrielle is Janine's 13-year-old daughter. She hates her mom, she calls her Hitler in her back. She's not just a teenager, she has reasons, she just hopes for a bit more freedom without wanting to be too extreme or a little whore. She just want to be a teenager, but she is influenced by her cousin, Margot.<p>Michelle and Janine are pretty much the opposite of each other, but they have been friends since they were kids. Michelle had an affair with Janine's brother when he was married and thats how she had her daughter. Michelle is the way she is cause her mother was like that. Its the same with Janine and seeing the way things are going, the daughter fatherless teenage girls are on their way to be like their mothers as well. Like mother like daughter. Although, they really are the most lucid characters in those messy lives.<p>The year 2005 was a strong one for Quebec cinema. This film makes thats statement very true Along with <i>C.R.A.Z.Y.</i>, <i>L'Audition</i> and <i>Maurice Richard</i>, <i>Familia</i> is a memorable piece of French-Canadian filmmaking that came out that year. Louise Archambault's directorial debut is so maturely written and directed, it feels as if she had been making movies for years. André Turpin, probably the best cinematographer in Canada, does a great job as usual, giving the film some desaturated colors but also giving the feel of a hot summer in the suburbs.<p>The acting is nearly perfect, from every single actors in the film. Sylvie Moreau, known for her comedic talents, does more than a great job, she is totally convincing as Michelle. Macha Grenon totally becomes her character as well, Janine. She brings many subtleties to her performance. Mylène St-Sauveur as Margot is very good and in control which is rare for a child actor. Last but not least, Juliette Gosselin, who was the ultimate revelation of <i>Nouvelle-France</i> is just so powerful as the young Gabrielle. The rest of the cast is just plain good as well.<p><i>Familia</i> is a film about two friends coming together, dealing with their own problems while raising their teenage daughters. They have different ways of doing so, their values arent the same and ultimately many tensions are created. The film is so well-done it takes a second watch to fully appreciate the subtleties of the perfectly-written screenplay and the way director Archambault translated it into images without having to make everything so bold.<p>A profound reflection on what family really is about, but also a film about growing up, and thats not only true for the kids but also the adults. Many more themes are touched and they all bring some good insights. The ending is so powerful, one of the best scenes I have ever scene in any film of any year. Its so well-acted and at that very moment, we understand that the character has really lost it, she kept it inside for too long. I find that weird, cause I just praised the ending and many people complained about the film not having one. I guess they didnt understand the entire film was building towards that finale moment, and that, from the very beginning.<p><i>Familia</i> is a powerful drama with many memorable scenes. Terrific acting, sublime direction and photography. Heartbreaking and frustrating in a good way, its definately a must see, an amazing character study.</div>
    Hugo S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 28, 2007
    I usually hate movies made in quebec but surprisingly i loved this one... the ties between two mothers and their own daughters is quite appelaing in this movie where you have diametrically opposite characters with diff. values, morals and lifestyles. I loved it! This is definitely a tear-jerker for those sensitive at heart.
    Janice : Super Reviewer
  • Sep 11, 2006
    A family drama that focus on two women and their daughters as their lives come crashing down around them. They may have thrown one to many issues into this film but overall a realistic look at how quickly your life can come crashing down around you. Also shows how destructive men/boys can be to womens' lives.
    FanGirl B Super Reviewer

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