Mon Oncle Antoine (My Uncle Antoine) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mon Oncle Antoine (My Uncle Antoine) Reviews

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April 17, 2010
2 Stars for the damned zoom in. Since when do we have the right to zoom in? It's one of the base rule of film-making.
April 11, 2010
I knew critics would give this a good review seeing as its a boring, pretentious load of arse.
½ March 9, 2010
A coming of age story set in rural Quebec where mundane events are significant. A boy deals with death, sex, hopes and hopelessness and of course how the adults behave. I just wish I know more abou the fate of the asbestos mining village used as the setting for the movie
February 8, 2010
Le meilleur film canadien de tous les temps selon... les canadiens! Pour une fois que je suis d'accord avec les voisins avec un albertain..
Bref, Mon Oncle Antoine a le don de rendre nostalgique n'importe quel québécois. L'hiver, la neige et les tempêtes, le mononcle qui parle joual et qui se saoule le soir de Noël. Le film est directement tiré du terroir québécois, parfois même on ne croit plus voir une fiction mais bien une sorte de documentaire.
L'univers de fête de vieux films comme la Guerre de Tuques (plus récent), viennent chercher cette magie des fêtes enneigées et ses souvenirs enfouis dessous.
½ January 26, 2010
It took a while for me to work out what this film was about, but it turned out to be a worthwhile viewing. It follows Benoit, a young teenager in a rural Quebec winter. The film is really about a discovery of masculinity, with the conflict residing mostly in his view of the other characters. Check it out if you have an interest in Canadian cinema or sad character pieces.
½ January 2, 2010
Irrésistible, sympathique, mais surtout, poignant.
December 15, 2009
I wouldn't call it "Canada's best film"... I haven't seen a whole lot, but I prefer Sweet Hereafter and Guy Maddin, for all his faults, is pretty damn interesting. But it's very good, authentic and bittersweet. I also thought the acting was superb, the music very nice and restrained, and the cinematography was good and occasionally even stunning. My only complaint is that there isn't much here that you haven't seen before. But even if it's a somewhat familiar story, it's still quite well told.
September 22, 2009
Nothing interesting to say, and a boring way of saying it. If you want to see almost two hours of people having dull conversations, plot threads getting introduced and promptly abandoned, and creepy sexual tension, you might enjoy this movie. Awards Bait of the most blatant and drab sort. I think the only reason everyone makes such a big fuss over it is that Jutra committed suicide.
September 21, 2009
A perfect portrait of the Canada I've always wished existed for me. The demimonde of the New Wave uprooted to rural Quebec -- and absolutely brilliant.
September 20, 2009
Terribly overrated and slow, Mon Oncle Antoine is still a jarring and interesting chacter study. The problem is the two stories being intertwined. They appear to have little in common on the surface and this riddles much of the film with confusion until they meet in the final act. Still an interesting film but certainly not "Canada's Best" as it is often regarded.
September 7, 2009
A slice of life in a bleak asbestos mining town in French Canada. It is funny, silly, sad, depressing, etc....all wrapped up in a dark little package. I didn't like the ending, but otherwise a great film about a hard life in Canada.
August 28, 2009
Je n'irais pas jusqu'à dire que c'est LE film québécois mais il s'agit certes d'un film clé de l'histoire du cinéma au Québec. Bons jeux d'acteurs particulièrement pour le jeune Jacques Gagnon.
½ August 3, 2009
In 1986, Claude Jutra's body was found in the St. Lawrence River. Jutra had been diagnosed with the early stages of Alzheimer's, and his death is expected to have been a suicide. Now, I hate to start off on such a dour note, but it's hard to ignore the immense amount of lost potential from the extraordinarily talented director. "Mon Oncle Antoine" is considered his masterpiece, and it is so beloved, in fact, that it is often hailed the greatest film to ever come out of Canada. We should mourn the death of the creative talent, but meanwhile recognize that he left a legacy so profound (with only five films to his name) that he's continued to garner extraordinary levels of recognition over twenty years after his death.

The film is a sort of slice-of-life picture that takes place in an asbestos mining town in Quebec sometime during the early 1940's. It's a humble working class town with miners unrightfully taken advantage of by the American mine owners. This critique is covered in the very beginning minutes of the film in order to establish a setting, but from there the film goes from something more personal than political.

Benoit (Jacques Gagnon) is the wide-eyed orphan that takes center stage. He's 15-years-old and lives with his Uncle Antoine (Jean Duceppe) and Aunt Cecile (Olivette Thibault). The family owns a general store in town, and Uncle Antoine also works as the town's undertaker. Benoit, who serves as an assistant, begins to develop an attraction to Carmen (Lyne Champagne), a young girl who works at the store. It's not only Benoit who has his sights set on Carmen, however, as Fernand (Claude Jutra), another employee of the store, pursues her despite being twice her age.

The main action of the film is a rather unforgettable sequence. On the night before Christmas, a boy not much older than Benoit dies in a nearby town. Antoine heads out to retrieve the body with Benoit. The journey is marvelously filmed - it's a surreal struggle against a blizzard in a completely enveloping white landscape.

Something about "Mon Oncle Antoine" didn't quite work for me. The film feels very cold (no pun intended) and calculated, and I didn't develop any sort of connection with any of the people in town. The performances are good, but the film never seems to come alive. That being said, however, I was fascinated by the brilliant cinematography and direction, and was entertained throughout, albeit unattached.
½ July 1, 2009
Chef d'oeuvre from Jutras
May 16, 2009
Dull, sloppily scripted, shot and edited tale, set in rural Quebec during the Christmas season, takes its' sweet time getting around to focusing on young Benoit and his relationship with his uncle Antoine.

Promising start focuses on a man named Joe, who is sick of working for an English Asbestos mining company, so much so, that he decides to leave home (apparently not the first time) to go off and join a logging camp for six months. The scene where his wife finds out and they end up making love one last time before he goes is touching and romantic - the choice not to use dialogue a wise one.

Unfortunately, the story switches focus to a General Store, owned by Antoine, and its' collection of employees who are not terribly interesting and barely sketched in as people in the first place. Failing to juggle multiple characters with any kind of wit or finesse, the film loses its' focus and scenes drag and lack power and opportunities to exploit dramatic situations are botched or ignored altogether.

The last forty minutes are the most effective, as they concern Benoit and his uncle Antoine's journey by horse and sleigh to recover the body of Joe's fifteen year old boy - who fell ill and died. General store indeed. While this journey leads to Benoit's awakening to his own mortality and his loss of innocence - particularly concerning his faith in his own Uncle and Aunt as figures of authority - it also suffers from a lack of richness in the writing and shooting and, most importantly, in the performance of the actor playing Benoit. Though he seems physically ideal for the role, his performance is wooden and doesn't draw you in emotionally.

It's place on many a Top Ten Canadian Film list is a mystery worthy of Sherlock Holmes.
½ April 15, 2009
Un classique du cinema quebecois.
½ February 5, 2009
Dark little film - but haunting.
½ January 21, 2009
I'm sorry, was there a story here? If so I totally missed it.
½ December 25, 2008
coming of age at christmas. an excellent film.
November 18, 2008
Considered to be the greatest Canadian film ever made and..... I don't really get it. It's very, very slow moving which isn't necessarily a problem, but I just couldn't keep my interest and I kept veering off of the story. Nicely made, but I just don't see anything superb.
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