In an isolated house near a small town in rural Québec live 13-year-old Manon, her unmarried mother Michelle and her mother’s retarded brother Guy. They survive by chopping firewood and selling it to customers in the area. Manon is a precocious and sensitive child, uninterested in school, and obsessed with obtaining her mother’s absolute love. Guy lives in a world of his own, romantically roused by his response to the wealthy Madame Viau-Vachon, whom they provide with firewood. Michelle stands at the centre of several people who demand her affection: Manon, Guy, Maurice, her policeman boyfriend, and Gaétan, a mechanic and friend of Manon.
--The Canadian Encyclopedia
Born in Shanghai and trained in England at the London School of Film Technique, Francis Mankiewicz split his career between Montreal and Toronto, directing remarkable personal films and indifferent commercial productions.
Mankiewicz directed his first feature in 1972: Le temps d’une chasse, for the National Film Board. The story of three working-class men (Guy L’Écuyer, Sabourin and Dufresne) who go on a hunting trip, bringing along the young son (Olivier L’Écuyer) of one of the men, is a subtle but powerful study in French-Canadian masculinity. Indulging in alcohol, exchanging braggart stories, sexually harassing waitresses at a bar, and teasing, insulting and challenging one another, the three adults unwittingly expose the flaws and myths of Québécois manhood to the boy, who silently observes the collapse of one myth after another. Far superior to Pierre Perrault’s documentary on a similar subject, La bête lumineuse (1982), the film revealed a major talent that reached its… read more
Francis Mankiewicz and Réjean Ducharme, a cinematic match made in heaven. Les bons débarras is no doubt a full-fledged masterpiece, one of the greatest movie I've ever seen and if you disagree, well your tastes in cinema are objectively bad (what, am I not allowed this one small hyperbole?). If you like the film, do yourself a favor and check out the pair's second collaboration, Les beaux souvenirs, so we can shake our fists at the sky together in protest of the fact that Mankiewicz and Ducharme only made two movies together.
Deep within the Laurentian mountains in Québec province lives a pre-pubescent, saucer-eyed girl named Manon (played with absolute assurance by Charlotte Laurier). She lives at the end of a rutted… read review