The true nature of Bernadette written and directed by Gilles Carle, produced by Carle and Pierre Lamy, with Micheline Lanctôt, Donald Pilon, Reynald Bouchard and Yannick Therrien. 115 minutes. A Productions Carle-Lamy film. A Film Circuit release. Opens Friday (March 7). For venues and times, see First-Run Movies, page 82. Rating: NNN Rating: NNN
the toronto international film Festival sponsors this one-week run of Gilles Carle's 1972 film about a woman who abandons her bourgeois urban life to get back to the land and live free. Of course, since the land she's moving to is in rural Quebec, and she's read way too much Rousseau and Margaret Mead, there are gonna be problems.The True Nature Of Bernadette stars Micheline Lanctôt -- her first film -- as Bernadette, who's unfazed by the fact that people willingly exploit her generosity and don't trust her peculiar beliefs. The only sane person in her neighbourhood is a cynical and politically active farmer (Donald Pilon) who runs an industrial chicken farm.
Carle ranges from surreal psychological drama (please, someone restore La Tête De Normande St.-Onge) and family drama (Les Plouffe) to films like this, which is shot in the plain style of early-70s cinema and offers both local political commentary and oddball religious allegory.
How did this movie read in 1972? Did Bernadette seem a fool or a saint? Perhaps both? Thirty years on, I'm more inclined to see her as the former. If Carle finds her a problematic figure, he's positively savage to the locals, including the crippled Rock (Reynald Bouchard), who falls for Bernadette.
It's a fascinating combination of artwork and archaeological artifact dug from the 70s, mono soundtrack, emulsion scratches and all. email@example.com