June 7, 2023

The Queens County Citizen

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December 23 | A Quebec Christmas movie with je-ne-sais-quoi

December 23 |  A Quebec Christmas movie with je-ne-sais-quoi

December 23, a Quebec Christmas film, but as a feminist bonus? We surveyed creators. is conclusive.

“Yes, but don’t say too much!” Don’t scare the world! »

Guarantee: December 23A sentimental comedy written by India Desjardins and directed by Miriam Bouchard (Vanishing lines, My own circus), in theaters next week (November 25), is a Christmas movie in the truest sense of the word. Think: a kiss in the snow to the sound of violins. Change of situation. And funny gags. Exceedingly. Occasional music in the background.

Les codes du genre ont été respectés et suivis à la lettre. À quelques nuances près.

Mais c’est aussi un film féministe : écrit par une femme, réalisé par une femme, avec des femmes fortes à l’écran. Que des femmes fortes : Virginie Fortin, Bianca Gervais, Catherine Brunet, Guylaine Tremblay, Christine Beaulieu, etc.

« Sans que ça ait l’air pamphlétaire, précise la réalisatrice, en entrevue plut tôt cette semaine, au visionnement de presse. Mais oui, et c’est toujours latent dans notre travail : on ne voulait pas tomber dans les clichés. » Ici, les personnages féminins ont une vie, pas qu’une sentimentalité. « Elles font des actions et sont maîtres de leur destinée. »


Miryam Bouchard, réalisatrice de 23 décembre

J’hallucine à quel point nos filles n’ont pas de modèles comme ça au cinéma !

Miryam Bouchard, réalisatrice

L’action est d’ailleurs carrément portée par les femmes (et une tempête de neige, mais c’est un tout autre sujet).

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« Je voulais que les personnages féminins ne soient pas définis par leurs histoires d’amour », renchérit India Desjardins, à qui l’on doit un essai sur le sujet (Mr. Big ou la glorification des amours toxiques). D’où sa touche toute personnelle, assez unique dans le genre, faut-il le préciser. « Dans tous les films de Noël, c’est tout le temps les hommes qui vivent les aventures. Ou quand c’est une fille, […] The girl gives herself up. […] I like them the way they are, these films with boys and their misadventures dictate the scriptwriter, but I had to make a film with girls who don’t have to give up on themselves to live their adventures. »

Photo by Alain Roberge, Pres

A team of December 23 In foreground, director Miriam Bouchard (left) and screenwriter India Desjardins (right)

Moreover, India Desjardins has been very clear: she has made this choice here for herself by writing a movie she wants to see. “It’s not much of a statement to satisfy my need. »

The male characters (Francois Arnaud, Stéphane Rousseau, Michel Barrett) are suddenly less in the foreground. “But I find them so beautiful! I found my boyfriend in François Arnaud! But we are not used to them not being in the foreground. We are used to seeing flamboyant male characters! »

Quebec Christmas

Besides bringing women forward, December 23, a rare local Christmas film that also foregrounds our Quebec reality, as we understand it. From the big wheel of Montreal to the icy roads of Charlevoix, which runs through Ricardo’s tablecloth, Château Frontenac, everything is there, even in a fraught emergency. Music from here is extra.

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And that’s not normal either. “Me, I like Christmas movies, and India Desjardins continues, but I don’t see Quebec in the movies I watch. Ignore American traditions.

Photo by Alain Roberge, Pres

India Desjardins

I wanted to show the chaos, the responsibility to visit families in Quebec, the stress, the divorced parents. I wanted to lay out our sets. Because it’s beautiful!

India Desjardins

Hence this choral saga, inspired by her life and a particularly “chaotic” Christmas ten years earlier, involving a young and perpetually single writer (Virginia Fortin), a couple expecting a baby, a singer returning to the stage, a dreamy mother on a perfect Christmas, another with her teenager. And arguing on the ropes with the hotel manager. Yes, and the blizzard, as we said, and many reversals, all destinations are closely or remotely correlated. All this in one day.

“It likes to capture Sugar Cream, India Desjardins. Comforting. Made with love. I don’t want to reinvent anything. […] It’s just a Christmas story set in Quebec. After that, if people like it, I will be very happy! […] We have struggled a lot with the pandemic, we all need to laugh, have fun and that’s what I want with this film. »

In theaters November 25

December 23

A romantic comedy

December 23

Directed by Miriam Bouchard and scripted by India Desjardins

1 hour 41