Gabrielle

(Canada, 2013, 104 mins, DCP)
Director:
CAST Gabrielle Marion-Rivard, Alexandre Landry, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin
PRODS Kim McCraw, Luc Déry
SCR Louise Archambault
CAM Mathieu Laverdière
ED Richard Comeau
PROD DES Emmanuel Fréchette
MUS François Lafontaine
PROD CO micro_scope
Classification: 14A - Sexually suggestive scenes

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In the wrong hands, this film could have seemed awkward or overly sentimental but Quebecois writer-director Louise Archambault avoids any of the obvious traps in her depiction of an unusual love between Gabrielle—a young woman affected by Williams’ syndrome (an intellectual disability)—and Martin—a boy she meets in the choir at her day centre. As they prepare for an appearance at a music festival, their affection grows and Gabrielle (the incredible Gabrielle Marion-Rivard) yearns to achieve a certain level of independence from her devoted sister, mother and caregivers. As Martin, Alexandre Landry is one of the few professionals in the cast; another is Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin as the older sister yearning to join her boyfriend Raphael (Sébastien Ricard) in India, but held back by her concerns for her sibling.

Gabrielle displays remarkable reserves of determination to overcome prejudices and her own limitations in order to continue her relationship with Martin and ensure the success of the choir. Archambault has succeeded in making a film with her subjects and not simply about them—imperfections and all. And the musical element serves her purpose perfectly. With the stirring participation of famous Quebec singer Robert Charlebois, this is a crowd-pleaser with integrity.

Film Contact Information
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Chris Emery
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