Film Review: “Ville-Marie” (2015) ★★★★


There is always a day when you have to face your demons that try to eat your soul. And when that happens you never find yourself fully prepared for it. The same happens in Guy Édoin’s Ville-Marie, where an actress and two medical professionals must face off against their inner guilt, fear and again, demons, that will either help them to find redemption or ruin their lives. Everything happens in one dark night, when a young man is hit by an ambulance. On his way to the hospital he suffers a cardiac arrest. A mother is devastated. A man who drove the ambulance is heartbroken. A medical specialist in the hospital also has her own issues… But whose pain is bigger? Whose loss in irreplaceable? And why the tragedy must occur if it serves no purpose? Or does it?

When the movie begins, we find Thomas (Aliocha Schneider) outside the street when a young woman hands him her baby and dives under a truck. A paramedic, Pierre (Patrick Hivon), arrives at the scene shortly to save the woman’s life. Thomas stands not too far from him, totally stunned and speechless, while he holds a child in his hands. While the young man tries to figure out what to do next, he surely won’t be able to guess that soon the same ambulance car, the same man who desperately tries to save the woman’s life will do the same for Thomas, after accidentally hitting him.

Soon we get a chance to meet Thomas’ mother, a famous actress, Sophie Bernard (Monica Bellucci) who is in town to shoot a film. While we don’t know much about her, we get to know her through the role she performs for the film. Ironically or not, but the director who knows her well writes the story of her life for his new film, where the viewer will get a unique chance to find out about Sophie more than she tells. Marie Santerre (Pascale Bussières) is a medical specialist with scars of her own. And the person who blames herself for the death of her son will be the one who will try to comfort and help Pierre to recover from the accident that nearly kills Thomas.

I think the best thing about Ville-Marie is the script written by Jean-Simon DesRochers and Guy Édoin. For instance, we know that Sophie has a dark secret that she tries to keep from her son. However, she refuses to talk about it and mentions nothing that would help you to understand her better. However, every time when she appears on the set of the film directed by her friend, you get some gruesome details of her past that makes you actually connect with Sophie. The scene where Sophie holds her son’s hand and confesses that she made his father pay a great price for not wanting to be with him is something you might find powerful.

In conclusion, Guy Édoin’s Ville-Marie is a solid drama with a beautiful plot and interesting characters that will make you notice. The filmmaker does a great job of having a balance between all actors, not giving the lead role to any of them, but rather sharing the success of it together.

Film itself talks about many painful secrets that one day should have come out. But in the end, you know one thing, everything happens for a reason: when a woman hands a child before killing herself, Marie’s pain, Pierre’s accident, and the hospital where the three will find each other to solve the bigger issue. The issue that will make them feel grateful no matter how bad or terrible they might feel. After all, there is always a reason for everything, isn’t it?

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