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TIFF 2016 Review: “Boundaries” (2016) ★★★


For some reason French-language films made in Canada are much more interesting than the ones made in English. Chloé Robichaud’s Boundaries is mainly shot in French with a little time given for English, where Emily VanCamp, Nathalie Doummar and Macha Grenon shine in it. It evolves around three women, each of them contributing into the process of negotiating between a Canadian politician and the president of a country whose natural resources are being exploited.

While the film itself touches about the mining issue, writer and director Chloé Robichaud, who, according to her own words spent four years to complete the script changes the focus of the viewer from politics to the personal life of the characters, emphasizing how strong they can be outside of their houses, and how vulnerable they are in their own house. Shot in retro style, accompanied by a beautiful soundtrack, Boundaries brings us much-needed quality Canadian cinema is missing nowadays.

Emily Price is about to lose full custody of her son. Nathalie Doummar portrays Félixe Nasser-Villeray, who is yet to build a personal life, while Macha Grenon’s Danielle Richard is already fully into it. But the best of course is how the young writer and director finds the balance between two storylines cleverly combining into one. With right colors, music, and cinematography, Robichaud succceds at creating an atmosphere of the past where the boring discussion of politics turns into an amusing part.

In conclusion, Boundaries (original title, Pays) delivers the much needed quality cinema in order to draw more attention to Canadian cinema, which is far richer than what you can imagine. Emily VanCamp has advanced significantly as a dramatic actress whose level of performance in Boundaries is something you should check out. Saying that, Robichaud’s film well-narrated and had a direct directorial approach. It does not aim at a wide audience due to its subject matter, and it’s inly for the more thinking ones. After all, it’s better to have less viewers but those who will appreciate the story, rather than having a huge crowd that won’t get the whole point of the film.

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