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

December 23, a Quebec Christmas film, sure, but the feminist bonus? We researched creators. firm.


“Yes, but don’t say it out loud!” Don’t scare the world! »

Confident: December 23India is a sentimental comedy written by Desjardins and directed by Miriam Bouchard (Disappearing lines, My own circus), in theaters next week (November 25), is a Christmas movie in the strictest sense of the word. Think: A kiss in the snow to the sound of a violin. Change of situation. And funny jokes. Abundantly. With 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. »

PHOTO ALAIN ROBERGE, LA PRESSE

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).

« 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 woman renounces herself. […] As much as I like them, these films with men and their misdeeds, the screenwriter mentions, but I had to make a film with women who don’t have to give themselves up to live their adventures. »

Photo by Alain Roberge, The Press

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

And India Desjardins puts it bluntly: she made this choice here for herself by writing the film she wanted to see. “It’s not a statement enough to satisfy my need. »

The male characters (François Arnaud, Stéphane Rousseau, Michel Barrette) are suddenly less in the foreground. “But I find them very handsome! I recognize my lover in François Arnaud! But we are not used to them not coming forward. We are used to seeing handsome male characters! »

Quebec Christmas

In addition to promoting women, therefore, December 23, a rare local Christmas film that projects our Quebec reality as we understand it. From the Ferris wheel in Montreal to the snow-covered roads of Charlevoix, through Château Frontenac, Ricardo’s tablecloths, even stuffed emergencies, have it all. More music from here.

That’s not common either. “Me, I like Christmas movies, India Desjardins continues, but I don’t see Quebec in the movies I watch. Forget American traditions.

Photo by Alain Roberge, The Press

India Desjardins

I wanted to show the confusion, the obligation to visit families across Quebec, the pressure, the divorced parents. I wanted to keep our packages. Because it’s beautiful!

India Desjardins

So, inspired by her life and a “messy” Christmas ten years earlier, this song tells the story of a young and eternally single writer (Virginie Fortin), a couple expecting a baby, a singer returning to the stage, and a mother dreaming. On A Perfect Christmas, another has a tight-rope argument with her boyfriend and the hotel manager. Yes, and a blizzard, as we said, and many reversals, all fates are closely or distantly related to each other. All this in one day.

“It’s sugar cream, India wants to shrink Desjardins. Comfort. Created with love. I don’t want to reinvent anything. […] It’s a Christmas story set in Quebec. After that, if people like it, that makes me happy, and that’s what I wanted! […] We’ve been really hard because of the pandemic, we all need to laugh and have fun, and in this film, that’s what I want. »

In theaters November 25

December 23

A romantic comedy

December 23

Directed by Miriam Bouchard and written by India Desjardins

1:41 p.m

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