You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Le Confessional

The Confessional, the feature debut from Quebec theater whiz Robert Lepage, is exactly the sort of stunning, eye-popping visual and sonic treat that one would expect from this innovative stage helmer.

Cast:
Lothaire Bluteau Patrick Goyette Jean-Louis Millette Kristin Scott Thomas Ron Burrage Richard Frechette

The Confessional, the feature debut from Quebec theater whiz Robert Lepage, is exactly the sort of stunning, eye-popping visual and sonic treat that one would expect from this innovative stage helmer.

Where this engrossing French-lingo pic falters is at the script level: plot lacks full dramatic development and, in the end, falls short of delivering the emotional depth necessary to move audiences. Still, there is no shortage of stylish highs along the way.

Lepage starts with the intriguing idea of setting story partly in Quebec City in 1952, when Alfred Hitchcock was lensing I Confess there. Pic opens with the sleepy, old-fashioned, picturesque city slowly moving into the modern era, thanks to the introduction of television and its first encounter with Hollywood via the Hitchcock production.

Hitchcock (portrayed by Brit look-alike Ron Burrage) is shown at the local preem of I Confess, and Lepage’s film, which is loosely inspired by the Montgomery Clift starrer, contains several scenes from the Hitchcock original.

Throughout, Lepage keeps viewers on their toes by cutting between events in the early ’50s and 1989, when lead character Pierre Lamontagne (Lothaire Bluteau) returns from China to his native Quebec City for his father’s funeral. At first, Pierre cannot find his adopted brother, Marc (Patrick Goyette). They finally meet in a beautifully shot, dreamy sequence in a gay sauna.

Pic keeps coming back to the making of I Confess as Hitchcock’s assistant (Kristin Scott Thomas) negotiates with local church authorities, arranges auditions for the director and generally fails to communicate adequately with the French-speaking locals.

If there’s a problem with lack of emotional punch, it’s at least partly due to Bluteau, who once again delivers a sullen, doe-eyed performance.

Le Confessional

Canada - UK - France

Production: Cinemaginaire/Enigma/Cinea. Director Robert Lepage; Producer Denise Robert, David Puttnam; Screenplay Robert Lepage; Camera Alain Dostie; Editor Emmanuelle Castro; Music Sacha Puttnam;; Art Director Francois Laplante

Crew: (Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1995. Running time: 100 MIN.

With: Lothaire Bluteau Patrick Goyette Jean-Louis Millette Kristin Scott Thomas Ron Burrage Richard Frechette

More Film

  • Laura Dern Emmy Award Win

    New York Women in Film & Television to Honor Laura Dern, Judith Light, Others at Muse Awards

    The Confessional, the feature debut from Quebec theater whiz Robert Lepage, is exactly the sort of stunning, eye-popping visual and sonic treat that one would expect from this innovative stage helmer. Where this engrossing French-lingo pic falters is at the script level: plot lacks full dramatic development and, in the end, falls short of delivering […]

  • Murder on the Orient Express

    Fox Developing 'Murder on the Orient Express' Sequel 'Death on the Nile'

    The Confessional, the feature debut from Quebec theater whiz Robert Lepage, is exactly the sort of stunning, eye-popping visual and sonic treat that one would expect from this innovative stage helmer. Where this engrossing French-lingo pic falters is at the script level: plot lacks full dramatic development and, in the end, falls short of delivering […]

  • 10 Screenwriters to Watch

    Variety Announces 10 Screenwriters to Watch of 2017

    The Confessional, the feature debut from Quebec theater whiz Robert Lepage, is exactly the sort of stunning, eye-popping visual and sonic treat that one would expect from this innovative stage helmer. Where this engrossing French-lingo pic falters is at the script level: plot lacks full dramatic development and, in the end, falls short of delivering […]

  • Relativity School

    Relativity School Changes Name to Studio School Los Angeles

    The Confessional, the feature debut from Quebec theater whiz Robert Lepage, is exactly the sort of stunning, eye-popping visual and sonic treat that one would expect from this innovative stage helmer. Where this engrossing French-lingo pic falters is at the script level: plot lacks full dramatic development and, in the end, falls short of delivering […]

  • Dynamo, Spiral Co-produce ‘Falco,’ Re-versioning German

    Dynamo and Spiral Co-Producing 'Falco,' Re-versioning Germany’s ‘The Last Cop’

    The Confessional, the feature debut from Quebec theater whiz Robert Lepage, is exactly the sort of stunning, eye-popping visual and sonic treat that one would expect from this innovative stage helmer. Where this engrossing French-lingo pic falters is at the script level: plot lacks full dramatic development and, in the end, falls short of delivering […]

  • Lizzy Caplan

    Lizzy Caplan to Join Channing Tatum in 'Gambit' (EXCLUSIVE)

    The Confessional, the feature debut from Quebec theater whiz Robert Lepage, is exactly the sort of stunning, eye-popping visual and sonic treat that one would expect from this innovative stage helmer. Where this engrossing French-lingo pic falters is at the script level: plot lacks full dramatic development and, in the end, falls short of delivering […]

  • Quentin Tarantino

    California Production Tax Credits to Go to Quentin Tarantino's New Movie

    The Confessional, the feature debut from Quebec theater whiz Robert Lepage, is exactly the sort of stunning, eye-popping visual and sonic treat that one would expect from this innovative stage helmer. Where this engrossing French-lingo pic falters is at the script level: plot lacks full dramatic development and, in the end, falls short of delivering […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content