'Another House' Review: Mathieu Roy's Gloomfest

No one is spared grief, guilt or misery in Mathieu Roy's semi-autobiographical gloomfest.

No one is spared grief, guilt or misery in Another House,” which wallows in existential angst as two grown sons deal with their aged father’s worsening Alzheimer’s disease. Skeletons of old sibling rivalries dryly rattle in their closets while an embittered alcoholic rehashes discontents with his famous, globe-trotting older bro, and Dad dazedly wanders the woods. Despite the obvious sincerity of tyro helmer Mathieu Roy’s semi-autobiographical gloomfest, a standout performance from Marcel Sabourin, and a standing ovation before a sold-out Montreal festival crowd, this “House” will encounter problems leaving home after its October Canadian release.  

As Dad (Sabourin) deteriorates, his sons struggle with their own problems.  Celebrated war correspondent Gabriel (Roy Dupuis) chases danger in Afghanistan and half-heartedly attempts to shore up a failing relationship with too-perceptive Parisian gal pal Charlotte (Julie Gayet).  Grounded pilot-in-training Eric (Emile Proulx-Cloutier) sulks, broods and sabotages his own affair with live-in musician girlfriend Maia (Florence Blain Mbaye), the film’s only truly vibrant character. Though Sabourin’s painfully bewildered octogenarian fully merits the acting prize he won at Montreal, watching him stare uncomprehendingly at his proposed new institutional home, or stagger in circles as he hacks his way through foliage, ultimately proves more exhausting than tragic.

Film Review: 'Another House'

Reviewed at Montreal World Film Festival (competing), Aug. 22, 2013.  Running time: 100 MIN. Original title: "L’autre maison"

Production

(Canada) A TVA Films release of a Max Films production. (International sales: Max Films, Montreal.) Produced by Roger Frappier, Felize Frappier.

Crew

Directed by Mathieu Roy. Screenplay, Roy, Michael Ramsey. Camera (color, widescreen, HD), Steve Asselin; editor, Louis-Martin Paradis; production designer, Mario Hervieux; costume designer, Julia Patkos; sound (Dolby SR), Claude La Haye, Yann Cleary, Bernard Gariepy Strobl; sound designer, Claude Beaugrand; casting, Emanuelle Beaugrand-Champagne, Nathalie Boutrie. 

With

Marcel Sabourin, Roy Dupuis, Emile Proulx-Cloutier, Florence Blain Mbaye, Julie Gayet.

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