Mourning for Anna

A Canuck mother retreats to the lonely and wintry wilds after the shocking death of her violinist daughter.

With:
With: Guylaine Tremblay, Francois Papineau, Sheila Jaffe. (French dialogue)

A Canuck mother retreats to the lonely and wintry wilds after the shocking death of her violinist daughter in “Mourning for Anna,” Quebecois helmer Catherine Martin’s austere yet intense meditation on parental grief. Impressively carried by thesp Guylaine Tremblay (“Summit Circle”), and exquisitely framed in often symmetrical compositions by d.p. Michel La Veaux, this picture of intense personal loss should resonate with older femme auds. Pic goes out in Quebec Aug. 13.

After her child, Anna (Sheila Jaffe), is murdered, middle-aged divorcee Francoise (Tremblay) moves from Montreal to an isolated family cottage. During an aimless walk in the snow-covered woods, she feels the urge to lie down and become one with the surrounding cold. Though the setup may sound like an overly simplistic bid to visualize someone’s terrible loss and pain, Martin and especially Tremblay give Francoise an earthy groundedness that keeps things from turning maudlin, even when the ghosts of her deceased female relatives appear at her bedside. Francois Papineau, as an old friend who lives nearby, turns pic’s second half into a slightly more hopeful two-hander. Assembly is thoroughly pro.

Mourning for Anna

Canada

Production: A K-Films Amerique release of Coop Video de Montreal presentation and production. Produced by Claude Cartier, Lorraine Dufour. Directed, written by Catherine Martin.

Crew: Camera (color), Michel La Veaux; editor, Natalie Lamoureux; music, Robert Marcel Lepage; production designer, Caroline Alder; costume designer, Caroline Poirier. Reviewed at Karlovy Vary Film Festival (competing), July 4, 2010. Running time: 86 MIN.

With: With: Guylaine Tremblay, Francois Papineau, Sheila Jaffe. (French dialogue)

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