Director, scriptwriter. Trained at Laval and within Radio-Canada, queer-friendly Simoneau directed two exceptional queerish features, shot in Montreal and Toronto respectively, before he relocated to Hollywood in the 1990s. Pouvoir Intime surprised audiences in the boom year of 1986 with its freshness as a noir heist film with a theme of gender-bending and sexual marginality. Christian Rasselet in Sortie (May 1986) may have found the film, with its deliriously satisfying post-bloodbath happy ending, to be “too perfect to be convincing” but almost everyone else was impressed (see Chapter 8).
Perfectly Normal (Toronto, 1990, 104) was a warmhearted Toronto fable of hockey, assembly-line alienation, male bonding, real estate, ethnicity, and ambiguous masculinity. But to this typical English Canadian recipe add the unsettling ingredient of opera and you have the stylish queer-straight sleeper hit. The perfunctory heteroconjugal resolution for the shy hero Renzo who ends up in operatic drag as Bellini’s Norma hardly dilutes the film’s predominant homosocial energy. It’s really an off-balance love story between Renzo and his larger-than-life uninvited roommate (played by larger-than-life British comic star Robbie Coltrane), a shyster who bursts in on him in the shower, transforms his life and moves on—just as Simoneau did.