Mon Oncle Antoine was firmly entrenched as number one on the all-time Canadian ten-best list (until 2015 when it was supplanted by Zacharias Kunuk's Atanarjuat the Fast Runner). Playing the titular uncle of 15-year-old Benoit (Jacques Gagnon), Jean Duceppe acts as the lad’s confidante through the difficult coming-of-age process. The Canadian backwoods and the mining-town milieu of the 1940s - the Duplessis era known as La Grande Noirceur - are displayed nostalgically in this retrospective piece from writer/director Jutra, who also plays a supporting role as Antoine's buddy Fernand. Mon Oncle Antoine is regarded as a classic of Canadian cinema. The film won an unprecedented eight statuettes at the 1972 Canadian Film Institute Awards, including best picture and best director. "Canadian social realism at its best," wrote critic Hal Erikson. "In the loneliness and grandeur of the midnight journey of Benoit and Antoine, there is a haunting beauty," wrote Roger Ebert in 2008. "There is a tendency to assume a movie titled My Uncle Antoine will be a fond memoir of a lovable old curmudgeon. Not this time. There is that in Antoine that is lovable, and that which is happy, and that which is tragic. So it is. As Benoit learns."
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