Mon Oncle Antoine

Alternative Title: 
My Uncle Antoine

Issues & Themes: 
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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.[1] "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."[2]