The grand seduction

Jean-François Pouliot’s 2003 film La grande séduction (en anglais AKA Seducing Doctor Lewis) was such a big hit at the Quebec box-office, that it beat the big American blockbusters coming out the same week-end. Then it won the World Cinema Audience award at the Sundance Film festival. In France, where the original film had a small successful run, there was a remake. The appeal of the story is universal, and could be adapted to any country. The film is set in Tickle Head, a small Newfoundland fishing village of about 120 people. But the fishing days are over and there are no jobs. The residents are resigned to collect welfare. The whole village line up once a month at the bank to cash their cheques. The spirit is pretty low. It is so bad the mayor runs away. At that moment a plastics manufacturer wants to open a factory. One of the condition : they have to get a resident doctor. Enter Dr. Lewis (Taylor Kitsch) who has had problem with the law and is forced to spend one month in Tickle Head. But is it possible to keep him? New mayor, Murray French (Irish actor Brendan Gleeson), has designed a plan. The residents will pretend to play cricket – the doctor’s favorite sport – instead of hockey, put some exotic food on the menu of the town’s only restaurant and some poor soul has to pretend to be an avid listener of fusion jazz, ect. They tap his phone to find out more details about him and his life. The original Quebec film was popular because all the actors in it were familiar faces from TV and movies. Quebecers love their stars. But the talents involved in this remake are all remarkable. Gleeson and Kitsch are excellent , as are Canadian great Gordon Pinsent and This hour has 22 minutes‘ Mary Walsh, Mark Critch and Cathy Jones. Director Don McKellar and writers Ken Scott and Michael Dowse did a good job with this remake. And the setting of Newfoundland is exactly right. The grand seduction is as typically Canadian, as La grande séduction was typically Québécois.

 Rémi-Serge Gratton

 

The grand seduction

 

Directed by: 
Don McKellar
 
Screenplay by: 

Ken Scott

Michael Dowse
Based on Scott’ screenplay La Grande séduction
 
Starring: 
Brendan Gleeson
Taylor Kitsch
Liane Balaban
Gordon Pinsent
Mark Critch
Mary Walsh
Cathy Jones
 
115 min.

 

 

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