Monday, May 02, 2011
Nominated at this year's Oscars for Best Foreign Film, "Incendies" well deserved the honor. This is an intense epic drama with a jigsaw puzzle of a plot that will draw you in and leave you reeling. It begins with the mysterious last wishes of a deceased woman and ends with a family changed forever.
A set of French Canadian twins are given two envelopes by their mother's attorney. The daughter is charged with finding their father (a man thought dead) and the son is charged with finding their brother (a brother they never knew existed). The daughter's search takes her to a unidentified Middle Eastern Country where she finally traces her father's path. Her brother soon joins her and he eventually discovers the truth about their long lost brother. Between their quest, there are flashbacks to their mother as a young woman that set the story in motion and plot her own course in this "Greek tragedy" of a tale.
The mother's story is both heartbreaking and remarkable. It is filled with sorrow and violence but also embraces the bond of love and family. Lubna Azubal portrays the mother, Nawal Marwan and she is fantastic in a very difficult role. The twins, Simon and Jeanne, are played by Maxim Guadette and Melissa Desormeaux-Poulin and they are both excellent, especially Ms. Desormeaux-Poulin as Jeanne.
The complex story pulls you in like a great novel that you can't put down. The revelations at the end and the final images will stay with you long after you leave the theater.