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Souvenirs intimes
Souvenirs intimes (1999)
  • Director:
    Jean Beaudin
  • Category:
  • Writer:
    Jean Beaudin,Monique Proulx
  • Cast:
    James Hyndman,Pascale Bussières,Pierre-Luc Brillant
  • Time:
    1h 58min
  • Year:
The life of a paraplegic painter is shattered when an old girlfriend comes back into his life and accuses him of raping her 15 years earlier.
Cast overview, first billed only:
James Hyndman James Hyndman - Max
Pascale Bussières Pascale Bussières - Lucie
Pierre-Luc Brillant Pierre-Luc Brillant - Laurel
Yves Jacques Yves Jacques - Mortimer
Louise Portal Louise Portal - Pauline
Jacynthe René Jacynthe René - Maggie
Michel Charette Michel Charette - Julius
Marcel Sabourin Marcel Sabourin - Docteur Patenaude
Delphine Brodeur Delphine Brodeur - Jeune Lucie
Mathieu Grondin Mathieu Grondin - Jeune Max
Jean Frenette Jean Frenette - Instructeur de sabre
Philippe Martin Philippe Martin - Jeune Mortimer
Chanel Petit Chanel Petit - Petite Alice
Nathalie Barcelo Nathalie Barcelo - Therapeute
Sébastien Huberdeau Sébastien Huberdeau - Charles

Souvenirs intimes (1999)
I don't know why Pascale Bussieres isn't a huge star in the USA, while Julia Roberts is. WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU, America! Can't you see how beautiful and sexy Pascale is? Or are you just too Francophobic to watch French movies, even French Canadian movies?

I'm an American, and my French is limited to what I learned in high school forty years ago, but I watched this movie, all 2 hours of it, without subtitles, totally spellbound and enchanted with Pascale's performance--which was probably all the more fascinating because I couldn't understand what she was saying. But who needs dialog when Pascale is on the screen? She has never been more gorgeous and sexy, even though most of her shots are intimate closeups of her mouth, her eye, her hand, the silhouette of her thigh--WOW! And there are no real sex scenes except one that shows her from the shoulders up. Who cares! The camera explores her minutest details as if it's in love with her. And who can blame it.

I'll give this movie ten big thumbs up just for the way it takes us physically closer to the beautiful Pascale Bussieres than any other of her movies I've seen (still haven't seen Twilight of the Ice Nymphs or Turbulence des Fluides). But it is a very excellent movie, even without subtitles. And I've always wondered how James Hyndman would look with hair. (hope that wasn't a spoiler!)
Pascale Bussières is as charming as ever. She is extremely convincing when displaying the anguish and disarray of her character. James Hyndman, despite an irritating and unnatural french accent, delivers a very strong and compassionate performance. I think this is a movie that all young teenagers and adults should see because we often forget or don't realize the consequences of our actions.
(contains a very minor spoiler)

This year at the Toronto film festival I decided to do the patriotic thing and see some films from my native land. This, unfortunatly was one of them.

The problem with this film is not that it is so bad, but it could have been good. The acting is superb and the whole film has an interesting visual look. Unfortunatly, the script is a mess. The plot is predictable at best and ludicrous at its worst. The characters act without motivation of any kind. Example: a teenaged youth decides to live with his biological mother who he has just met and run away from his adopted mother. He has an excellent relationship to his adoptive mother, his adoptive father isn't in the picture so he isn't a factor, and the mother provides much for him. Yet for some unknown reason he runs away. At no point does he show any form of resentment towards his biological mother and at no time does he show any signs of being angry at his adoptive mother. Speaking as a teenager, we might be irrational but this is just insane.

Also, the past that the main characters share is revealed badly and many of the flashbacks have little to do with the film. The main idea of a woman who was raped seeking revenge on the people who did it isn't bad. The idea that she would do this by simply calling one of them up and annoying him is. The character who helped to rape her, Max seems filled with guilt at some times and others he acts as though she is an old girlfriend who is simply pesky.

There are other problems, like a tendancy of the director to be so ambiguous that some scenes tell you absolutely nothing. The film is also filled with many superfluous characters who add nothing and simply confuse the story (something the rest of the script achieves quite well). The ending feels as though it has been tacked on from another film. It resolves little and again is completely unmotivated. Overall, the film is confusing and the plot unjustified. But it looks nice and that's all that seemed to matter to some members of the audience. I wasn't one of them.
From monsters & catalysts, to maternal stalwarts, to kindness conquers all. What can go horribly wrong on the bitter end of unrequited young love is developed in this story. How we can take tragedy & turn it into the biggest lesson ever! How innocent devotion of a very kind young man, cleanses many years of a hellish determination to pay back with the same medicine even when, well, this film is a must! NO spoilers here! I recommend Souvenirs Intimes with NO reservations! Intense drama, ripping emotions, stunning Pascale Bussières in a magnificent performance, excellent cinema, thick with subtext, I wish a lot more people could hear about this one!
(SPOILERS) The premises of the movie are not new: a rape victim seeks revenge on the perpetrators.The new take on the subject is to concentrate the storyline on the life of (one!) of the rapists instead of showing the ruined life of the victim .

Unfortunately, the characters are not very well drawn psychologically,it would have been interesting to expand on the protection mechanisms the raped woman had to build in order to survive the incident,she is portrayed as someone who has managed to be successful socially and hides her psychopathic tendencies well,yet taunts her abuser in a very childish way.It would have been more effective to make her a would be murderer than a stalker.Her attempts at getting back at her rapist appear childish and pointless at time.After all this is a revenge that had 16 years to mature.

It took me about 5 minutes into the film to realize (MAJOR SPOILER)that yes, indeed, she is the adolescent's long lost mother and that the male protagonist is indeed the father of the child.

There was an avenue that was not explored and that is the extremely incestuous relationship between mother and child.It made sense that the female character would see all relationships through sexually colored lenses.

Thanks to the stellar acting, these shortcomings didn't damp my interest.

There were very lovely scenes in that movie: very human touches such as the relationship between the male protagonist and Laurel's mother as well as his relationship to the mentally challenged young man.

It is a story about forgiveness and redemption more than a story about revenge. I regret the end of the movie,solving everyone's problems,it was an Hollywood ending that didn't fit this interesting movie. I would have been better to let the end open,letting the audience figure out the future of the trio.
edgy and ensnaring, director beaudin finesses that old story of betrayal and revenge. the characters and their story humanize one facet at a time, in a very believable evolution.

beautiful actors, beautiful soundtrack, beautiful cinema.

this movie is our first jean beaudin. pardon us, we must track down the remainder of his work...