Director: Guy Édoin
Starring: Pascale Bussières, Gabriel Maillé, Luc Picard, François Papineau
Duration: 111 min.
In the middle of a drought, a tragedy disrupts the life of the Santerre family on a dairy farm in Quebec's Eastern Townships.
Wetlands is the debut feature film from writer director Guy Édoin. It premiered at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.
Édoin makes a strong mark with this immersive drama that brings to mind the raw feeling and vast natural landscapes of Bruno Dumont's Humanity and Flanders. It's set in rural Quebec and tells the story of a family of struggling dairy farmers over the course of one long dry summer. Life is not easy for the Santerres, the well is running dry, debts are mounting, and then a major tragedy strikes which changes their lives forever.
The screen play is very well written, and fits perfectly with the documentary like cinematography. All the characters and events are entirely believable and well acted, which makes this almost feel like we are watching real farm life. Pascale Bussières is outstanding in the central role as Marie the mother. She looks almost too glamorous for the part of a farmer's wife, but handles the powerful role convincingly. While young Gabriel Maillé impresses as the troubled teenage son Simon.
It does however have a few weak points. The stark opening seems out of place with the tone of the rest of the film, and there are some moments of unnecessary repetition that will bore some viewers. But overall this is a wonderfully mature debut from another talented young Quebec filmmaker.
— Bonjour Tristesse