My Daughter, My Angel (2007)

My first foreign film review of 2013!

Okay, kind of a foreign movie. This is a  Canadian production set in Montreal.  I live here and understand French without the need of subtitles but to many others, this would probably be never on your radar.  I like to dive into the world of Quebec movies. Its different and many times I limit my viewings because it can get depressing.  This one is a crime thriller and one that I somehow enjoy every time even though I know how things turn out.

ma fille mon ange

Original title: Ma Fille Mon Ange

Director: Alexis Durand-Brault

Cast: Michel Côté, Karine Vanasse, Dominique Leduc, Laurence Leboeuf

The story overlapping a police investigation on a murder, a father’s search for his daughter and the depths of the porn business.  When a father and a political advisor of Quebec political party, Germain Dagenais (Michel Côté) decides one night to log into a porn site, he sees an online date for his daughter’s upcoming live sex session in 4 days.  Devastated and in disbelief, he quickly packs and leaves for Montreal to find his daughter, Nathalie (Karine Vanasse) before she does the unthinkable.  When he arrives, he treads into the porn business and pieces together the information to find his daughter who refuses to answer his calls, he finds his daughter’s best friend, Angelique (Laurence Leboeuf) who happens to be a drug addict and a stripper.  When he finally finds out where this live sex is going to happen, when he arrives, he sees his daughter running of in panic and he goes up and sees that her co-star has died.  A few days later, the police come to question his daughter about the death.

First of all, this is a crime thriller and also listed as a drama.  Most Quebec productions have a very dramatic take and thats something that needs to be noted.  However, this movie is very well-balanced.  The movie is structured in a way where we see the different takes of the story on hand from the father to his daughter, the best friend and what connects it all together.  The characters are all structured in the most basic way we can understand them.  The father tries to protect his daughter in every way possible and brings up the whole concept of how no matter how old she will always be his little girl.  We see his daughter, a small town girl, who gets tempted to go wild in the big city.  The best friend knows that what she has fallen to is not good but its the path that she has chosen.

Character design is pretty good and the actors themselves portray it very well also.  Michel Côté does a really good job at a father who fights to find his daughter every possible way and pull her out of a situation that she can’t take back.  Karine Vanasse is one of my favorite Quebec actresses and it all started with this movie as Nathalie, a perfect daughter who is a law student in unversity from a small town that wants to experience more in the big city with going out to clubs and drinking and eventually lead astray.  There are moments we get the idea that she likes being rebellious. One of the most notable roles though would be Laurence Leboeuf.  Her role as a drug addict and a stripper who tries to be a best friend to Nathalie to not have her follow her own footsteps was one of the most convincing roles and added a lot to the plot.

This movie is probably one of my favorite Quebec productions because of how they set up the whole story.  It has some parts which you wonder what will happen next.  As much as its a crime thriller, its also a drama focussing on the father and daughter relationship.  The idea that no matter how old we always have that loving parent who will pull us out of our mess and our bad decisions.

Have any of you seen this? Heard of it even? How about any other Quebec films?