Saturday, October 27, 2007

Picture Claire

Bruce McDonald | 2001 | 91 min | Canada

Juliette Lewis, Gina Gershon, and a special appearance by Mickey Rourke. How's that for box office poison?

Lewis stars as a young Quebecois girl who heads to Toronto to be reunited with a former lover. Shockingly, shortly after her arrival coincidence and bad scriptwriting collide head-on to send her spiraling into a poorly realized crime caper. Also Mickey Rourke is there for some reason.

Picture Claire was the first step in developing the composite-heavy visual trickery that has gone on to form the basis of Macdonald's recent feature, The Tracey Fragments. The aesthetic is frequently too much (it never seems to take a break), but at least it gives you something to focus on whenever Juliette Lewis starts to speak. This movie features some mind boggling audio trickery in form of Lewis' Quebecois accent. Bruce, you live in a country full of unemployed Francophone actresses. What in god's name were you thinking? There were more than a few snickers in the theatre anytime she opened her mouth.

Bruce McDonald was responsible for Roadkill, Highway 61, and Hardcore Logo. Those were some of the most remarkable, funny, and genuine films ever to come out of Canada. I'm at a loss to explain how he became so completely out of touch in only ten years following.

This seems intended to be McDonald's love letter to downtown Toronto; a return to the people and places that inspired those great earlier works. So why the fuck did I have to cringe through ninety minutes of Juliette Lewis muttering, "Ken-zing-tone?" in comedy-French? What an atrocious movie.

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