Tuesday, 27 May 2014

“Whitewash” is a riveting film noir

Reviewed by Nancy Snipper

In the harsh wintery woods of rural Quebec, Bruce (Thomas Haden Church) unintentionally kills a man named Paul (Marc Labrèche) during a blizzard on the country road with his snow plough. He has been drinking and he panics, so he drives his machine deep into the woods, and this is when the trouble deepens. His situation of hiding in the machine becomes more and more dangerous, and as the cold descends, so too does his sanity. He ingeniously finds ways to keep warm.

 Flashbacks reveal how these two men got together in the first place. Paul, the killed man, was actually in the midst of committing suicide by means of a hose filtering into his car with carbon monoxide. Bruce basically stops him and takes him back into his house. But Paul is bad news and is the worst kind of impoverished parasite one finds in gambling men deep in debt. Such is Paul’s state.

The film is realistic and raw; the music perfect for the foreboding weather and mood of both men. Directed with great restraint by Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais, this unusual story is a Quebec standout, but it’s not a film the tourist board of the province would want to show to any tourist who romanticizes the unrelenting wildness of the Laurentians.

This film was viewed, compliments of Le SuperClub Vidéotron, 5000, rue Wellington Verdun, QC.
 Ce film a été visionné, avec les compliments de Le SuperClub Vidéotron, 5000, rue Wellington Verdun, QC.