Our Loved Ones

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Our Loved Ones
Our Loved Ones Poster.jpg
Theatrical poster
Les êtres chers
Directed byAnne Émond
Produced bySylvain Corbeil
Nancy Grant
Written byAnne Émond
StarringMaxim Gaudette
Karelle Tremblay
Valérie Cadieux
Mickael Gouin
Music byMartin Léon
CinematographyMathieu Laverdière
Edited byMathieu Bouchard-Malo
Distributed byLes Films Séville
Release date
  • August 12, 2015 (2015-08-12) (Locarno)
Running time
102 minutes

Our Loved Ones (French: Les êtres chers) is a 2015 Canadian drama film, directed by Anne Émond and starring Maxim Gaudette and Karelle Tremblay. The story centres on a family whose patriarch committed suicide in 1978, and explores the continuing emotional impact of his death on his now-adult son David (Gaudette) and David's daughter Laurence (Tremblay).

The film was shot around Bas-Saint-Laurent. It received positive reviews and was nominated for seven Canadian Screen Awards, including Best Motion Picture.


In 1978, a young man named David returns to his home only to be told that his father has died of an apparent medical episode. David inherits his tools, and begins using them to make marionettes, eventually turning this hobby into a business. He raises a family, including a daughter named Laurence. Spoiling his daughter and keeping her happy, he even buys her a live turkey named Simone for Christmas, after Laurence was disappointed that the turkey she won when her mother entered her name into a grocery store raffle was frozen for dinner.

Years later, David employs his grown daughter and brother in his marionette-making business, only for his brother to abuse his trust and leave. David is also upset to learn that his father had actually committed suicide in 1978, and that this fact was concealed from him. He has, in fact, inherited his father's depression. Later, Laurence is shocked when David retreats into the forest to kill himself, leaving behind a suicide letter. Gradually, she begins to cope.



Anne Émond wrote the screenplay based on her experiences.

Director Anne Émond wrote the screenplay, saying she was readying herself to tell the story for 15 years and that it had parallels to hers. Her screenplay starts with a suicide set in 1978.[2] She explained, "It’s not entirely autobiographical. There’s an enormous amount of fiction in the film. But I think if I chose to write a film that talks about suicide in this fashion, it’s tied to an experience that’s personal."[3]

Émond was aware of actor Maxim Gaudette, but did not consider him for the main role until he auditioned.[4] Gaudette viewed it as a chance to play a role different from his characters in Incendies and Polytechnique.[5]

The film was shot in August and September 2014 in Montreal and Notre-Dame-du-Portage. A few scenes were shot in autumn 2014 in Barcelona, Spain.[5] It was also shot in Saint-Roch-des-Aulnaies in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region.[2]


The film premiered at the Locarno Film Festival in August 2015,[6] and had its Canadian premiere at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.[7] In December, the film was announced as part of TIFF's annual Canada's Top Ten screening series of the ten best Canadian feature films of the year.[8]

The film had a wider theatrical release on 20 November 2015.[9]


Critical reception[edit]

In Canada, Brendan Kelly of The Montreal Gazette gave the film three and a half stars, saying the beginning displays "quite the mastery of cinematic storytelling" and the film is poignant, and complimented the use of the song "No Rain" by Blind Melon.[10] Odile Tremblay of Le Devoir called the film beautiful and touching.[11] In La Presse, Marc-André Lussier called it touching, sensitive and nostalgic.[12] Conversely, Robert Bell of Exclaim! called it "astonishingly cold and dull for most of its runtime."[13]

Joe Leydon, writing for Variety, complimented the film for "pitch-perfect performances and graceful storytelling."[14] In The Hollywood Reporter, Boyd van Hoeij praised it as "an expansive, richly detailed family chronicle."[15]


Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref(s)
Canadian Screen Awards 13 March 2016 Best Motion Picture Sylvain Corbeil and Nancy Grant Nominated [16]
Best Direction Anne Émond Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Nominated
Best Actor Maxim Gaudette Nominated
Best Actress Karelle Tremblay Nominated
Best Editing Mathieu Bouchard-Malo Nominated
Best Original Song Martin Léon for "Red and Yellow" Nominated
Quebec Cinema Awards 20 March 2016 Best Film Sylvain Corbeil and Nancy Grant Nominated [17]
Best Director Anne Émond Nominated
Best Screenplay Nominated
Best Actor Maxim Gaudette Nominated
Best Art Direction Éric Barbeau Nominated
Best Editing Mathieu Bouchard-Malo Nominated
Best Hairstyling Martin Lapointe Nominated
Toronto Film Critics Association 14 December 2015 Stella Artois Jay Scott Prize Anne Émond Won [18][19]


  1. ^ "Our Loved Ones press kit" (PDF). Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  2. ^ a b c Charles-Henri Ramond (15 November 2015). "Etres chers, Les – Film d'Anne Émond". Films du Québec (in French). Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  3. ^ Kelly, Brendan (20 November 2015). "Anne Émond finds love among the ruins in Les êtres chers". The Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  4. ^ Maxime Demers (13 November 2015). "Secret de Famille". Le Journal de Montreal. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  5. ^ a b Carl Theriault (18 September 2014). "Un nouveau Maxim Gaudette dans Les êtres chers". Le Soleil.
  6. ^ "Locarno: Wide Acquires Sales Rights to 'Our Loved Ones'". Variety. 27 July 2015.
  7. ^ "Films from Rozema, Falardeau, McDonald, Maddin highlight TIFF's Canuck lineup". Ottawa Citizen. 4 August 2015.
  8. ^ "TIFF reveals Canada's Top Ten Film Festival line-up". The Globe and Mail. 8 December 2015.
  9. ^ Dunlevy, T'cha (17 September 2015). "TIFF 2015: A family secret haunts Anne Émond's Les êtres chers". The Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  10. ^ Kelly, Brendan (19 November 2015). "Movie review: Despair regenerates in Anne Émond's powerful Les êtres chers". The Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  11. ^ Tremblay, Odile (14 November 2015). "Le mal de vivre, selon Anne Émond". Le Devoir. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  12. ^ Lussier, Marc-André (19 November 2015). "Les êtres chers: du côté de la vie". La Presse. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  13. ^ Bell, Robert (11 September 2015). "Les êtres chers". Exclaim!. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  14. ^ Joe Leydon (17 October 2015). "Film Review: 'Our Loved Ones". Variety. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  15. ^ Boyd van Hoeij (18 September 2015). "'Our Loved Ones' ('Les Etres Chers'): TIFF Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  16. ^ Jessica Wong (19 January 2016). "Canadian Screen Awards 2016 nominations led by Room, Schitt's Creek, Orphan Black". CBC News. Retrieved 2 January 2017.
  17. ^ "18e soirée des Jutra: Les finalistes se dévoilent!" (in French). 25 January 2016. Archived from the original on 26 January 2016. Retrieved 25 January 2016.
  18. ^ "Stella Artois Jay Scott Prize". Toronto Film Critics Association. Retrieved 15 January 2016.
  19. ^ Jeremy Kay (5 January 2016). "Toronto critics hail 'The Forbidden Room'". Screen Daily. Retrieved 15 January 2016.

External links[edit]