Christmas Countdown 2019, Day 11
Mon Oncle Antoine

December 12, 2019 by Avery Faeth

For the cinephiles out there, tonight we watch "Mon Oncle Antoine" (Claude Jutra, 1971), a Quebecois classic starring Jacques Gagnon, Jean Duceppe, Olivette Thibault, and Claude Jutra. Teenage orphan Benoit lives with his aunt and uncle, shopkeepers in a small French Canadian mining village. His blossoming romance with young shopgirl Carmen is kept on ice by the pressures of running the store at Christmas, as well as his uncle's secondary career as town undertaker and drunk. When a call comes from a rural family that their eldest son has died on Christmas eve, Benoit is tasked for the first time with helping his uncle with the undertaking. Both a coming of age story and a stark portrayal of cultural and class struggles, this Criterion Collection inductee is a solemn but impressive seasonal outing.

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