95 minutes – Drama
Release date: January 9, 2004
Canadian distributor: Raven West Films
Emile costarred, in a way, its writer and director, Carl Bessai. Along with some shorts and some TV work his previous features were Johnny, in 1999, and Lola in 2001. Both dealt with the main character`s search for identity at a critical point in life. This same basic plot also drives Emile. Some have said it is like another chapter in a long story with different characters. Although if you’re familiar with his earlier movies the use of some of the same actors reinforces this feeling of sameness. Emile, the character, is played with a gentle tenderness by Sir Ian McKellan. Born in a farming community in Saskatchewan, Emile left home 40 years ago to pursue an academic life in the United Kingdom. Now he has a chance to travel to Victoria, British Columbia where he is to be given an honorary degree. He knows this may be the very last chance he will ever have to see his only surviving family members including his niece, Nadia, played by Deborah Kara Unger, and her daughter Maria, played by Theo Crane. It seems they hold the key to a tragic past and to the guilt which has haunted him his entire life. Emile hopes to find some redemption from the family he once left behind. Emile premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2003, and went on to theatrical releases in the UK, Australia and New Zealand. It won the Geraldine Page award at the 2004 L.A. Methodfest.
Also see: Dude, Are You Doing this Movie or Not?