C'est Pas Moi, Je Le Jure! (It's Not Me, I Swear!)

Year: 2008

Writer: Philippe Falardeau (writer) & Bruno Hébert (book)

Director: Philippe Falardeau

Budget:?

Gross: ?

i only heard about C'est Pas Moi, Je Le Jur! a little over a week ago. i was out at dinner with friends and one of them mentioned how she had seen this french-canadian comedy a few nights previous. she mentioned how she had watched the whole thing waiting for the "comedy" but it never came. but she also couldn't stop watching, because she was really enjoying it.

well, lo and behold i was home a few nights later around 6:50pm, flipping through my movie channels and what do you think i saw starting at 7 o'clock? you guessed it, C'est Pas Moi, Je Le Jur! i went and quickly made something to eat and at 6:59pm i was sitting in front of the tv ready to check it out. and am i glad i did. this film is great.

the film takes place in 1968. leon is a 10-year-old boy with some issues. he is like dennis the menace times 100. not only does he have a fertile imagination and is kinda suicidal. he seems to have no moral compass when it comes to his actions. especially when his unhappy mother decides to move to greece and he acts out even more.

while it isn't a laugh out loud family comedy, the film does have a dark sense of humor that permeates the film - as does a real deep and poignant sense of drama. the two are melded together beautifully into a film that, along with the music and the cinematography, creates a real mood and engagement in the characters and the story.

the film has many of the markers that one might expect: the rebellious kid, the fighting/unhappy parents, the girl next door, etc... but they in no way make the film predictable. leon's character goes farther than it is sometimes comfortable for the audience to go or what they might expect. thus keeping us "on our toes" and creating something familiar and original all in the same wonderful film.

french canada has a pretty strong film culture/industry and is well supported by its people. however, many of the films - with some exceptions of course - don't get past the border to reach a wider audience (even within the rest of the country). C'est Pas Moi, Je Le Jure! made quite a big splash at the toronto film festival and even picked up an award at the berlin film fest and is well deserving of said recognition outside of quebec.

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