Gabrielle, Canada's Submission for the Academy Award Nomination for Best Foreign Language Film. U.S. : Entertainment One Films U.S. International Sales Agent: Entertainment One Films InternationalIt's easy to admit that everyone, and that should really mean everyone, deserves to be loved. Not only to be loved, but to fall in love. Unjustifiably society still makes exceptions, and sadly deems certain individuals unfit to experience that deep connection with another person. Rarely portrayed in film as self- sufficient beings, handicapped people are indeed like everyone else when it comes to matters of the heart. Bravely and with heartwarming tact Québécois director Louise Archambault blends a fictional storyline with documentary-like elements in Gabrielle to construct one of the most moving films of the year, and unquestionably one that honors the differences and special qualities of those often kept in the sidelines.
Like few other directors, Archambault’s filmmaking convictions are utterly inspirational. She cast most of her actors directly from the actual educational center
where the story takes place. Not only does this provide her film with remarkable authenticity, something that could not have happened with actors playing
make-believe versions of their experience, but it also highlights the talent of these amazing people who are often dismissed as incapable of complex understanding.
The director strongly positions the viewer to see them as tridimensional characters full of nuances. They dance, sing, and show their emotions without the
societal inhibitions that prevent all others living a “normal” existence, experiencing every moment to the fullest. Untainted by judgment, Gabrielle, Martin, and their comrades are essentially the purest, most loyal characters one can encounter, and Archambault captures their endless willingness
to accept and love others gracefully.
One of the crucial numbers the colorful choir members work on for their show with Robert Charlebois (who actually appears in the film) is his song “Ordinaire” (Ordinary), which Gabrielle has designated as Martin’s song, and what a fitting tune it is. Regardless of their differences, their special needs or particular shortcomings these fantastically loving individuals are ordinary where it counts. Yet, their circumstances force them to achieve their goals in unordinary ways, which really makes them exemplary and special. Gabrielle Marion-Rivard embodies happiness and perseverance, her performance is sure to transfer that to the audience. Surely an amazingly unique love story, Gabrielle is a joyous and touching portrayal of a singular kind of love, one of that is not ruled by vanity or lust, but just exists with all-welcoming open arms. Above all, one thing is made clear, the only disability that can really prevent anyone from being happy is not being able to love, and in that field Gabrielle is above average, if not gifted.