Thursday, June 3, 2010

3 saisons (2009)

Sometimes, urban dramas try to have so much sub plots that it becomes next to impossible to make a link between them. However, this isn't the case with Jim Donovan's lovely film 3 saisons, which takes place in Montreal. The film owes its quality not only to the cast's performance, but also to the way Donovan links 3 saisons's three different sub-plots.
First of all, Carmine (Romano Orzari), a wealthy publicist, and Sasha (Caroline Néron), an actress stuck in playing in commercials, know that they want a child. The news that Sasha is pregnant should elate the couple. Unfortunately, behind their image of a happy couple, Carmine and Sasha might divorce. Besides, Sasha contemplates aborting her child, because she feels that Carmine cheats on her.

Secondly, Justine and Seb, two vagrants who like "freedom", live in the streets of Montreal. While he learns that Justine is pregnant, Seb tells her that he's not interested in having a child. Besides, because Seb often mistreats Justine, abortion seems like an ideal option for Justine. Thirdly, Mr. Decker (Frank Schorpion), who hails from Calgary, came to Montreal to find his daughter's murderer.

Unlike what we see in Carl Bessai's Normal, all the three sub-plots of 3 saisons are not clearly linked by an event in the story. This means that while one sub-plot will crash into another one at different moments of the film, director Jim Donovan brilliantly linked all the sub-plots with various topics: a parent's love for his/her child or the fragility of life for instance. All in all, this is not your film that follows the traditional narrative procedure, but rather a finely written character-driven film.

Besides, the improvised dialogues really contribute to make the cast's performance ring true whether the dialogues are lengthy, short or absent. In all fairness, all the actors were amazing, especially Caroline Néron, as a beautiful woman who seems to have it all, and Frank Schorpion, as a man who's got nothing lose in his quest for revenge. However, Romano Orzari is the one who will knock your socks off. As Carmine, Orzari makes it possible for us to root for his character even though we would like to hate him.

Finally, despite being made with a budget of $35,000, 3 saisons is a proof that independent films are not necessarily boring. In fact, because it's essentially a character-driven film with sub-plots that are barely linked to each other, Jim Donovan has no difficulty to get to the point. All in all, 3 saisons is a film that can shock us, amaze us and above all, make us ask questions.

Rating: 4/5

Origin:Canada (2009)
Length:100 minutes
Screenplay:Jim Donovan and Carinne Leduc
Director:Jim Donovan
Caroline Néron, Romano Orzari, Frank Schorpion, Carinne Leduc, Shawn Baichoo and Dan Bigras

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