Films: Familiar Grounds

Purchase Online

  • Saturday, November 05, 6:45 PM
    zzStarz FilmCenter


    That showtime has passed. Please try next available showtime.

  • Sunday, November 06, 5:15 PM
    Sie FilmCenter


    That showtime has passed. Please try next available showtime.

Familiar Grounds  {En terrains connus}

Familiar Grounds
En terrains connus

Canada, 2011, 98 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Drama, Family Issues, French/French Canadian
Program: Contemporary World Cinema
Language: French English Subtitles

DIRECTOR: Stéphane Lafleur
Producer: Luc Déry, Kim McCraw
Editor: Sophie Leblond
Screenwriter: Stéphane Lafleur
Cinematographer: Sara Mishara
Principal Cast: Francis La Haye, Fanny Mallette, Sylvain Marcel, Michel Daigle, Suzanne Lemoine

The touchingly dysfunctional family on display in the second feature by Québécois writer-director Stéphane Lafleur would look just right in a carnival funhouse mirror. Its patriarch (Michel Daigle) is a grumpy old bicycle mechanic who spends most of his time in a beige lounge chair, talking back to the TV set. His bumbling son, Benoit (Francis LaHaye), imagines himself a glamorous rock star—but he can't even succeed at unscrewing the lid from a jar of spaghetti sauce, and his crazy hookup with a bitter divorcée (Suzanne Lemoine) is marred by her bratty little son, who barks at him like a dog.

Across town, Benoit's gloomy sister, Maryse (Fanny Mallette), endures her marriage to sweet but dull-witted Alain (Sylvain Mercel), who spends his nights pedaling a stationary bike through the endless stages of an imaginary Tour de France. In front of the house there squats a useless little backhoe no one wants to buy.

Beyond small talk and a hilarious family dinner at which Benoit cooks the unfortunate bird that's flown into his bedroom window, nothing much happens here. But Lafleur and cowriter Valérie Beaugrand-Champagne bring bone-dry wit to bear on the trials of their untidy film family—as well as a touch of the miraculous. When a strange figure who calls himself the Man From the Future (Denis Houle) suddenly materializes, he seems to give Benoit and his sister Maryse a choice between the glories of free will and the trapdoor of fate—right there in the snowy wastes of eastern Canada.

No less than Lafleur’s acclaimed debut Continental, A Film Without Guns (SDFF30), this offbeat domestic comedy digs up plenty of dynamics in an ostensibly inert tableau.
—Bill Gallo

Sponsored by Consulate General of Canada in Denver, Quèbec Government Office in Los Angeles

Post-film reception with director follows

You might also enjoy...

  • Bad Fever

    Bad Fever

    USA , 2011 , 77 min. Dustin Guy Defa’s dramatic feature debut is a wrenching portrait of lonely souls roaming an empty city in desperate need of connection. Kentucker Audley is astonishing as true antihero Eddie, a would-be stand–up comic attempting to win the heart of a drifter.... more
  • Curling


    Canada , 2010 , 96 min. Denis Côte’s chilling drama is set on the frozen plains of Québec, where Jean-François Sauvageau protects his preteen daughter, Julyvonne, from the world outside by isolating her. But both have their secrets, and if Jean-François doesn’t face the world he so fears, he may lose Julyvonne forever.... more
  • The Day He Arrives

    The Day He Arrives

    South Korea , 2011 , 79 min. South Korean director Hong Sang-soo provides a self-referential, seriocomic portrait of a brawling, drunken, desperate film director in crisis, combining elements of 8 1/2 with the man-in-a-wheel repetitions of Groundhog Day.... more
  • Postales


    USA , 2010 , 80 min. In Colorado-based filmmaker Josh Hyde’s charming feature-narrative debut, cultures collide when a young American girl and a streetwise Peruvian boy meet in Cuzco. Dirt-poor, he sells postcards on the plaza; she’s a privileged tourist. Will romance break the barriers between them—or vice-versa?... more
  • The Salesman

    The Salesman

    Canada , 2010 , 107 min. First time writer-director Sébastian Pilote and superb leading man Gilbert Sicotte produce an indelible, heart-rending portrait of a 67-year-old Quebecois car dealer as he faces the undoing of his deepest beliefs. The death of a salesman, we are reminded, takes many forms.... more
      2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14          

Browse Films