Plouffe, Les (Film)
Roger LEMELIN's famous novel, LES PLOUFFE, had already been serialized for radio in 1952 before being made into the first, and hugely successful, téléroman (1953-59) for Québec television. The story of the Plouffe family became deeply woven into the fabric of Québec popular culture. Gilles CARLE directed a six-hour television miniseries in 1980, which was released in a shorter theatrical version the following year. Both droll and sentimental, Carle's film Les Plouffe (1981) offers a picture of a society emerging from dreaming innocence into political and moral complexity, from kitchens and the Catholic Church into jukeboxes, baseball and war.
In the film, the relationship between the sensitive, repressed son Ovide (Gabriel ARCAND ) and Rita (Anne Létourneau), a tease pursued by all the young men, is the central focus. Subplots involve Ovide's sister Cecile's (Denise FILIATRAULT) thwarted relationship with a bus driver (Paul Berval), brother Napoléon's (Pierre Curzi) devotion to the consumptive Jeanne (Louise Laparé), and Denis Boucher (French actor Rémi Laurent), a family friend who has problems with his mother (played by French actress Stéphane Audran). Boucher, a French émigré and outsider, is a guide who effectively brings the provincial Québec world of Les Plouffe into focus.
The film nostalgically captures the last years of the Great Depression and the events leading up to World War II, a time when traditional Québec society was undergoing radical changes. Les Plouffe was nominated for 14 GENIE Awards and won seven, for best director, adapted screenplay, supporting actress (Filiatrault), art direction, costumes, musical score and song.
Le Crime d'Ovide Plouffe, a sequel from the same source, was directed by Denys ARCAND and released in 1984. It is not a reverie about a long-lost Québecois society like its predecessor, but an acid-eye portrait of the moral corruption of modern Québec society. Gabriel Arcand won a Genie Award for best actor.