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Movie Review: Incendies

Alternate Title: Persistence of Memory

Story: This is a powerful Oscar nominated (Best Foreign Film) drama that spans 40 years in the life of an amazing, courageous woman. There are Greek tragedy elements to this tale of war, heritage, loss, redemption and love. The film was directed and written by Denis Villeneuve and is based on the stage play by Wajdi Mouawad.

The film opens with 20 something twins hearing the reading of their mother's will by her former boss, a Canadian notary. They quickly learn that they each have a task ahead of them before she can properly be laid to rest and remembered. One has to find their father, who they thought was dead and the other has to find their brother who they did not know existed.

The film is not told in a linear fashion and travels back and forth between the present and the life of their mother in their war torn homeland (which resembles Lebanon).

The film has powerful acting, a strong screenplay. It is a mystery, a tale of war and a love story and is well worth your time.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDf-XuYid1A

Acting: Lubna Azabal (Nawal Marwan) is sensational. Her face is riveting and she carries the weight of the world on her shoulders. She reminded me physically of a cross between Julianna Margulies and Judge Judy. Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin (Jeanne Marwan) as the daughter is marvelous. Maxim Gaudette (Simon Marwan) as the son does not have as strong a part but is fine. Rémy Girard (Notary Jean Lebel) as the boss/notary is great as is the entire supporting cast including, Abdelghafour Elaaziz (Abou Tarek), Allen Altman (Notary Maddad), Mohamed Majd (Chamseddine), Nabil Sawalha (Fahim) and Baya Belal (Maïka).

Predilection: I like to see Oscar nominated films.

Trivia: The nominees for Best Foreign Film in 2011 were “Biutiful,” Mexico, “Dogtooth,” Greece, “Outside the Law,” Algeria, “In a Better World,” Denmark, “Incendies,” Canada. The winner was In a Better World.

Critters: Camels

Food: None

Sex Spectrum: Rape is not sex but is a big part of the film.

Blatant Product Placement: None

Soundtrack: A haunting soundtrack by Grégoire Hetzel.

Opening Titles: The film is divided into chapters and all titles are at the end.

Visual Art: The travesties of war are not visually pleasing.

Theater Audience: Five other people. This film opened in Manhattan about one month ago.

Weather: Not a factor.

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: War makes me squirm

Drift Factor: I paid attention throughout.

Predictability Level: There was several surprises.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Yes

Big Screen or Rental: Rental is probably the way to go since this is not playing in most places.

Length: A little overr two hours.