The Canadian FilmFest launches this evening with Martin Doepner’s captivating thriller, Rouge Sang.
Set on New Year’s Eve 1799 in a remote cabin in Quebec, Esperance (Isabelle Guerard) is looking after her two children, Mathurin (Andre Kaspar Kolstad), Madelon (the adorable Charlotte St-Cyr) and her baby, while awaiting the return of her husband, Pierre (Peter Miller). As darkness falls, and a winter storm encroaches, her husband doesn’t return, however a knock at the door reveals 5 British soldiers (Red Coats) who demand shelter for the evening.
The animosity between the British and les inhabitants is palatable, and as the evening goes on, and Pierre still hasn’t returned, the looming threat that these men pose to her grows, building until things reach a breaking point.
I went into this film cold, I hadn’t even read the full blurb on it, I just saw remote cabin, the year, and the fact that a familiar name popped out, Lost Girl’s charming rogue Ryan from season 2, Anthony Lemke.
The cast is top-notch, and for those who’ve only seen Lemke in Lost Girl, you’re in for a surprise.
The ‘red coats’ are led by Lothair Bluteau, another face that I recognized immediately. His Captain maintains a sense of control over himself and his men, but even that will only go so far, as both Esperance and the soldiers begin a dangerous game.
There are great moments in the film, none of which I want to spoil, Guerard turns in a fabulous performance as she’s slowly pushed to edge, and may never find her way back. She does everything in the film out of a sense of love for her family, and will do anything to protect it, and you believe her every step of the way. It’s an engaging performance.
The cast is rounded out with Vincent Leclerc, Arthur Holden and Jonah Nimijean, all of whom bring their characters to life in this tiny wooden cabin.
Bouncing between native French and British English the film rockets along, racing through it’s 90 minute screen time, and I was enthralled with every minute of it.
This is a great Canadian film to open the festival with and will see that tone and the bar for the remainder of the screenings for the week no matter what the genre.
If you have the time this evening head on over to the Royal Theatre and check it out!
You can visit the Canadian FilmFest site here to see the rest of the schedule and buy tickets!!!