While often unbeknownst to viewers, countless Hollywood movies have been filmed in Canada, from Brokeback Mountain to Catch Me if You Can. The country quickly grew into a prominent production hub, inspiring filmmakers from far and wide. But some of the best movie directors from across the globe have emerged from Canada, and Quebec especially so. So, do you want to add a Canadian flair to your next movie night? We bring you three of the very best motion pictures by Quebec directors.
Incendies – Denis Villeneuve (2010)
From humble Bécancour, Denis Villeneuve made his way to Hollywood. In recent years, the Quebec director has delivered some of the most profound and impactful science-fiction films on the big screen. Ridley Scott himself even entrusted him with the highly-anticipated Blade Runner 2049. But before he ventured into sci-fi territory, Villeneuve made his mark on Canadian cinema with several French-language films.
Premiering at the Venice Film Festival, Incendies earned a nomination for Best Foreign Film at the Academy Awards. This drama film, based on a play by Wajdi Mouawad, follows Canadian twins of Middle Eastern descent in their quest to uncover their late mother’s past. As they travel to her native land, they find out her fate tied to the tragic events that rocked the country during a bloody civil war.
While the said country remains unnamed, the plot borrows heavily from the Lebanese Civil War. Villeneuve never set foot in Lebanon, filming partly in Montreal and Jordan. But despite his well-admitted ignorance of Arab culture, this heart-wrenching wartime drama was publicly acclaimed upon its screening in Beirut.
Dune – Denis Villeneuve (2021)
Denis Villeneuve strikes again, only this time with a film of pharaonic proportions. Many filmmakers attempted to adapt Frank Herbert’s monumental sci-fi saga, but even experienced directors like David Lynch failed spectacularly. Villeneuve’s project was met with widespread skepticism, therefore. Yet, he pulled off a masterpiece that would gross over $400 million worldwide and content both newcomers and long-time fans of this dense lore.
A hero’s journey set in a feudal interstellar society, Dune is serviced by a star-studded cast and astounding cinematography. While the movie’s CGI reaches new visual heights, real-life locations across the Middle East add hypnotic appeal to the story. Ten years after Incendies, Villeneuve returned to Jordan to capture the raw beauty of the Wadi Rum. He and his crew also visited the desert outside of Abu Dhabi in a fitting tribute to the Arabic undertones of the original epic.
An influential novel, Dune left an enduring legacy on pop culture, spawning as many board games as video games. A Dune-themed machine slot was even timed with the theatrical release of Villeneuve’s adaptation. Ironically enough, Arabic players could not join in on the fun as gambling is outlawed throughout the Middle East. However, gambling online makes for a convenient alternative. Online casino reviews help local gamers find secure platforms to gamble discreetly. Top platforms boast an extensive library of world-favorite table games and innovative slots. While some games are free, an array of bonuses helps aim for bigger jackpots. What’s more, the best websites include sports betting options.
Mommy – Xavier Dolan (2014)
When it comes to cinematic intensity, few filmmakers come close to Xavier Dolan. Born and raised in Montreal, Dolan is considered a directing prodigy. At only 19, he made his directorial debut to critical acclaim with the partly autobiographical movie, I Killed My Mother. The film snatched several awards, both domestically and abroad.
But it would take Dolan another five years to make his cinematic breakthrough with a movie that would go on to win the Jury Prize at the Cannes Film Festival, among other accolades. Mommy tells the story of a widowed single mother struggling to raise her violent son up until a mysterious new neighbor helps the aggrieved family find new hope.
Written and directed by Dolan, this film revolving around a dysfunctional mother-son relationship tackles a recurring theme in the director’s works. And the Quebec wonderkid took to filming in his birth town of Longueuil to bring this very personal story to life. As a result, Mommy’s emotional depth and powerful acting marked a mature turn in Dolan’s filmography. The movie’s 1: 1 aspect ratio may puzzle viewers, though. But this Dolan film that reviewers called both outrageous and brilliant remains a classic of auteur cinema with a Canadian touch.