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It’s not Me, I Swear!

C’est pas moi, je le jure!

Directed by Philippe Falardeau

Canada, 2008

Cornerhouse, 18 October 2012

It's not Me, I Swear!

This is a comedy (well, kind of) with an inviolate heart and a jagged awareness of how perilous and messy life can be.

It is 10-year old Leon’s story mostly.  His parents are always arguing and are on the verge of separation, and he’s helpless to stop it.  He is angry at them, suicidal or at any rate partial to self-harm, and has a downer on happy families – his home life being not so happy.  Oh, and on the world; he has a downer on the world in general.

One bright island, however, is Lisa, a girl he’s keen on, and she likes him too.  Pure (naive and pure) at heart, they get together and go on a beautiful adventure.

There are excellent performances from the three main child leads, in particular from Antoine L’Écuyer who plays Leon.

What’s interesting also is that Lisa, Leon’s love, beats up on Barbie dolls – for a lot of young girls do, apparently.  They’re made especially durable for that very reason.  Perhaps the explanation for this phenomenon is that Barbie can seem to represent an unattainable feminine ideal, so igniting rage and frustration.

Anyway, Falardeau’s film is as splendid his later Monsieur Lazhar.