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Jesus of Montreal [DVD]

Lothaire Bluteau , Catherine Wilkening , Denys Arcand    Suitable for 18 years and over   DVD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
Price: £11.31
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Jesus of Montreal [DVD] + The Mission [1986] [DVD]
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Product details

  • Actors: Lothaire Bluteau, Catherine Wilkening, Johanne-Marie Tremblay, Rémy Girard, Robert Lepage
  • Directors: Denys Arcand
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: French
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 18
  • Studio: Arrow
  • DVD Release Date: 11 Aug 2003
  • Run Time: 114 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009W36A
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 87,416 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

The Passion play has been a success for more than 40 years in the famous Montreal basilica, but the passage of time has made it seem old-fashioned, and modern audiences are growing restless. It’s time for an overhaul. So the priest in charge hires a new director and lead role (Lothaire Bluteau) with a younger, more inventive cast to stage a revised and updated version. Gradually and inevitably, they find that the story of the life of Christ has an extraordinary impact on their real-life existence.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant film - dreadful DVD 13 Mar 2004
I saw "Jesus Of Montreal" in the cinema, and bought the VHS cassette as soon as it was released. It is an exceptional film, which definitely repays repeated watching...
However, this DVD is not the way to do so! First off, the back of the box claims that it is "16:9 anamorphic widescreen". Well, it isn't - it is 4:3 full screen. There is a suspicious lack of other technical information on the back of the box - no details of language, sound format or subtitles.
There is only a DD 2.0 French language soundtrack - fair enough, it's a French language film, and I wouldn't want to watch a dubbed version. However, there are *fixed* English subtitles burnt onto the frames of the film, and no DVD subtitle options at all.
Basically, you watch in 4:3 French language with English subtitles - that's your only option. The sound quality isn't bad, but the picture quality is pretty dreadful - I wouldn't be surprised to learn that this is a transfer from the VHS.
Even the chapter points are completely arbitrary - they're in the middle of scenes, rather than at the beginning. Oh, and the menu screen looks like it should be in some modern action film, rather than on an intellectual piece like this.
This DVD is a disgrace - "JoM" deserves much better. Wait until they do it properly...
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spiritual food 28 Jan 2007
This is a wonderful film. One of my all time favourites. Thought provoking, funny, controversial and intelligent. The subtitling is good, but if you have any french you will gain all the more from it. I do recommend this film to those seeking an intelligent and modern interpretation of Christ's passion. You will get more from the film if you have a grounding in the bible version; but it's not for the fainthearted or straight-laced as it throws down many challenges to orthodox christian interpretation.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blessed Are The Mostly Meek 18 Mar 2005
As others have said, this is a film that shows Jesus as one of the downtrodden. In this case, French-Canadians in the modern world. The Devil in a skyscraper seemed totally at home, and other scenes are also done cleverly.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
By K. Gordon TOP 500 REVIEWER
A group of young actors put on an updated, radical version of the
passion play, and find new meanings in their lives, spiritual and
otherwise along the way.

At the same time, they battle the hypocrisy of the Church that asked
them to 'freshen up' the text, but are unprepared for a questioning,
complex work of art.

Sometimes the symbolic references to the Bible are too literal and
heavy handed. And some of the satire of Montreal's shallow bourgeois
art lovers and sell-out advertisers is way too on the nose. But there's
something powerful in the film's moments of ambiguity and in the
fragile humanity of it's characters.

And the actual passion play itself - full of doubt and using
archaeological history to question more literal, fundamentalist
interpretations of the Bible is both intellectually fascinating and

Flawed enough that it possibly deserves a lower rating, but it haunts
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a fascinating film 22 Nov 2013
By schumann_bg TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Jesus of Montreal was a Palme d'Or winner at Cannes, and must certainly count as one of the more intellectual and challenging films even to have won that accolade. The group of actors, putting on a revised version of the passion play, fall foul of the Church authorities who find it too radical, while living lives that come to mirror their roles quite closely. It seems to get to the heart of the enigma of Christ, and questions how he would be received if he were alive today. It could be read as a Christian film, or a debunking of Christianity, presenting at the same time an apparent mystery of coincidence without any divine explanation, and focusing on context as all-important. It also shows how many Christian precepts obviously make sense as a code for living, while the mystery of events near the end adds one layer of enigma over another, like a palimpsest. The core group of 'actors' are very good, while Lothaire Bluteau astonishes in his psychological radiance, becoming something quite sublime - or possibly just delirious - after he has bumped his head. So there's the mystery of great acting as well - is it 'faking' something or does it get to deeper truths than normal existence? My only criticism arises out of its distancing stance - there is something detached about it, taken as a whole, that leaves you slightly unsatisfied, in the way you might be by Brecht. In one sense this throws Bluteau's heartrending flights into stark relief, but there is a slight sense of an intellectual puzzle that demonstrates rather than inhabits. If you like the classic German playwright, you're more likely to respond positively to this.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Redemptive? Maybe. Black comedy? Absolutely. 20 Sep 2012
When a group of fringe actors agree to stage a Passion Play at a local Catholic church in Montreal, the priest, the actors and the Catholic Church get far more than they bargained for. As the performances begin to draw hundreds, then thousands of people, the circumstances and the actors begin to reflect who and what they portray, including the man playing Jesus. It doesn't take long for the establishment, including the Church's leaders, to order the play stopped. I don't know how many viewers would take this movie as essentially redemptive or how many would take it as a sharp criticism of institutional religion. Me? It's not bad as a black comedy.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 month ago by C D
5.0 out of 5 stars Great one from a great director.
Truly difficult to say if this is Denys Arcand's best movie, as The Barbarian Invasions is another fantastic movie. Read more
Published 4 months ago by D. R. Fernandez
5.0 out of 5 stars Jesus of Montreal
A very moving and thought provoking film .Whilst dealing with a very serious subject there was a lot of humour in it and the acting was sublime . I could watch it again and again
Published 6 months ago by Audrey
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favourite films
Every 6th form should see this….a warning to all against fundamentalist religion. It may be a little dated but still a cracking good film.
Published 7 months ago by Mrs. D. Greig Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good Movie.
Excellent film.Outstanding performance by Mr Lothaire Bluteau.I especially
loved the powerful dramatisation and storyline. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Christopher Knight
1.0 out of 5 stars Jesus of Monreal DVD
I am still waiting for my Jesus of Montreal DVD. Hopefully it will still come or there may of been a problem in the post. Read more
Published on 23 May 2011 by Marguerite
5.0 out of 5 stars Jesus of Montreal
This is a film for Easter especially. It is about how Christianity can be locked in the past and "what has always been" and about how people respond when those with courage and... Read more
Published on 18 May 2011 by Lily Rose
3.0 out of 5 stars Love the film, this particular DVD not so much...
A group of young actors put on an updated, radical version of the
passion play, and find new meanings in their lives, spiritual and
otherwise along the way. Read more
Published on 23 Mar 2011 by K. Gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and bittersweet
This is lovely, whether you're religious or not. It is not just a film about Christ but about humans, relationships, feelings, dreams, determination, and love. Read more
Published on 29 Aug 2010 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars good first half but lacking a fantastical element
This film starts well and for the first half of it is very well observed and often witty too. The setting of the passion play is wonderful and has great atmosphere. Read more
Published on 4 May 2010 by Mr. Robert Marsland
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