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Lilies [1996] [DVD]

Ian D. Clark , Marcel Sabourin , Paul-Patrice Charbonneau    Suitable for 15 years and over   DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: Ian D. Clark, Marcel Sabourin, Aubert Pallascio, Jason Cadieux, Danny Gilmore
  • Directors: Paul-Patrice Charbonneau
  • Producers: Mychael Danna, Robin Cass
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 4:3 - 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Millivres
  • DVD Release Date: 6 Sep 2004
  • Run Time: 96 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002MGZ3C
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,536 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

When Bishop Blondeau (Marcel Sabourin) visits a prison to hear the confession of ageing convict Simon Doucet (Aubert Pallascio), he is held hostage by the inmates and subjected to the story of Doucet's life. As the tale unfolds, the Bishop realizes that his life is in danger.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
55 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful but bittersweet love story 18 Aug 2005
By A Customer
Bishop Bilodeau arrives at a prison to hear the confession of a dying man, Simon Doucet. Only to find out that though Simon is old, he is not dying. He is out for revenge.
The inmates of the prison begin to re-enact the events that took place in a Canadian town forty years earlier. Young Simon, Bilodeau and a third boy, Vallier, all attend the local Catholic school. Simon and Vallier are in love, and being watched by the resentful Bilodau. Then, in what transpires to be a turning point for everyone, the town is suddenly host to a glamorous Parisian woman, who arrives in a hot air balloon.
When Simon realises just how much his relationship with Vallier will not be tolerated, he begins to be drawn to the Parisian guest not only as a way of quashing any further rumours about Vallier, but also as a means of escape from the town entirely.
Watching events unfold are Vallier's quirky mother and the jealous Bilodeau. Each knows how they want things to end, and eventually both try to influence the key players and help bring the tale to its equally heart-warming, and heartbreaking conclusion.
This is quite simply a wonderful film. The setting is beautiful and always slightly dreamy. The surroundings of the bishop and Simon as they watch the play continuously change and melt between a gorgeous Canadian autumn, and the stark but still poignant grey of the prison walls. To add to the slightly surreal feel of things, all the parts are played by men, the male inmates of the prison. Whilst this does make you blink when you realise Vallier's mother is a man, it doesn't detract or cheapen in any way the film. The women are believable and compelling to watch throughout.
The love story is the heart of the film.
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58 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and gripping movie 27 Nov 2005
By Guy Mannering VINE VOICE
This is one of the most unusual and fascinating movies I've seen in recent years. It's 1952 and the gay inmates of a Canadian prison, aided and abetted by their chaplain, take the local bishop hostage and then enact before him an elaborate drama, complete with props and scenery, which is intended to confront him with a dark and shameful secret from his youthful past. If all this sounds a bit preposterous, it is, but don't worry. This is such an artful and mesmerising piece of cinema that disbelief is soon suspended and you are drawn into florid tale of love, betrayal and revenge which builds to a moving and devastating climax. You will even find yourself ignoring, or rather accepting, the fact that all the female roles are played, inevitably, by men. The lyrical dream-like atmosphere of the movie, suffused with menace and foreboding, is brilliantly sustained by the director; and the actors, none of whom I'd heard of before, are outstanding. If, like me, you often feel disappointed with gay-themed movies, or are looking for something a bit different and unusual, then I think this one certainly merits your attention. Even if it turns out not to be quite your cup of tea, you'll probably agree that the sight of Jason Cadeaux strung up almost naked as Saint Sebastian in the school play, is worth whatever you pay for the DVD .
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best gay-themed films ever made! 15 Aug 2005
This beautiful film is so lyrical, it's almost like watching a poem. Everything about this film works: the script, the directing, the cast, the look. This film gives new meaning to the gay feature film genre.
Based on a play, Lilies retains a stage feeling as the premise is a play-within-a-play. Whereas the audience is not required to use it's imagination as much while watching the film as it was when watching the play, the film does require an open mind and the ability to suspend disbelief. If you allow it, Lilies will take you on a very special ride as seldom films do or can.
The chemistry between Jason Cadieux (a much under-used young actor) and Danny Gilmore (mainly known from French-Canadian television) is remarkable, making their tragic love-story all the more moving. Special mention needs to be made to Tony Award-winner, Brent Carver, who's portrayal of the delusional Countess De Tilly is the stuff that Oscars should be made of.
A stunning piece of film-making, which should not be missed!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Play Within a Play Within a Film 27 April 2012
By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
The film is set in a Quebec prison in 1952 but much of the action looks back to rural Canada of forty year before. The plot concerns the retelling of a love story between two boys whose relationship led to tragedy through the actions of a jealous third young man. The retelling of the story in the prison is supposed to lead to retribution, redemption, and catharsis between one of the lovers and the third boy. By acting out their past, the film becomes, to use a cliché, a play within a play within a play.

The contrast between the two times, between the past and the acting out of the past is very well-handled. And this is not only seen in the greys of the prison being starkly distinguished from the bright and sunny blue skies of rural Canada. For example, all the female characters - the mothers, wives, mistresses - played perforce by male prison inmates in the former are still played by the same actors in the latter. Indeed, this film has an all-male cast.

On the negative side, the film cannot escape the staged nature of the original play, from which the film is derived. But then, how could it, given its subject matter? Having said that, there is a contrived sense of drama to the whole enterprise; there is little subtlety. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the drama and much of the spectacle - and the eye-candy. I've not seen a more sensual martyrdom of St Sebastian!

Filmed in 1996, the format presented on my disc is 4:3. Alas, there are no extras.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Stagebound but interesting!
This film version is a disappointment in comparison with the stage production. The all male cast deliver effective performances and the direction is adequate but Lillies is... Read more
Published on 20 Mar 2011 by Adrian Drew
1.0 out of 5 stars Lilies
Who wrote this crap.
I could not believe I anyone would watch this rubbish watched

Story line is dull and the flim is slow and hard to follow. Read more
Published on 27 April 2010 by Sottish guy
1.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, but ...
I thought it was fairly dreadful. Lack of plot is one thing; simple incoherence is another.
Published on 15 Dec 2009 by critic
5.0 out of 5 stars A lush, jarmanesque story of love, sin and redemption
This film is a rarity, sharing much with the cinematography of the late Derek Jarman. Its Catholic themes of forbidden love, sin and redemption, as well as its rich, beautifully... Read more
Published on 14 Nov 2009 by Mr. P. Baker
5.0 out of 5 stars Artistic theatre-style depiction of great tragedy.
An absorbing film. Very clever and unusually depicted story-telling. It wasn't obvious what the great drama was going to turn out to be and I was guessing who was who for quite... Read more
Published on 19 Oct 2008 by Andrew
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best films to ever come out of Canada!
Structured like "Man of La Mancha" (a play within a play) this film cannot hide its roots as a stage play. But who cares?! It's brilliant, and a visual delight. Read more
Published on 1 July 2001 by T. Halkin
5.0 out of 5 stars a film you will not se every day
A very interesting and special and sensitive film that you will not se every day unless you buy this video .the film was made in canada. Read more
Published on 21 July 2000
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