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Jesus de Montreal / Jesus of Montreal


Denys Arcand


Denys Arcand


Doris Girard, Pierre Gendron, Roger Frappier,
Monique Létourneau


1.3 M


Montréal, Québec, Canada




Lothaire Bluteau, Catherine Wilkening, Johanne-Marie Tremblay,
Rémy Girard


Antenna Inc.




119 minutes

Release Date

May 17th, 1989




Arguably the most accomplished and successful of Roy's early (pre-Nikita) films, and certainly one worth watching in its own right. Directed by Denys Arcand, it was an international hit and won the 1989 Grand Prix at Cannes. The jacket blurb on the Artificial Eye version summarises the film as "a surprising and dazzling tragi-comic satire on modern life, based around a group of struggling actors who gather together to perform a new interpretation of the Passion Play. The local Catholic priest invites Daniel (Lothaire Bluteau), an up-and-coming young actor, to modernise the annual Church play.".


Read Canadian Film Encyclopedia, and a more detailed discussion by Professor Ron Burnett .


But what of Roy’s tiny contribution to this film? He appears well into the film and disappears only 3 minutes later. The Passion Play is reaching a climax with Daniel, as Jesus, already ‘nailed’ to the cross, when detective constable Marcel Brochu (Roy) and his sergeant come to arrest him for earlier having caused a disturbance at an audition (a parody of the story of Christ and the moneylenders in the temple). The sergeant has forgotten his cue card, so Marcel has to read Daniel his rights. After Daniel is helped from the cross Marcel handcuffs him, but has been impressed enough by the performance to congratulate him on the play before taking him into custody.


This is an interesting little cameo for Roy playing a none-too-bright policeman, mechanically reading from the card, a little star-struck in the presence of actors, and plainly disorientated in the surreal environment of the crucifixion scene. It is played as a gentle send-up at the height of the drama, and demonstrates Roy’s ability to handle small doses of humour with some skill and subtlety.


Roy-related Trivia


Co-stars seen elsewhere include :
Rémy Girard – Dans le Ventre du Dragon, and Lionel in Scoop,
Johanne-Marie Tremblay – Emilie’s mum from Filles de Caleb
Gaston Lepage from Being at Home with Claude
Andrée Lachapelle from Cap Tourmente, Dans le Ventre du Dragon, Scoop etc.
Denis Bouchard from Le Marché du Couple, Lance et Compte, and of course, Scoop
Sylvie Drapeau – Le Grand Jour and old friend from college days

Lothaire Bluteau played the part of Yves in the original stage production of Being at Home with Claude


J’en Suis : Drama student Hugo phoned to say he couldn’t accompany Dominique to the art show because he had got a part in ‘a little Arcand film’. Surely a nod to one of Quebec’s most acclaimed directors.



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