A Brother’s Love

Monia Chokri

IndieLisboa 2020 •

Canada, Fiction, 2019, 107′

In 2014, IndieLisboa programmed the short film Quelqu’un d’extraordinaire, Monia Chokri’s debut work, an actress we know from Xavier Dolan’s films. Her first feature film, an intelligent and hilarious comedy, develops the same theme: the coming of age of a young woman. In this case it’s Sophia (the extraordinary Anne-Élisabeth Bossé), who recently got her PhD degree but doesn’t have bright professional options. She still lives with her older brother, her best friend.

In 2014 IndieLisboa showed Quelqu’un d’extraordinaire, the directing debut of Monia Chokri, actress in some of Xavier Dolan’s films. Now, her first feature inscribes itself in the tradition of the familiar film from Québec, but also in the subtlety and cosmopolitanism of authors like Noah Baumbach or Greta Gerwig. This is a dramatic comedy about a young woman, not so young anymore, that just got her Ph.D. and finds emotional compensation in the relationship with her brother, due to lack of future perspectives. The constant irony is the weapon for mass good mood, but, by alternating comic and true pain – something that the actress Anne-Élisabeth Bossé dominates perfectly – characters get another kind of life and depth. We are being guided through the happiness clichés, but if La femme de mon frère could just be an intellectual version of Bridget Jones, it turns instead into a sensible film about growing and humility. (Carlos Natálio)