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Jesus of Montreal (1990)

Lothaire Bluteau , Catherine Wilkening , Denys Arcand  |  R |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)

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Jesus of Montreal + The Gospel According to St. Matthew + The Last Temptation of Christ
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Product Details

  • Actors: Lothaire Bluteau, Catherine Wilkening, Johanne-Marie Tremblay, Rémy Girard, Robert Lepage
  • Directors: Denys Arcand
  • Writers: Denys Arcand
  • Producers: Doris Girard, Gérard Mital, Jacques-Eric Strauss, Monique Létourneau, Pierre Gendron
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Subtitled, NTSC
  • Language: French (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Koch Lorber Films
  • DVD Release Date: November 9, 2004
  • Run Time: 120 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002TSZKQ
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #79,573 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Jesus of Montreal" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Product Description


What happens to the people putting on a Passion Play? Someday Mel Gibson may tell us, but Denys Arcand's Jesus of Montreal proposes an engaging possibility. In hip present-day Montreal, a group of actors stages the Passion in an outdoor, somewhat avant-garde style, led by the quietly charismatic and increasingly uncanny young man (Lothaire Bluteau, Black Robe) playing Christ. His identification with the role, and the way it bleeds into real life, gives director Denys Arcand plenty of opportunities for social comment--some of it spot-on, some of it a little facile. But the fragile Bluteau is such a fascinating lead presence (the other actors are familiar from Arcand's Barbarian Invasions and Decline of the American Empire) that the movie's spell lasts long after it's over. Turns out the French-Canadian approach to the Passion can be just as intriguing as the original Aramaic. --Robert Horton

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
51 of 54 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Bilingual Edition DVD is THE ONE TO GET! February 3, 2005
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I've deleted my earlier comments on the French-language-only DVD that was first released in North America. This brilliant film is now available in two separate versions: the original Quebecois French soundtrack and this edition with language options: the original French, dubbed English (I avoid this because I only ever knew this film in its subtitled version), and French, Spanish, or English subtitles (optional). There are also bilingual stereo and a French 5.1 surround sound audio mixes. Amazon has also finally separated the two releases in its listings and labeled them more clearly, so I hope this eliminates the confusion that formerly surrounded this DVD and led many to buy the "wrong" version, myself included. You'd have to be a pretty fluent francophone to catch all the nuances of this story without subtitles, and the Quebec patois is very different from the standard French taught in U.S. schools or spoken in France today.

Enough of the technicalities. And please overlook the tacky and possibly misleading DVD packaging, with copy blurbs that seem to miss the point and photos that fixate on the pretty Parisienne model to the exclusion of much else. I wholeheartedly recommend this film for anyone interested in exploring the story of Jesus. There is a lyricism and poignancy to Jesus of Montreal that is not to be found in Mel Gibson's snuff flick. Director/writer Arcand has crafted an extraordinarily skillful parallel script that not only re-presents the traditional Passion Play version of Jesus' life -- updated with challenging new assertions -- but also subtly and movingly reenacts it in modern Montreal, as the troupe of actors unwittingly find themselves walking in the footsteps of their theatrical alter-egos. This is marvelous filmmaking, and true art.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a gem that will move you and make you think.. August 26, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
Of all the depictions on film of the crucifixion of Christ, I find this one the most's wrenching as well as uplifting, and the always wonderful Lothaire Bluteau is extraordinary as Jesus in the passion play, and as the actor who won't compromise his art for commercial success, and starts to acquire aspects of Jesus' character into his own.
On a lighter note, the "hot" dubbing scene early in the film is hilarious, and there are many other extremely humorous parts. The talented ensemble cast is superb, as good in the comedy as in the drama.
Perhaps this is not a film for those with strict beliefs, but if you can accept diverse views, it will move you on many different levels.
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32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very human Passion Play May 11, 2000
Format:VHS Tape
It's been quite a few years since I've seen this movie, but for some reason, I've recently started thinking about it and connecting all the dots. As much as I enjoyed it originally, I've developed a new appreciation of it. Other reviewers have described it well, so I'll just give an "Amen" to their praise. I now marvel at how subtly and ingeniously the film's makers made the characters surrounding the theater troupé mirror the characters surrounding the main people in the original Passion story. Could the people in the Gospels' account have been real flesh-and-blood people, and not just characters in a mythical morality tale? This film will convince you they could have been. All aspects of the production are excellent. Blutheau was superb as Daniel/Jesus. His motivations and actions are as inscrutible as those of the original Jesus. When Daniel died, nothing happened. Or did it? You decide. Just as you must decide concerning the original Jesus' death. A tantalizing and intrigueing movie.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "The Passion" Is More Than A Play May 26, 2005
Note: French with English subtitles.

A group of local Montreal actors rewrite the 'Passion Play' with an updated interpretation. Their passionate but unorthodox production stirs controversy within the Catholic Church and the community-at-large. As the pressure mounts, whether to perform or not to perform, the personal lives of the individual cast members begin to take on the persona of the characters in the play.

This transformation is most evident in Daniel (Lothaire Bluteau) who plays the role of Jesus. As the 'Life of Christ' unfolds around and within Daniel he eventually discovers the ultimate meaning of sacrificial love.

What a wonderfully original and inventive film! They just don't get any better than this. Imaginative script, superb acting (Catherine Wilkening in the role of Mireille is stunning), evocative cinematography and ethereal soundtrack (with Lisa Gerrard from Dead Can Dance) all come together to bring this glorious modern day story of Jesus to life.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite film February 14, 2004
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Jesus of Montreal is an allegory in which a troupe of actors experience the life of Jesus of Nazareth as they strive to rework a passion play to make it more contemporary and "relevant." I first saw the film in 1990, and it touched me deeply, challenging me to reconsider my understanding of Christian faith. Great art strikes home, and no other film has given me such cause to ponder. It remains my favorite film.
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51 of 59 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! January 21, 2004
By A Customer
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This is one of my favorite films but WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! the DVD I received from is in FRENCH ONLY and does NOT offer a sub-title track!!! Unless you speak French fluently DO NOT ORDER THIS EDITION!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars oldie but still good.
Set in Montreal; An old story with a new slant. This movie by Denys Arcand is still one of our favourites.
Published 5 months ago by Gerry Schoberg
1.0 out of 5 stars Caution
This cannot be played on US players, since it is PAL format. Now I have to figure out how to change the format
Published 5 months ago by F. Scholl
1.0 out of 5 stars Amazon must be clear about each version of this disc
Be careful selecting the right edition of your copy of a "Jesus of Montreal" DVD! Due to what I read in one of the reviews for this item, the 1989 DVD edition, I had the impression... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Charles Hayes
5.0 out of 5 stars Jesus of Montreal was not new to me.
I saw this movie some years ago and was very moved by its message. Since then I have not met anyone else who has seen it. I bought it to share with my church study group.
Published 6 months ago by B. H. Welty
5.0 out of 5 stars Love, love, LOVE!
This movie took root in my soul from the first time I saw it years ago. I bought it on VHS as soon as I could & was so happy I could get it on DVD now. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Julie A. Nevill
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it.
Lothaire Bluteau is one of my favorite actors. I love how the director brings Jesus to the modern day world.
Published 8 months ago by Chatefrancaise
1.0 out of 5 stars Great movie if I could have watched it
I was unable to watch this pic because it was formatter for European TV/DVD systems. I had to return it to the vendor.
Published 10 months ago by Albi Mason
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect condition for DVD.
This was a "hard to find" film. We enjoyed the different view of a very popular topic. Need to watch it!
Published 14 months ago by Maureen A. Leonhardt
4.0 out of 5 stars Surprised by ending
Interesting concept that follows a group of actors through their staging of the story of Jesus. There is nudity and audio of porn movie so you will not want to watch this with... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and challenging
First of all, this movie is not about Jesus of Nazareth. It is about artists challenging consumerism and being either killed or bought off by corporations. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Prison Librarian
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