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Mon Oncle Antoine (The Criterion Collection) (1971)

Jacques Gagnon , Lyne Champagne , Claude Jutra  |  Unrated |  DVD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jacques Gagnon, Lyne Champagne, Jean Duceppe, Olivette Thibault, Claude Jutra
  • Directors: Claude Jutra
  • Writers: Claude Jutra, Clément Perron
  • Producers: Marc Beaudet
  • Format: Subtitled, Special Edition, Anamorphic, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: French
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Criterion
  • DVD Release Date: July 8, 2008
  • Run Time: 104 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00180R04K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #197,867 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Mon Oncle Antoine (The Criterion Collection)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • SPECIAL EDITION DOUBLE-DISC SET FEATURES: New restored high-definition digital transfer supervised and approved by director of photography Michel BraultOn-Screen: Mon oncle Antoine a 2007 documentary tracing the making and history of the filmClaude Jutra an Unfinished Story a 2002 documentary that attempts to unravel "the Jutra mystery" featuring interviews with Brault Bernardo Bertolucci actors Genevieve Bujold and Saul Rubinek. and actor-director Paule BaillargeonA Chairy Tale a 1957 experimental short codirected by Jutra and Norman McLarenTheatrical trailerOptional English-dubbed soundtrackNew and improved English subtitle translationPLUS: A new essay by film scholar Andre Loiselle

Editorial Reviews

Claude Jutra's evocative portrait of a boy's coming of age in wintry 1940s rural Quebec has been consistently cited by critics and scholars as the greatest Canadian film of all time. Delicate, naturalistic, and tinged with a striking mix of nostalgia and menace, Mon oncle Antoine follows Benoit, as he first encounters the twin terrors of sex and death, and his fellow villagers, who are living under the thumb of the local asbestos mine owner. Set during one ominous Christmas, Mon oncle Antoine is a holiday film unlike any other, and an authentically detailed illustration of childhood's twilight.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ONE OF OUR FEW TRUE CLASSICS September 29, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
MON ONCLE ANTOINE is about rural life and the coming of age of a teenage boy whose uncle is an embalmer.Slow moving but immensely rewarding;one can feel the director's tenderness for his characters.The film can be hard to appreciate if you don't speak FRENCH or don't know much about the aspects of rural life in QUEBEC and it's mentality..JUTRA the director, plays a little part in the general store.JEAN DUCEPPE who plays ANTOINE was a very well known actor in QUEBEC;he formed his own theater company in 1973 ... Along the way,the teenage boy also makes his sexual awakening in a funny voyeurism scene in which some women comes to the general store to renew their wardrobes.The film remains the director's most acclaim work.JUTRA sadly died of the ALZHEIMER disease in 1986.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the best Canadian films ever made October 5, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This review is for the Criterion Collection DVD edition of the film.

Mon Oncle Antoine is a film that has been regarded as the best Canadian film of all time. I can say it is one of the best I have seen also.

The film is directed by Claude Jutra and is about a teenage boy living in an asbestos mining town in rural Quebec during Christmas in the 1940's. He works for his uncle who is the town mortician. The film has great cimenatography and has some great scenes of the town.

The DVD has some good special features also on this double disc set.

Disc one contains the film with both the original French language track and an optional English dub, plus the theatrical trailer.

Disc two contains a 2007 documentary on the film's production, a 2002 biography of Claude Jutra, and "A Chairy Tale" a 1957 short film that Jutra co-directed with Norman McLaren. (This film is about a chair the moves around to avoid being sit on.)

This film is very good and I highly recommend it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mon Oncle Antoine - a "small" classic February 25, 2010
Format:DVD
This film has consistently been voted as the greatest Canadian film ever made in various critics polls over the years. Revered New Yorker film critic Pauline Kael hailed it as a small masterpiece upon original release but it is the sort of slow, intimate, character-based drama that has never achieved the sort of wide appeal (outside of Canada) that more plot focused films have. Watching some of the supplementary material on the Criterion Collection disc, it is also clear that there are many cultural references in the film that will mean more to a Canadian (particularly a French Canadian) than to other viewers.

The film meanders amiably along, capturing in unhurried pace the life of rural 1940's Quebec, in this case an abestos mining town. The main characters are Benoit, an orphaned boy, the local undertaker Antoine and his assistant Fernand played by the director himself Claude Jutra.
Eventually the film reaches its big set-piece, a long, extended night sequence where Benoit and Antoine (covered in furs) must traverse the icy, snow covered landscape via sled to retrieve the body of a boy who has died at a farmhouse.

The director was hailed as the new savior of Canadian cinema at the time of release, but unfortunately never achieved the level of success later on that he did with this film. He mysteriously disappeared one winter and his body was discovered the following spring after the ice had thawed...a simple note attached, "My name is Claude Jutra".
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get the Criterion Edition! January 30, 2010
Format:DVD
I can't say this film makes the same stunning impression on me that it did the first time I saw it in a theatre (in 1971) but it's still an absolute gem! I looked for it on VHS for years in America to no avail, couldn't even find it on a couple of trips to Canada although I know it was released on VHS at one time there. When Image released it on DVD several years ago I of course immediately purchased it. That release wasn't bad but the Criterion version is far better. It's from a new high definition transfer in the proper widescreen aspect ratio (the Image version was full screen 4:3) and looks better than I remember it ever looking in theaters. The second disc contains a 2007 one hour documentary on the film itself as well as a 2002 feature length (82 minutes) documentary on director Claude Jutra, both made for Canadian television I believe. An early short by Jutra and the theatrical trailer are also included. Despite the usual Criterion premium price this edition is highly recommended if you love this film as much as I do...or even if you've never seen it and want to have a great movie experience. It's in French with or without English subtitles. A dubbed English track is also on the disc if you prefer that (I don't!).
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Immersed in Québec June 16, 2009
Format:DVD
Often voted Canada's greatest film... well... it's a damn good mood piece, anyway.

A splice of life story set in Québec of the 1940s, starting with seemingly random glimpses of life in an asbestos mining town as seen thru the eyes of a teenage boy. Then, halfway, it assumes something like a plot (which I found engrossing) before ending at a scene that doesn't tie things up neatly. In other words, an art house film.

Since I grew in a small town, I immediately felt immersed in the small town setting despite the cultural differences. I liked the natural look of the cinematography, the location shooting, the sense of improvisation in certain scenes and the use of non-actors -- even in a couple lead roles. Altho most of the vital roles were turned over to some very good French Canadian actors -- including the director himself -- Claude Jutra.

Despite the political turmoil in Québec at the time of the filming, the political overtones were reduced to mere hints. That may have been a lucky thing cuz the film now has a timeless quality.

Here's a rare opportunity to experience something of the nearby mystery that is Québéc.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Mon dieu!
Franchement, ce film est incroyable. Je n'ai aucun désir de décrire l'intrigue sauf pour dire qu'il vaut la peine de le voir. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Michael Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Criterion Collection
This movie will have to be watched two or three times to get the full meaning. But it is telling; about life, death, lack of family communication, youth, manhood, womanhood, and... Read more
Published 7 months ago by TRBear
2.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't live up to reviews.
After reading the other reviews, I was prepared for a heart-warming, coming of age movie. What I got was dark, slow, hard to follow and boring. Read more
Published on September 12, 2011 by RDRD
5.0 out of 5 stars A SLICE OF CANADIAN LIFE, UN-PHOTOSHOPPED
I am not going to recapitulate the plot or attempt to compete with other reviews; Ebert's is excellent, and another, at dvdtalk, gives an excellent discussion of political and... Read more
Published on January 2, 2011 by ParrotSlave
5.0 out of 5 stars Life from the eyes of a young boy!
An interesting little film, focussing on a boy called Benoit and his uncle Antoine. The film shot with beautiful scnerario powered by decent performences by almost all the cast. Read more
Published on October 29, 2010 by Ankur Mukherjee
4.0 out of 5 stars Mon Oncle Antonine
It is Film giving you to decide to do in some problems you Crossing for life.
Published on August 2, 2009 by Ramonhuesoescamilla
5.0 out of 5 stars Best film from Canada
Quebec cinema has usually run circles around Anglo-Canadian productions, and this is the cream of the crop. Ageless!
Published on September 29, 2008 by S. C. Schweighofer
5.0 out of 5 stars Magique !
Un film totalement magique, pour apprendre à aimer un peu plus la France des Amériques !
Published on August 16, 2008 by Québec libre
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