“It’s bad to lie, but it’s worse to lie badly.”
C’est pas moi, je le jure! is a charming Coming-of-Age film from Canada which will bring a lot of smiles and memories to anyone who devotes a little less than two hours to see it.
Everyone wants to be extraordinary and the protagonist of the film, Léon, is no exception. What’s more, he would frown at anyone who would dare to call him an ordinary normal boy. By the end of the film one gets the chance to discover just how special he really is. Like most boys out there, he is mischievous at times, but he is also an intelligent and emotional lad who is trying hard to make sense of the world that surrounds him. This is not an easy task for anyone, let alone a 10 year old boy.
Léon lives with his parents and older brother Jerome (Gabriel Maille) in a suburban Quebec house. His parents are always fighting; A typical dysfunctional family, until one day the mother decides she wants a divorce. So his mother leaves for Greece to find peace there, where “the sky is always blue.” The consequences of her departure and the way it affects her children is what the film focuses on.
Léon’s Coming-of-Age, as portrayed in the film, becomes a story of the troubled adolescence of a kid who is trying to restore his family.
The casting of It’s Not Me I Swear is quite good. All adult actors deliver excellent, believable performances, but it is the young stars of the movie who steal the hearts of the viewer. Once again I am impressed by the acting of a new comer to the cinema. Antoine L’Écuyer in the role of Leon fits well in this complicated role of a child who creates his own misfortune. In the press release of the film, it’s director, Philippe Falardeau, states:
“We auditioned 80 boys, then we called back 15, but as soon as I saw Antoine L’Écuyer (grandson of famous Quebec actor Guy L’Écuyer) I knew he had what I was looking for: gravity in his expression and a physical flippancy.”
I was very impressed with the visuals in the film. Great colorful overhead shots and amazing photography (by André Turpin) make It’s Not Me, I Swear! a real treat for the senses. Generally speaking, the film has a special warmth, which is usually associated with a good “rites of passage” tale. The only other film with such astonishing visuals that I could recall is “Toto the hero “, a review of which you can also find on my blog.
Like always, you can learn a lot of life lessons from the film. That’s one of the best things in Coming-of-Age films: you always end up wiser after seeing them.