Emile – 2003 – English
Film directed in 2003 by Carl Bessai, and starring Ian McKellen, Deborah Kara Unger, Theo Crane, Tygh Runyan, Janet Wright, Ian Tracey, Chris William Martin…
Synopsis: As a young man, Emile left his Saskatchewan farm life behind to head to college in Britain, with his brothers, the older brusque and controlling Carl and the younger sensitive Freddy, left to run the family farm.
This move was despite Freddy showing greater potential and thus probably benefitting more from academic life. However, Carl wouldn’t allow Freddy to leave because of his mechanical expertise which was required to tend to the farm equipment.
Emile vowed to return, but never did, which affected Freddy the most. Now in early retirement, Emile, still living in Britain, travels to Victoria, Canada to accept an honorary degree from the university there. In Victoria, he decides to stay with now deceased Carl’s grown daughter Nadia, and Nadia’s ten-year-old daughter Maria.
Emile had never made any attempt over the years to connect with Nadia or Maria, who only really know him by name. On the surface to Nadia, Emile’s visit is purely a need on his part for a free bed while in Victoria, this feeling which is fostered by her last encounter with Emile when she was a child. Despite a rocky start, Emile may be able to reconnect with the family through Maria, as Nadia and Maria go through issues of their own, most specifically regarding Nadia’s recent break-up with Maria’s father and their resulting relocation to Victoria from Vancouver.