Quebec crime has rarely been explored in our cinema. By bringing the fascinating story of assassin Gérald Gallant to the screen, Luc Picard hits the nail on the head confessionsa gangster film as we like it: captivating, moving and very entertaining!
• Also read: Confessions: From Book to Film
Let’s say it right from the start: Luc Picard has pulled off a feat by, in addition to defending the lead role, keeping this thriller that he directed at a distance. Picard shows great mastery behind the camera and signs his best film as a director to date. In front of the camera, the actor gives a masterful performance as Gérald Gallant, one of the worst hit men in Quebec history who played a key role in the bloody motorcycle wars of the 1990s and 2000s.
Photo courtesy of Opale Films
Luc Picard plays hitman Gérald Gallant in police drama Confessions, which hits theaters on Wednesday.
Written by Sylvain Guy (Detour, Mafia Inc.), confessions is inspired by the book Gallant: Confessions of a Hitmanwritten by the journalists Eric Thibault and Félix Séguin of the Bureau d’Enquête du protocolin 2015. The cleverly constructed narrative revolves around the police interrogation during which Gallant admitted to committing 28 murders between 1972 and 2003 while working for the Rock Machine, the Hell’s Angels enemy clan.
We discover a killer who has absolutely no profile for the job: a stuttering, taciturn man who leads a seemingly quiet life in a small house in Donnacona and rides his bike in his spare time. A man who was also rejected throughout his life, including by his mother, who constantly disparaged him.
Luc Picard managed to bring a good dose of humanity to this character full of paradoxes, without falling into the trap of making him too likeable or endearing. Shot without complacency and with startling realism, the sometimes very violent murder scenes illustrate very well the monstrosity of this cold-blooded killer.
To compensate for the fact that his film’s “hero” isn’t flamboyant, Luc Picard had a bright idea of surrounding him with more colorful characters. We will remember in particular the intense play of David La Haye in the skin of the eccentric and unpredictable Dolly, an accomplice of Gallant who constantly has to endure reprimands from his accomplices for being gay. Emotional performances are also provided by Éveline Gélinas and Sandrine Bisson in the respective roles of Gallant’s wife and lover.
Very effective, confessions sets itself apart from traditional gangster films by showing low-level petty crime, a far cry from the wealthy families of the Italian mafia often portrayed in cinemas. The subject matter is dark, but Picard sprinkled the film with subtle dark humor. While she emphasizes the tension in some dramatic scenes, the music composed by Daniel Bélanger also manages to loosen up the tone in some places. The film’s beautiful theme song will likely stay in your head for hours after the screening.
- confessions ★★★★☆
A film by Luc Picard
Starring Luc Picard, Sandrine Bisson, Eveline Gelinas and David La Haye. show wednesday.