Filmmaker Louis Godbout wrote and directed a black comedy starring Christine Beaulieu, Benoît Gouin, Steve Laplante and Alexandre Goyette. The topic? A camera on a golf course…
An outdoor camera? Yes. “I started playing golf when I was eight years old with my grandmother, who was my favorite partner,” said Louis Godbout in an interview with QMI agency. At the same time I’m not really interested in golfers, I find myself ridiculous on a golf course. One of the things I find ridiculous is that I’m brainless during the four hours of a game. I’m obsessed with the ball. I think I’m ridiculous. We’re in a very big expanse, we’re running four miles, but we’re locked inside our heads.
The star around whom all the action revolves is Florence, played by Christine Beaulieu. In the film, she is the “Pitoune”, yoga teacher, very Zen. With his friend Hubert (Benoît Gouin) and his partner André (Steve Laplante) – the two run a retirement home – they play their role until a certain Michel (Alexandre Goyette) joins them and changes the game. But the whole thing is presented as a black and garish fable.
“There is an inherent dimension of irony in golf. It’s a sport where everyone is bad because it’s difficult, the filmmaker said. Everyone works hard, everyone trains, but everyone fails. It’s a sport that values fair play and etiquette, with players lying all the time, cheating all the time, and telling their golfing stories. It’s natural theater for behavioral satire.”
And the behavior is absurd. Like André with his remote-controlled shopping cart – “yes, it really exists”, confirm Benoît Gouin and Louis Godbout –, Florence and her yoga poses between two holes, Michel and his beer glasses whenever he can, or even Sébastien René in the role by Sepp, the psycho-rigid employee of the golf course.
“The satire was natural. The depiction of a golf course with a Mozart mass from the beginning of the film sets the tone. We feel like we’re not being entirely realistic, and that’s why the actors can afford to sometimes say lines that aren’t entirely natural, provided they say it as if they believe it,” he said. – he adds.
The actors were able to benefit from golf lessons and prepare for their roles. There The scammers was filmed in the summer of 2020, the crew ended up alone “at the Bromont Inn” as the rooms were closed to the public. Everyone kept seeing each other, which allowed for an incredible bond to develop.
“Even if the character of Florence is very superficial, you can’t help but doubt her irony,” said Louis Godbout, referring to Christine Beaulieu’s “natural irony”.
Florence is also a yoga teacher. “For me, the interpretive challenge lay in the rhythm. Florence is slow, she thinks, she’s very zen, very calm. The biggest challenge for the actress, however, was her character’s rather revealing clothing and extremely suggestive poses. “It’s easier for me to play a character with a big one a coat I’m very camouflaged in my character in winter. There I am literally very naked. It’s an area where we’re more vulnerable and I had to be very confident to be able to do what I did.
Benoît Gouin also had to go through a mental exercise in order to impersonate Hubert, a task which he explained with reference to the theatre. “I played the character of Molière’s Don Juan, and when you deal with a character like that, you try to put on the Don Juan cloak, but it doesn’t work. Then one day we realize that we are don Juan. He always has a part of himself in a role.”
And Florence isn’t the only ambiguous character – “She’s also a psychopath,” the filmmaker pointed out – the three men also have their secrets and their neuroses. And it all comes down to a golf course. “No one can escape what reveals itself,” said Benoît Gouin.
The scammers hits Quebec theaters on August 12th.