Miniseries | Customization project by The American Bride

The Quebec bestseller The American Bride is the subject of a miniseries project associated with the director Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette.

Posted at 8:00 am

Marc Andre Lemieux

Marc Andre Lemieux
The press

The TV adaptation of Éric Dupont’s popular novel is simmering at Item 7, the company of successful feature film producer Pierre Even Good cop, bad cop 2, Maria Chapdelaine and CRAZY.

The adventure also marks Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette’s first foray into the small screen, whom we know as a filmmaker (The goddess of fireflies, InshaAllah) and as author (I want to be deleted, The Leaky Woman).

For the time being, no broadcaster or platform is associated with this major project. Significant because it enters a category that is on the verge of extinction on Quebec television: historical series.

Epic fresco tracing the journey of a family from Bas-du-Fleuve, The American Bride offers a great journey through the XXe Century. The story takes place in Rivière-du-Loup, New York, Berlin, Rome, Toronto, Montreal and even Nagasaki, Japan. The book presents a whole gallery of protagonists, including Madeleine, the matriarch, and her two sons, Michel, an opera singer who becomes a tenor in Italy, and Gabriel, a physical education teacher who goes into exile in Germany.

Let’s say we’re a long way from the latest historical fiction having made its place in the air, eh The countries above and Eden Museum.

Reached by phone, however, Pierre Even seems confident in finding a network willing to get involved in this ambitious endeavor.

“On the one hand, it’s a novel that’s still stuck in people’s minds. And it’s a fascinating story with very strong characters that we want to follow. I think there are many elements that will appeal to viewers. »

The same goes for Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette.

I think we have the means [de réaliser la série]. But it takes courage. And you can’t do that halfway.

Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette

bookstore success

published in 2012, The American Bride was a huge hit in bookstores. Almost 70,000 copies are sold in Quebec alone, his publisher Marchand de Feuilles confirms. Translated and sold in the United States, the novel notably won the Bookseller’s Prize.

Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, the initiator of the adaptation project, says she immediately fell in love with this larger-than-life work. “I have the impression that Éric Dupont is our own Gabriel García Márquez. I like the originality of the story, which is very Québécois and territorial but also very explosive. We recognize ourselves in the characters, who are very touching, very rooted. They can be our brothers, our sisters, our uncles, our aunts, our neighbors…”

colossal task

The titanic task of turning this 700-page building block into a miniseries was entrusted to Guillaume Corbeil, the series’ co-writer we (Club illico) and warnings (VAT).

I accepted before I really understood what I was getting myself into! I really liked the book. Reading it again, I realized the magnitude of the challenge.

Guillaume Corbeil


PHOTO BERNARD BRAULT, PRESS ARCHIVE

Guillaume Corbeil

“I like the completely carnivalesque side, the freedom of Éric Dupont, his ability to create truly baroque paintings. I had good memories of it. And I like that joy of exaggeration, of completely absurd details… It’s a fantastic playground for me. »

Éric Dupont is “very open” to the changes that need to be made to the story in order to successfully transfer it to the small screen, states Guillaume Corbeil. The latter also recently submitted a first “game plan” of about ten pages, structuring the six hour-long episodes that will make up the miniseries.

“I had to disassemble the machine to assemble it differently. I had to throw things away, replace them, transform them… while staying true to the spirit of the novel. »

The lure of the small screen

After Philippe Falardeau (raspberry time) and Xavier Dolan (The night Laurier Gaudreault woke up, expected this fall), comes Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette to add to the list of directors moving from the big screen to the small. This idea has occupied the Montreal artist for some time.

The series takes care of one of the elements I like most in cinema: the characters. I also find that there is more and more ambitious television, with paradoxical characters who show weaknesses and who can be funny and moving.

Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette

The filmmaker knows the challenges that need to be overcome in order to reconstruct an era. She also rubbed her shoulders with it white dog, his latest feature film, which hits theaters in November. This is the film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Romain Gary, which takes place in 1968.

“I could practice with it,” she says.

As with Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, the desire to dream up a television series is not new to Pierre Even. According to his words The American Bride would be “a good way” to tame this medium.

“This is my friend Jean-Marc [Vallée], which has disappeared, which led me to this. When he spoke of it Big little lies, he said, “It’s seven 50-minute episodes, but I see it as a 350-minute feature.” That’s pretty much how I see it The American Bride. »

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