The (re)invention of Anna | The press

There are bold and “fresh” series like domestic animal in Noovo or Before the crash by Radio-Canada, and there are series that are more dated in their production and slowness, such as Anna and Arnaud at VAT

Posted at 7:15am

This melodramatic miniseries based on the book Anna and the childlike old man by Francine Ruel delivers exactly what the viewer expects: rivers of tears, layers of cello, acoustic guitar and solo piano, a heartbreaking story and unfortunately not always successful urban scenes.

To be honest, I wasn’t that excited Anna and Arnaud, a very (too?) conventional eight-episode miniseries that juggles a few clichés. The way homeless people talk to each other (Mando you have rock?), the graffiti in the squat where the homeless sleep, the old battered sofa standing in an alley worthy of a hip-hop music video, the aesthetic reconstruction of this little-known universe sounds on the Canvas wrong , a bit like depicting young twenty-somethings in chaos.


scene offAnna and Arnaud

At the end of the day, we more or less believe in the realism of everyday life on the street, shall we say. You are watching the first episode ofAnna and Arnaud Tuesday at 8 p.m. on TVA. Is this a bad show? no On the other hand, the insistence on the seriousness of the mission is annoying.

There was no need to gratinate the episodesAnna and Arnaud so many teary effects. We know that a mother who falls asleep every night wondering if her son is still alive is horrifying, it’s horrific. Suffice it to say. No need to add heavy silence and sad music in the background.

Guylaine Tremblay embodies the alter ego of Francine Ruel, a talented seamstress and workshop manager named Anna. In 1990 Anna almost lost her only son Arnaud (Nico Racicot, to be seen in The blue hour), give birth to them. In 2010, when Arnaud was 20 years old, Anna truly lost her child with whom she had forged a beautiful bond. After a gunfight disabling him, Arnaud, who dreamed of becoming a guitarist, sinks into heroin and ends up begging on the streets of downtown Montreal. In the past ten years, Anna has never lost contact with Arnaud, despite long periods of silence that made her fear the worst. They suspect that Anna’s career and personal life have suffered from her over-vigilance. Where will Arnaud sleep tonight? Has he eaten his fill? Who is watching over him?

The plot ofAnna and Arnaud travels between 2010 and 2021, and here’s the hair trick for not getting lost in the multiple time jumps. In the 2010 scenes, Guylaine Tremblay wears an auburn wig with bangs. In 2021, Guylaine Tremblay sports blonder hair, often tied in a duvet.


Guylaine Tremblay in Anna and Arnaud

Same hair trick for the actor playing his son: Nico Racicot is beardless in 2010 and looks like a young Beatle. In 2021, Nico Racicot has a shaggy beard and messy hair held back by a tuque.

Anna and Arnaud is a TV series that takes its time. In this sea of ​​ultra-caffeinated productions, this option will appeal to fans of, for example perfect moments. You sit down in front of the TV to decompress and roar, knowing that the story unfolding before your eyes is inspired by that of Francine Ruel and her son Étienne Allard. On this subject, the living testimony of Francine Ruel Everyone talks about it in September 2019 was overwhelming.

The consequences ofAnna and Arnaud to communicate well the grief of a mother trying to mourn the loss of a living child. The scenes in which Anna has to set her limits with Arnaud, who only sees her as an ATM, are heartbreaking. And Guylaine Tremblay is Guylaine Tremblay, the emotions go like a bullet.

The police aspect ofAnna and Arnaud also makes you curious. In 2010, Arnaud was the victim of an attack, shot dead on the street. But was it a baseless attack, a mistake on the part of the person, or an act of vengeance by people who wanted to harm him?

Arnaud’s character, not always fair, shows an honest face of homelessness. Arnaud is not a violent man, he is gregarious and treats his heroin addiction by undergoing methadone treatment. Arnaud always carries a naloxone kit in his backpack to protect comrades from opioid overdoses. And when a homeless colleague steals his bag and Arnaud doesn’t replace his naloxone kit, tragedy is already on the horizon.

In short, if you like TV more full-bodied and better roasted, this is your turn. If you prefer herbal tea TV, Anna and Arnaud will serve you with calming and less destabilizing episodes.

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