Those close to me know of my deep love for Ian McKellen. During his films, I am wont to talk directly to his character. I saw all 3 X-Men movies just because of him. Ian McKellen is an awesome dude. So awesome he totally starred in this awful, dreary movie. Probably out of pity. I’m pretty sure this film was made purely during his spare time while filming X-Men 2. The credits actually thank the film. Seriously. It’s all “Special thanks to Mom, God, My dog Murphy, and X-Men 2.” And like X-Men 2 this movie is set primarily in Canada. Of course, most movies are and simply lie about it. In Johnny Mnemonic Canada pretended to be Hong Kong and New Jersey, in X-Files, Canada played the part of the District of Colombia, and in The Final Sacrifice Canada was Atlantis. Or Atlantis was Canada. Whatever.
Emile is the story of a dude named Franklin HAHA FOOLED YOU HIS NAME IS EMILE. Emile grew up in a shack in Saskatchewan, apparantly the most depressing place on Earth, where the skies are eternally grey, the fields vast and forever dried brown, and the people introverted and abusive. Every shot of his youth is taken through Fujifilm’s patented “Bleakerizer” filter, which makes the shot up to 40% more depressing. Please note that the Saskatchewan scenes are not actually filmed there. That is because the director was lazy and wanted to film the whole movie next to his favorite pie shop (citation needed).
Emile’s big brother the mean jackass, and his younger brother the sensitive writer spend their lives playing out a 2-man version of the Dead Poet’s Society until the younger brother kills himself, so Emile trucks off to England and becomes Ian McKellen. He returns to Canada for an honorary degree, and stays with the daughter of his older brother. But Emile has a dark secret- when his older brother died in a truck accident, he DIDN’T ADOPT THE NIECE BECAUSE HIS UNIVERSITY DIDN’T ALLOW KIDS!
What, that’s not dark enough for you? Too bad. That’s it. Emile’s neice grew up in the foster system and turned into a huge jerk. Can Emile build a bridge to his last living relatives, or will he be pulled into a quagmire of guilt over not visiting his awful siblings while they were alive? The resolution may shock you, because there isn’t one. Everyone sort of just gets over themselves and stops moping.
Aside from making every inch of Canada’s natural majesty look perpetually dark and somber and completely lacking a point, this movie isn’t too special. The soundtrack is repetitive and generic, the cinematography awkward (in true cinema crapite style about half the shots are off the corner of a porch) and the script, when it breaks the film’s many awkward silences, is heavy-handed and flat. Emile is a ponderous, dreary film with little to teach and not much of a plot to entertain with.
Kind of Like X-Men 2, actually.