Maurice has relocated from Paris to North Bay. He is running from his past, we don't know what exactly. He lands an acting gig in a french play. Maurice is a strange and quiet expat, refusing to socialize with his fellow actors at the small theatre company where he plays the role of a minister. He is fine having random hook-ups but just a mere thought of feelings scare him off. To pay for his basic needs he is looking to teach french and finds a student in Alan, a talented teenage struggling with his sexuality. Alan is a troubled teenage, being bullied at school and its only with him that Maurice can smile, laugh, joke and becomes altogether another kind of man. The theatre owner turns out to be the man whom Maurice kicked out of his home one night, but he still wants more from Maurice, but he has issues. Drawn to protect and defend Allan from the bullying that he faces at school for being gay, their student-teacher relationship is soon complicated when Allan falls in love with Maurice, in turn triggering Maurice's own repressed memories of childhood sexual abuse. And the film ends ambiguously with Maurice confiding in the the theatre owner who he is now starting to warm up.
The story is simple. We see all kinds of images in flashback that Maurice sees but its not clear until the very end what exactly happened. You can tell his parents came from a theatre background but thats it. The student-teacher relationship was shown well, but I can't understand how in this day and age, someone can constantly keep bullying a kid and the swimming coach does nothing about it. Thankfully, nothing in the film is over the top. Even when Maurice hits the bully, its done with restraint. The performances are very nuanced and restrained from everyone. Maurice, Allan, the theatre owner have all done their job right and given their best shot to the film. But its the screenplay that could have been better. The film seamlessly keeps going between English and French and I liked that aspect. It somehow worked well.
Its a decent film but a little ambiguity killed it. I wished the reasons were made very evident and then personally I would have been able to connect with the film a lot better. Not a bad film by any means. (6/10)