The Kate Logan Affair @ Nouveau Cinema Film Festival

I started off my 2010 Nouveau Cinema Film Festival experience with a Canadian film written and directed by Noel Mitrani (Sur la Trace d'Igor Rizzi) and starring Alexis Bledel formerly of television's The Gilmore Girls.

Kate Logan (Alexis Bledel) is a young female police officer. She has just joined the police force of a small town in the western part of Canada. Being young and a woman, Kate feels she has plenty to prove. Despite the nature of her job and responsibilities it entails, Kate is not exactly psychologically stable. This instability finally lands her in a lot of hot water.

While on the job one day Kate arrests a man she feels has committed a felony. She believes him to be a rapists that the police in her small town have been looking for. That is a mistake on her part and she becomes concerned that the French insurance executive Benoit Gando (Laurent Lucas – Lemming, In My Skin), who is in Canada from France due to business, might tell her superiors about her error.

Deciding that her only way out of this mess is to seduce Benoit. She sees him later and is successful in bedding him. The two embark in an affair. This is tricky because Benoit is married.

In the midst of this dysfunctional affair, Benoit soon begins to see that his life is never going to be the same again. This is not going to be a fun little fling while away on business for him. A tragic ending is the only way you can see this resolving itself.

This was an interesting role for actress Alexis Bledel to have chosen to take on as she is usually the good girl in whatever she has previously done. The mentally unstable character of Kate certainly is a change for her. Despite having previously been part of a popular television series and some high profile films like "Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants", Bledel seems very comfortable in this low-budget film. Her look of being a very innocent young woman lent very much to the nature of her messed up in the head character.

An interesting aspect of the story is language. Is it inevitable that when you make a Canadian film English vs. French is always going to crop up? Benoit is a French speaker who finds himself having to live for a short period in an English world. He is not able to express himself in his native tongue. His frustration is palpable. Another layer to this onion of a film.

The film, despite its smallish budget, looks great. Director Mitrani chose to shoot it in 35 mm and the result is a very crisp picture with sharp colours.

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