Nuit #1 @ Festival du Nouveau Cinema

Local filmmaker Anne Émond selected a very typical situation of a random hookup at a rave, which leads to a one-night stand as the set-up for her debut feature “Nuit #1.” But what makes this film truly stand out, is a twist to how such meetings normally end. Instead of parting ways after the affair, the two try to make it meaningful.

Clara (Catherine de Léan), a twenty-seven year old teacher, heads out to another weekend of partying. At a rave, she crosses paths with thirty-one year old Nikolai (Dimitri Storoge). The pair give into their mutual attraction and wind up at his shabby apartment. Just as Clara is about to leave afterwards, Nikolai turns the tables on her and begins criticizing modern day romance and modern girls like her who he says act just like men do. He criticizes her for wanting to just leave and act as if nothing ever happened between them…that it was meaningless.

As the two begin to talk, they both start to unravel, sharing their hopes and dreams and getting into major discussions about their past and their motivations. These conversations stir the pot, which then leads to some judgmental attitudes and harsh words that lead to some very heated arguments. Through this, they not only get to see the realities of one another but learn much more about themselves in one night than many who never face their issues and wind up living life repeating the same mistakes over and over again and harming others along the way.

Bravo to writer/director Anne Émond, for steering away from typical stereotypes. The actors were very well suited for their respective roles and most importantly, had strong chemistry. The director really tapped into the realities of the way many relationships are these days and the major disconnect people (especially youth, as she mentioned was her target audience), have between the physical and emotional. Another noteworthy aspect of this film is the honesty in the dialogue and the portrayal of the vulnerabilities of the characters. The actors gave a flawless portrayal of the characters deep rooted issues.

As we live in a world today that is filled with many people that do not take responsibility for their actions, live selfishly and refuse to look inwards and face their true selves, it is refreshing to see a film that shows the “truths” that many people refuse to deal with and displays characters who take a leap into “the real things,” instead of remaining on the surface or falsely glamorizing casual relationships like we see in many of today’s films and television shows. If you can handle seeing something “real,” this film is definitely worth checking out.