Leon Dure (Antoine L’Ecuyer) is not like most 10-year old boys. He is a consummate liar and thief, well experienced in breaking and entering his neighbors’ homes. But, there are problems on the home front when his mom packs her bags and leaves her family to live in Greece. Leon’s wayward ways become unrestrained as he schemes to get his mother back in “It’s not me, I swear!”
Writer-director Philippe Falardeau, adapting the book by Bruno Hebert creates a quirky coming-of-age story that centers on rebellious young Leon and his soul mate Lea (Catherine Faucher), a neighbor girl who suffers from her own dysfunctional family, frequently abused by her live-in uncle. The pair set off together to continue Leon’s felonious ways, breaking into a neighbor’s vacant home. This backfires, though, when Lea enters the daughter’s room. The girl has everything that Lea has not and she breaks down in tears. What follows is mythical Greek-style journey as the naïve kids make elaborate plans to go to Greece and find Leon’s mother.
There are many layers to this intriguing story that involves many complex relationships – between Leon and his beloved mother, he and his less than truthful father, with his older brother and, of course, with Lea. Falardeau carefully weaves these varied relationships and plot threads with deft ease. Newcomers Antoine L’Ecuyer and Catherine Faucher deliver incredibly pro performances and are the equal of the veteran, older cast. This shows the scripter also has quite the talent as director, too. I give it a B.
“It’s not me, I swear!” is a part of the New Cinema from Quebec series set to run at Boston’s MFA from March 4 to 13.
Laura gives "It's Not Me, I Swear! (C'est pas moi, je le jure!)" a B+. Terrific complimentary costume and production design...
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