A Girl at the Window
35mm / colour / 91 min /French with English subtitles
by Francis Leclerc
Currently available on DVD
Synopsis | In her twenties, Marthe leaves her native countryside and heads for the city. Her debilitating heart condition notwithstanding, she’s determined to break out of her cocoon and get a taste of urban living in 1925. She promises to marry her neighbour in exchange for a sum of money, which she plans to use to pay for her piano lessons.
With all its frenzy and diversity, the city captivates the young woman who can now enjoy her freedom. She even feels free of her illness. Geneviève, a musician who’s about her age, introduces her to the local artists’ crowd. Together with a few friends, Alfred, Paul and Cécile, she explores new pleasures such as smoking, drinking and dancing. Her life is without constraints and seems to enhance her will to live.
During a show featuring Oliver Scott and his band, Marthe discovers the magic of jazz but suddenly feels faint. Her friends are concerned because she never rests and chooses to ignore this sign of weakness. Later, Alfred leaves for Paris and Oliver, her new lover, leaves to go to the States. Her health takes a turn for the worse, and her strength drains away from her. Geneviève, Paul and Cécile try to take care of her as she feels death drawing closer, but Marthe uses the cover of a winter storm to return home to her parents, without anyone noticing. Her life will end right where it began, the place she wanted so much to get away from to be able to live as she pleased.
Director of photography
Prizes and Festivals
Genie Awards 2002
Nominated, Genie Best Achievement in Music – Original Score | Pierre Duchesne
Nominated, Genie Best Achievement in Overall Sound | Dominique Chartrand, Luc Boudrias, Bernard Gariépy Strobl, Hans Peter Strobl
Nominated, Genie Best Achievement in Sound Editing | Marcel Pothier, Guy Francoeur, Carole Gagnon, Dominik Pagacz, Jacques Plante
Jutra Awards 2002
Nominated, Jutra Best Actress (Meilleure Actrice) | Fanny Mallette
Nominated, Jutra Best Sound (Meilleur Son) | Dominique Chartrand, Marcel Pothier, Luc Boudrias
Montréal World Film Festival 2001
Nominated, Grand Prix des Amériques | Francis Leclerc