2014 Jutra winners Antoine Bertrand and Louise Archambault (Photos: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Peter McCabe)
Two weeks after the Canadian Screen Awards, Quebec's movie industry gathered last night at Montreal's Monument-National theatre for the 16th annual Soirée des Jutra, the province's awards for achievement in film.
This year — no surprise to anyone who follows Quebec film — the big winner was Louis Cyr: L'homme le plus fort du monde, which took home the trophies for Best Film, Top Box Office (a little over $4 million), Best Actor for Antoine Bertrand and six other awards. Here's a trailer for the film, which tells the real-life story of a legendary Quebec strongman who rose to international fame for his incredible feats of strength — including reportedly lifting a platform holding 18 men on his back.
Bertrand's acceptance speech was a highlight of the night. Earlier in the day, the 36-year-old actor, who played the title role in the film, had attended the funeral of his mother, and he dedicated his award to her:
Also winning big last night was Gabrielle, a coming-of-age film about a young woman with the rare neurodevelopmental disorder Williams Syndrome. The film won five awards, including Best Supporting Actress for Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin and Best Direction and Best Screenplay for Louise Archambault, who spoke to George at the late show desk earlier this season.
Gabrielle also scored big at the Canadian Screen Awards, taking Best Motion Picture and Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for Gabrielle Marion-Rivard's title performance.
One segment last night recognized the recent flourishing of Quebec directors who've injected what the evening's co-host Pénélope McQuade called the "Quebec Touch" into Hollywood. In pre-recorded interviews, stars like Vanessa Paradis, Dustin Hoffman, Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman celebrated directors like François Girard, Ken Scott and red chair alums Jean-Marc Vallée and Denis Villeneuve. You can watch the whole thing on the Radio-Canada Jutra website, where you'll also find a full list of this year's winners and nominees.