Congeniality in Gabrielle (2013)
Gabrielle (2013) is a unique and heartwarming Québécois drama full of singing that has much to offer female viewers. It is set in Montréal and tells the story of Gabrielle (Gabrielle Marion-Rivard), a 22-year-old woman with Williams syndrome, who struggles to gain the necessary independence to make her own decisions, particularly concerning her right to have a boyfriend. It is entertaining and scores very well for women’s presence and voice, likely because it was written and directed by a woman (Louise Archambault). One of the best things it has to offer female viewers is a congenial relationship between sisters. Indeed, Marion-Rivard and her sister, Mélissa Désormeaux-Poulin, are supportive, affectionate and loving. They hug, hold hands, press their heads together and blow kisses to each other. They spend time together (Désormeaux-Poulin takes Marion-Rivard places on her scooter). Moreover, this is not the only congenial relationship between women. Marion-Rivard and her co-worker hug and Isabelle Vincent hugs and kisses her daughters. In fact, women hug seven times in Gabrielle. This much true affection between women is rare in film. There are other uncommon inclusions, such as assertive female characters, praise for women, etc. Nice touches include a female chamber ensemble, a concert by Robert Charlebois and the Les Muses choir and the overarching message that everyone has a right to be loved. It is easy to see why this delightful drama was chosen as the best picture at the Canadian Screen Awards in 2014.
© 2019 Alline Cormier
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