|Armand Gamache, Yvette Nichol and Jean-Guy Beauvoir in the |
movie Still Life from the CBC
The movie was telecast on the CBC last Sunday. While I was unable to watch the initial telecast Sharon and I were able to watch it online a few evenings later.
I enjoyed the movie but could not call it brilliant.
As in the books the fictional village of Three Pines entrances the viewer. The trees, dressed in autumn colours, set the scene. In the village the bistro / B &B of Gabi and Olivier is perfect. You want to get in the nearest car, train or plane to travel to the village and settle in at the inn with the local residents.
Among the police, Anthony Lemke as Jean-Guy Beauvoir, is a fine choice. While sometimes exasperated by Gamache he is a clever and dedicated officer.
Susanna Fournier as Detective Yvette Nichol, is suitably nasty and a good foil to all the other very correct officers.
Kate Hewlett as Clara Morrow, the aspiring artist and close friend to the murdered Jane Neal, is convincingly vulnerable. Penny, who has described the Clara of the books as herself should be pleased with the portrayal of Hewlett.
I regret that I still have a problem with the casting of Nathaniel Parker as Gamache. The urbane English accents of Parker do not work well with the character of a French Canadian police inspector. The producers provide an explanation for the English accent but it felt contrived.
I am still uneasy that I am being unfair about Parker because he does not fit my image of Gamache from reading all the books in the series.
For another view, John Doyle in his Globe & Mail review said:
While the Gamache character has some richness in the novels, on screen he’s bland. An honourable man, given to questioning authority, but lacking the sinew and muscle of a truly commanding character. There was some fuss made about an English actor being cast as Gamache, but it really doesn’t matter here – it’s all very much in the English tradition, really.
I do consider Parker a credible leader of the investigation and he is as comfortable in the village as the Gamache of the books.
In Longmire there was little connection with the book story lines, Still Life follows the plot of the book.
The movie has a Canadian pace and flavour. There is nary a car chase, shootout or sexual adventure. It has a quieter feel for plot than current American crime drama.
At the same time I found the movie choppy at times with limited character development. I think Still Life would have worked better in a mini-series format where there would be more time to explore the characters and the village.
I am glad I watched the movie and grateful it was respectful of the book from which it was drawn.
Readers can go to http://www.cbc.ca/player/Shows/ID/2406432208/ to watch the movie online.