Almost 30 years after her brother’s suicide, Élise Denommé (excellent Magalie Lépine-Blondeau) wants to understand why he committed the irreparable act on September 21, 1994, without leaving a word explaining his gesture.
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This is the starting point for the psychological drama Les œils fermés, whose six well-crafted episodes land on ICI TOU.TV’s Extra this Thursday.
The sale of the family home early in the story brings back many memories and evokes emotions that Élise had repressed since childhood.
The 38-year-old teacher, who helps her mother Lorraine (convinced by Anie Pascale) with the loss of her autonomy, feels complicit in the death of Simon (Léokim Beaumier-Lépine). She bears that responsibility, real or not, she who has no spouse and few friends except for Mylène (Isabelle Guérard), who openly tells her that she has “the emotional maturity of a teenager” and that she “skips the tests” as if the disappearance of Simon had frozen their development.
COURTICALLY PHOTOGRAPHED, Radio Canada
Her mother, who is not affectionate with her, received an invitation addressed to Simon to the reunion of her cohort of high school seniors, urging Élise to show up there just to learn more about her eldest. Then she goes in search of the truth and searches for what really happened. What if Simon hadn’t died voluntarily…
Élise’s “citizen investigation” leads her to sift through old photos, clean up her mother’s house and venture into Simon’s room, which remains intact. And a mysterious note left on his windshield after the convention only adds to his questions, with some people believed to have “played a bigger role than others in the death” of Simon at age 15.
She goes through her brother’s diary, finds a notebook that had served as her diary and increases the number of meetings, especially with Hugo (Thomas Beaudoin) and the former pastoral animator Philippe Drolet (Benoît McGinnis), who has become a bishop. The latter knew Simon, but we’re beyond the expected story of the priest who molested a teenager. “It’s more complicated than you think,” author Anita Rowan said Wednesday after reporters watched the first two episodes.
Between 1994 and today
Written by Anita Rowan and directed by Jeanne Leblanc, we navigate naturally between the present and the past in this captivating series. The two women are working on their first solo project, carried out under the benevolent eye of Fabienne Larouche, screenwriter and producer of the series alongside Michel Trudeau, through their box Aetios Productions.
Laurie Frigon’s team did a great job with the make-up – it took months of work, particularly to shape the shapes, and hours every day to age the actors – and the hairstyles. This suggests that the characters of Anie Pascale and Benoît McGinnis carry the weight of the times. We also like the sets, the accessories (the black label era!) as well as the historical songs, like Soul Asylum’s “Runuway Train” to Vilain Pingouin’s “Le train”.
Success is measured by what really happened in Simon’s life in September 1994, almost five months after Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain committed suicide. That’s the case with this series, which is sure to be watched in a hurry.
The six episodes of the series “Les œils fermés” are available on Thursday 26 January on ICI TOU.TV EXTRA.