LES FELUETTES (LILLIES)
JOHN GREYSON | CANADA | 1997 | 95 MIN | FRENCH+ENGLISH
Greeted with acclaim upon its 90s release, Lilies has lost none of its luster. Summoned by a supposedly dying prisoner, a local bishop (Marcel Sabourin) is confronted by his childhood friend, Simon (Aubert Pallascio), and transported through the power of theatre and a Romantic imagination to rustic Roberval, Quebec in 1912 to witness his past misdeeds.
Theatrical re-enactments bloom into fleshed out flashbacks as we are brought to a town of mysterious fires, fallen aristocrats, and an epic love triangle, with inmates portraying the denizens, including Simon (Jason Cadieux), his “lily white” lover, Vallier (Danny Gilmore), and the bishop, Bilodeau (Matthew Ferguson). When Simon is thrust from his trajectory with Vallier by his vicious father, a Parisian aristocrat with a penchant for grand entrances (a phenomenal Alexander Chapman) threatens to whisk him away to the land of heteronormativity with the help of a scheming Bilodeau. An adaptation of award-winning, Quebec-born playwright Michel Marc Bouchard’s stage version, Lilies retains its campy, gender-blind casting and thoroughly erotic spark. This is gripping entertainment with a poetic streak. An unforgettable, homegrown masterpiece about “the tyranny of the Truth” and the shape of true atonement.