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The 5 Best Canadian Films Ever Created

The Canadian film industry is, let's put it this way, interesting. On one hand, most of Hollywood's productions are made in Canadian studios, due to the lower prices and the more favorable climate. On the other hand, Canadian movies and TV shows are usually less hyped than their Hollywood counterparts, which makes them less-known, albeit critically acclaimed and highly appreciated.

It seems that, while in Hollywood filmmaking is considered entertainment, for Canadian filmmakers it's art. This is most likely the reason why Canadian movies are less known around the world, while Hollywood productions are spoken about by everyone, turned into toys, video games, even slot machines at the Royal Vegas Canada. To be honest, I don't think Royal Vegas players would appreciate a "Mon Oncle Antoine" slot machine, but they do find the upcoming Jurassic World slot an attractive idea. Slots are about entertainment, and the Royal Vegas Canada is good at it.

Several blockbusters - including parts of the Twilight saga, 2012, Man of Steel, Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, X-Men: The Last Stand, and many others were filmed in various Canadian studios. This list is not about them, though, but about the top 5 Canadian films ever made.

5. Léolo

The film, released in 1992, tells the story of a young boy named Léo "Léolo" Lauzon who lives in a fantasy world while growing up with his family in Montreal. It's a piece about "coming of age", combining the playful fantasies of a child with the spicier and more grown-up ones of an adolescent (that happen to involve a neighbor called Bianca, played by Giuditta del Vecchio).

Director Jean-Claude Lauzon's movie won a Genie Award for the best screenplay, one for the best costume design, and one for the best editing, and the grand prizes of all three major Canadian film festivals.

4. Jesus of Montreal

Released in 1987, the movie - directed by Denys Arcand - takes a satirical look at the hypocrisy of the church. The protagonists of the movie are the members of an active group who dare to defy the church by including some unconventional theories about the historical Jesus Christ into their passion play in a church. The church turns against the author / main actor of the play, whos life starts to resemble that of Jesus in the New Testament.

The film was nominated for an Academy Award, won the jury prize at the Cannes Film Festival, got several Genies and was highly appreciated at local festivals.

3.The Sweet Hereafter

A drama based on the true story of a major school bus accident and a class action lawsuit, The Sweet Hereafter is considered one of the best Canadian films ever. It was nominated for an Oscar, won several prizes at Cannes, including the Grand Prize of the Jury - director Atom Egoyan was the first Canadian ever to win this prize.

2. Mon Oncle Antoine

A social and political drama set in the time of the Asbestos Revolution. Mon Oncle Antoine is one of the most acclaimed Canadian films ever, an examination of the social conditions in Québec's old, agrarian, conservative and cleric-dominated society on the eve of the social and political changes that transformed the province a decade later.

1. Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner

Created by Inuit filmmaker Zacharias Kunuk, Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner is currently considered the greatest Canadian movie of all time.  A major critical success, Atanarjuat received international acclaim from critics and audiences and was nominated for (and won) several awards, including a the Golden Camera at Cannes. Besides, it was Canada's top grossing domestic release ever, with a box office worth $5,998,310.


© David Nusair