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aline

★★★

starring: Valerie Lemercier, Sylvain Marcel, Danielle Fichaud, and Roc LaFortune

 

REVIEWER: lyall carter

With the support of her family and the man she loves, the 14th child of a modest family will become the most famous singer in the world.

For Aline Dieu, nothing in the world matters more than music, family and love. Her powerful and emotional voice captivates everyone who hears it, including successful manager Guy-Claude Kamar, who resolves to do everything in his power to make her a star. As Aline ascends from local phenomenon to best selling recording artist to international superstar, she embarks on a passionate romance with the much older Kamar.

 

From the opening title scene of the film we’re told that this film is based on the life of Celine Dion but that it’s a work of fiction with facts modified to keep with the author’s vision. And for a lot of the key points of Dion’s life, Aline follows them. Well - it follows them, then it reinvents or reimagines them. Leading to Aline being the most bizarre yet sweet film of the year. 

 

At times Aline can border on the soapy with a bit of cringe thrown in for good measure. From the re-enactments to the dialogue, it could at times feel a little bit like some lowly TV film if it wasn’t for the wondrous French humor and the earnest innocence of the whole production. 

 

Around every corner there is the slightly bizarre yet beautiful French comedic sensibilities. It’s over the top, a little bit bonkers but at its heart is this eye twinkling humanity that’s simply infectious.  Near the films conclusion there is a sequence where Aline encounters two Elvis impersonators mistake Aline for an Aline impersonator and give her tips on how to look more like Aline (herself) and the two fans ask her to take a photo of them with an Aline billboard which is both played for laughs. 

This sums up Aline perfectly. A little bizarre but bursting with so much humanity. 

 

While Aline has to be one of the most bizarre films of the year, it’s light, sweet touches make it a wonderful tribute to the one and only Celine Dion.

★★★