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Familiar Grounds (En Terrains Connus) 

Directed by Stéphane Lafleur (eOne)

Life is bleak in Lafleur’s Quebec. Maryse (Fanny Mallette) enters a state of malaise after a man’s arm is cut off accidentally at the factory where she works; the first of three “accidents” punctuating the film. Maryse’s brother, Benoit (Francis La Haye) can’t get his act together and lives at home with their widowed father. A man who says he’s from the future (“next September”) approaches Benoit and warns him of a horrible fate that will befall Maryse. Benoit attempts to protect her, accompanying her on a trip to their family’s cabin. The premise sounds goofy, but it works, keeping away from the surreal and exploring a relationship between siblings and, in turn, their relationship with their surroundings. Lafleur finds charm beneath the grey skies, heaps of snow and mundane suburban life.

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