Critique of “The Shoemaker”: a technically successful film, but…

Review of 'The Shoemaker': A Technically Successful Film , but...


After bringing the life of La Bolduc to the screen, director François Bouvier continues in the same vein by focusing on another historical female figure from the Belle Province, Victoire Du Sault, the first woman to have worked as a shoemaker. in 19th century Quebec. Well acted and well directed, his film does not however avoid certain clichés, particularly in terms of the construction of the narrative. 

Adapted from the series of best-selling novels by Pauline Gill , published between 1998 and 2003, the film La Cordonnière first transports us to Montreal, at the beginning of the 20th century. Suffering from cancer and seeing her end approaching, Victoire Du Sault (Élise Guilbault) asks one of her sons to bring her to the land where she grew up, in Pointe-du-Lac. 

< p>This pilgrimage will be an opportunity for her to immerse herself in her youth. By means of flashbacks, the film therefore transports us to a few decades earlier, when the young and fiery Victoire (Rose-Marie Perreault), 17, was voluntarily expelled from her college to be able to devote herself to her passion. , shoe design. 

Except that at the time, in Quebec, the profession of shoemaker was exclusively reserved for men. Victoire will first make her laugh with her first creations. But her work and her perseverance will eventually pay off and the young woman will find herself at the head of an empire (her business is at the origin of the fortune of the Dufresne family).

Love triangle

As there has been a call for more strong female characters in film and television for the past few years, it is refreshing to see a period drama centered on the lives of an unrecognized pioneer, one of the first women to have founded her own business in Quebec. With her courage and her go-getter attitude, Victoire Du Sault has everything to inspire the young women of today who wish to make their place in environments dominated by men.

It is however unfortunate that the film does not detail more this daily fight led by Victoire Du Sault to put her business on track. The screenplay, written by Sylvain Guy (Confessions, Louis Cyr), unfortunately dwells more on the amorous torments of Victoire, who was torn between her overwhelming passion for Georges-Noël Dufresne (Pierre-Yves Cardinal) , a man older than her, and her marriage of convenience with the latter's son (Nicolas Fontaine).

On the other hand, technically, the film is very successful. The direction of François Bouvier is applied, as is the historical reconstruction (irreproachable) and the acting (convincing) of the actors. 

  • Note: 3 stars out of 5
  • The Shoemaker, a film by François Bouvier with Rose-Marie Perreault, Pierre-Yves Cardinal, Nicolas Fontaine and Élise Guilbault. 
  • Playing Friday.