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Miniseries | Adaptation project of The American Bride

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The Quebec bestseller The American bride is the subject of a miniseries project to which director Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette is linked.

Posted at 8:00

Marc-André Lemieux

Marc-André Lemieux
The print

The television adaptation of Éric Dupont’s popular novel seethes at Item 7, the company of Pierre Even, producer of blockbuster feature films Good cop, bad cop 2, Maria Chapdelaine And CRAZY.

The adventure will also mark Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette’s first foray into the small screen, whom we know as a director (The goddess of fireflies, Insha’Allah) and as author (I would like to be canceled, The woman who loses).

For now, no broadcaster or platform is associated with this great project. Significant, because it enters an endangered category in Quebec television: the historical series.

Epic fresco that traces the journey of a family from Bas-du-Fleuve, The American bride offers a great journey through the twentiethAnd century. The story takes place in Rivière-du-Loup, New York, Berlin, Rome, Toronto, Montreal and even Nagasaki, Japan. The book features an entire gallery of protagonists, including Madeleine, the matriarch, and her two children, Michel, an opera singer who becomes a tenor in Italy, and Gabriel, a physical education teacher who goes into exile in Germany.

Let’s say we are far from the latest historical fiction to have carved out a place in the air, like The lands above And Eden Museum.

Reached by phone, however, Pierre Even seems convinced that he will find a network ready to try his hand at this ambitious undertaking.

“On the one hand, it’s a novel that is still very much on people’s minds. And it’s a fascinating story with very strong characters that we want to follow. I think there are a lot of elements that will attract viewers. ”

Same story with Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette.

I think we have the means [de réaliser la série]. But it takes courage. And it’s not something you can do halfway through.

Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette

success in the bookstore

Released in 2012, The American bride it was a huge success in bookstores. In Quebec alone, his sales are close to 70,000 copies, confirms his publishing house Marchand de Feuilles. Translated and sold in the United States, the novel notably won the Booksellers Award.

The initiator of the adaptation project, Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, says she immediately fell in love with this extraordinary work. “I have the impression that Éric Dupont is our Gabriel García Márquez. I like the originality of the story, which is very Québec and territorial, but also very explosive. We recognize ourselves in the characters, who are very touching, very rooted. They can be our brothers, our sisters, our uncles, our aunts, our neighbors … ”

colossal task

The titanic task of turning this 700-page brick into a miniseries has been entrusted to Guillaume Corbeil, co-writer of the series We (Club illico) e Notices (VAT).

I accepted before I really understood what I was getting into! I really enjoyed the book. It was when I reread it that I realized the extent of the challenge.

Guillaume Corbeil


PHOTO BERNARD BRAULT, PRESS ARCHIVE

Guillaume Corbeil

“I like the completely carnival side, the freedom of Éric Dupont, his ability to create truly baroque paintings. I had good memories of it. And I like this pleasure of exaggeration, of completely absurd detail… For me it is a fantastic playground. ”

Éric Dupont is “very open” to the changes that will have to be made to the story to be successfully transposed to the small screen, points out Guillaume Corbeil. The latter also recently presented a first ten-page “game plan” that structures the six one-hour episodes that will make up the miniseries.

“I had to disassemble the car to reassemble it differently. I had to throw things away, replace them, transform them … staying true to the spirit of the novel. ”

The charm of the small screen

After Philippe Falardeau (Raspberry time) and Xavier Dolan (The night Laurier Gaudreault woke up, scheduled for this fall), Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette comes to swell the list of directors who go from the big screen to the small. The Montreal artist has been contemplating this idea for some time.

The series takes care of one of the elements I like most about cinema: the characters. I also find that there is an increasingly ambitious TV, with paradoxical characters who have weaknesses and who can be funny and moving.

Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette

The director knows the challenges to overcome in order to reconstruct an era. He also rubbed his shoulders with it white dog, his latest feature, which will be released in theaters in November. This is the film adaptation of Romain Gary’s novel of the same name, the action of which takes place in 1968.

“It allowed me to practice,” he says.

As with Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, the desire to invent a TV series is not new to Pierre Even. In his words, The American bride it would be “a good way” to tame this medium.

“He is my friend Jean-Marc [Vallée], which disappeared, which led me to this. When she spoke Little big lies, said: “It’s seven 50-minute episodes, but I see it as a 350-minute feature.” It’s a bit like I see it The American bride. ”

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