Paule Baillargeon's THE SEX OF THE STARS is a gentle comedy-drama about a 12-year-old Montreal girl who longs for the return from New York of her father, who abandoned his family seven years earlier. What Camille, who prefers to give her age as 12 3/4, doesn't know is that Pierre
underwent a sex change in the interim; when he returns as Marie-Pierre, she faces a difficult re-entry into the loving father/daughter relationship she once knew.
Adapted by Monique Proulx from her 1987 novel, THE SEX OF THE STARS has an intriguing premise weakened by sub-plots that are considerably less compelling. An astronomy enthusiast, Camille (Marianne Mercier) scans the heavens nightly and wishes that life on earth could have the order and
predictability of the stars. When she is confronted by Marie-Pierre (Denis Mercier), Camille is troubled. This is her father, yet it isn't, and, although she persuades him to stay on for a time in Montreal, Camille recognizes that her world has changed irrevocably and can never be like that of the
heavens, where stars exist in genderless harmony. Camille is also tugged in other directions: toward Lucky (Tobie Pelletier), a wild kid who limps around with a walking stick, and who wants to introduce her to sex and drugs; and away from her mother (Sylvie Drapeau), whose angry response to her
husband's return gives vent to emotions Camille can't bring herself to feel.
"Stars are like people," notes Camille at the beginning of the movie. "They're born together, then live their lives, sometimes all alone, sometimes in pairs." Proulxs' screenplay is continually searching for similes to link on-screen action with heavenly activity, but the film works better
without such comparisons, as a bittersweet tale of troubled souls against an elegantly shot Montreal whose dark blues and greens more accurately mirror its characters' emotions. THE SEX OF THE STARS is a small film, but it is carefully assembled and sensitively acted, particularly by the veteran
and newcomer Merciers repectively (no relation), the latter bringing an intelligent radiance to her difficult role. (Adult situations, sexual situations, profanity.)
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- Released: 1994
- Rating: NR
- Review: Paule Baillargeon's THE SEX OF THE STARS is a gentle comedy-drama about a 12-year-old Montreal girl who longs for the return from New York of her father, who abandoned his family seven years earlier. What Camille, who prefers to give her age as 12 3/4, doe… (more)