Two developmentally disabled members of a Montreal choir want to exert independence and consummate their love in Louise Archambault's predictably sweet "Gabrielle." Fitting into the solid market for well-made, uplifting stories about individuals with special needs fighting the odds, the pic can also be seen as a manipulative heart-tugger directed at self-satisfied audiences who enjoy rooting for those less fortunate than themselves. "Gabrielle" makes nice use of the expressive qualities of group singing and generally avoids an Afterschool Special feel; Locarno's public prize and healthy international sales presage popular embrace.
DIRECTOR: Louise Archambault
CAST: Gabrielle Marion-Rivard, Melissa Desormeaux-Poulin, Alexandre Landry, Vincent-Guillaume Otis, Benoit Gouin, Sebastien Ricard, Isabelle Vincent