Interview: Director Maxime Giroux on the Adult Romance of Canadian Oscar Submission 'Félix and Meira'
Jose here. In the sensitive romance, Félix and Meira, Hadas Yaron and Martin Dubreuil, play the title characters, two lovers who bond through their loneliness, but must struggle with their very different backgrounds, and the fact that she’s married to someone else. An insightful look at Montreal’s Hasidic community, the film is peculiar for its restraint and might be one of the most memorable romantic films in recent years. Director Maxime Giroux paints a unique portrait of people seeking connections that go beyond typical “movie love”. I spoke to him about the film’s origins, casting his leading lady, and being in the race for Oscar.
JOSE: At the beginning of the year I spoke to Luzer Twersky who told me the film originally was supposed to be a comedy. How did you end up with such a subdued romantic drama instead?
MAXIME GIROUX:It’s funny, when we started to imagine the movie, I’d just made a dark movie and I wanted to make a comedy. The more we talked about this community and understood it, the more obvious it became it would be difficult to make a comedy, because people like Luzer for instance, who leave the community, have a hard time making that decision. A comedy about that would not have been easy to make.
JOSE: He said instead what you ended up with was making the movie that best captured the Hasidic experience.
MAXIME GIROUX: He would know that better than me, I never lived in that community (laughs).