Battle Of The Brave Review
By Christopher Null
Epic romance, period setting (18th century war between Britain and France over control of Canada), amazing cast (check out the last few names), Celine Dion song on the soundtrack... sounds like a recipe for success. Unfortunately, it was not to be. The film was retitled from its original Nouvelle-France to the generic Battle of the Brave and eventually dumped on DVD, at least in the U.S.
The problem? It would be easy to blame a lifeless script (poor woman and trapper have a romance, Cold Mountain style, while war rages around them), but the movie is outright sunk by its choice of leads. For some reason, the big names like Depardieu, Jacob, and Roth are relegated to mere cameos, and poor newcomers Noémie Godin-Vigneau (a rather plain and mousy type) and David La Haye (who kind of looks like that kid who ended up moving in with the family on Roseanne) are saddled with carrying an epic story (from war to accusations of witchcraft), a challenge which they can't possibly rise to. Their performances here are borderline embarrassing, and after less than an hour of this 2 1/2-hour bonanza, you'll be dying for Dion's inevitable closing number to take you away from it all. God, never thought I'd say that.
Facts and Figures
In Theaters: Wednesday 20th July 2005
Cast & Crew
Screenwriter: Pierre Billon
Starring: Noémie Godin-Vigneau as Marie-Loup Carignan, David La Haye as Francois le Gardeur, Juliette Gosselin as Young France Carignan, Vincent Pérez as Intendant Le Bigot, Irène Jacob as Angélique de Roquebrune, Sébastien Huberdeau as Xavier Maillard, Gérard Depardieu as Father Thomas Blondeau, Tim Roth as William Pitt, Bianca Gervais as Acoona, Pierre Lebeau as Joseph Carignan, Isabel Richer as France Carignan, Johanne-Marie Tremblay as Madeleine Carignan, Jason Isaacs as Général James Wolfe, Colm Meaney as Benjamin Franklin, Billy Merasty as Owashak, Monique Mercure as Hortense, Micky Sebastian as Marquise de Pompadour, Michael Maloney as Gouverneur James Murray, Jean-Louis Roux as Jean-Baptiste's Servant, Philippe Dormoy as Voltaire, Patrick Goyette as Capitaine Tremblay, Roc LaFortune as Sergent Lavigueur, David Troughton as English General, Louise Laparé as Mother Marthe-de-la-Passion, Paul Savoie as Gouverneur Vaudreuil, Maud Beauchemin as Mélodie, Alexander Bisping as Major Goodwin, Michael Rudder as President of the Court, Myriam De Verger as Isabelle Grandjean, Maxime Allard as Executioner