Gabrielle follows the story of a 22 year old French woman with a disability named, well, Gabrielle (Gabrielle Marion-Rivard). She is being cared for by her mother and sister, but at the same time is living at a recreation centre with plenty of her special needs friends from her choir. Gabrielle falls in love with a 25 year old man named Martin (Alexandre Landry), but after attempting to have a more sexual relationship the two are forced apart. Because of this, Gabrielle strives to prove that she's capable of being an independent woman.
I'm going to begin by telling my own story. Prior to going into this film I had little knowledge of what it was about, yadda yadda yadda I've said this multiple times in the past week. It wasn't until I got into the cinema that I found out the film was in French, but luckily I have nothing against reading subtitles so it didn't lower my enthusiasm. By the time the film's closing credits rolled I was in love with these characters, I cared for them and tremendously wished that all would be well, although by that time I knew the outcome of the film. Gabrielle is far from the best film this year, or even one of the best, but as far as characters go this one shines.
The performances in the film are mind-blowingly realistic. Both of the main two actors are new to film, this being their debut movies, but this doesn't stop their talent from oozing out onto screen. Their captivating performances and realistic actions help to make this movie what it is. These performances spread far wider than just those two, however. The supporting cast are practically on par with more spectacular performances that helped to create a nurtured film that obviously has had a great amount of love put into it. Gabrielle feels as though it's be taken right from the director's heart.
The film gets very predictable as the story moves on. While I was rooting for Gabrielle and Martin and for the entire runtime was hoping they'd get what they want, I already knew the answer to my question. Complications do arise along the way and this led to a small moment or two of doubt, but as the film got going I already knew the outcome. This outcome was very much what I expected and while it's not a disappointing ending, it's exactly what you would expect.
To sum up, Gabrielle is very predictable and is far from being the best film this year, but it still manages to entertain with mind-blowingly realistic performances, developed characters and a director's obvious passion towards making the movie.