“Polytechnique,” Denis Villeneuve’s examination of the Montreal Massacre, has won the Toronto Film Critics Association’s Rogers Best Canadian Film Award for the year 2009.
The award, which carries a $10,000 cash prize, was presented to Villeneuve by director David Cronenberg, winner of the 2005 Best Canadian Film Award for A History of Violence, at the TFCA’s gala dinner, held January 12, 2010 at Toronto’s Nota Bene restaurant. Also nominated for the award were “Ce qu’il faut pour vivre” (The Necessities of Life), directed by Benoit Pilon, and “Pontypool,” directed by Bruce McDonald.
“Polytechnique is a film of astonishing courage,” said TFCA President Brian D. Johnson, film critic for Maclean’s, in a statement. “Without a whiff of exploitation or crude moralizing, Denis Villeneuve brings a sensitive, unflinching eye to the Montreal Massacre – an event most filmmakers would consider untouchable. Villeneuve conveys the horrific tragedy of the event while exploring underlying issues of misogyny, male guilt and institutional circumstance. Set in a haunting silence of snow and concrete, Polytechnique’s contemplative drama honours the victims by preserving the mystery of an unfathomable crime, and never pretending to unlock the psychology of the killer. With grace, empathy and a stark, formal beauty, Denis Villeneuve shows how a memorial can be an act of imagination.”