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La Florida

Year: 1993
Language: French
Format: 35mm Colour
Runtime: 111 min
Director: George Mihalka
Producer: Pierre Sarrazin, Claude Bonin
Executive Producer: Claude Bonin, Jacques Bonin, Pierre Sarrazin, Suzette Couture
Writer: Pierre Sarrazin, Suzette Couture
Cinematographer: René Ohashi
Editor: François Guill, Yves Chaput
Sound: Douglas Ganton, Jane Tattersall
Music: Milan Kymlicka
Cast: Marie-Josée Croze, Rémy Girard, Margot Kidder, Pauline Lapointe, Guillaume Lemay-Thivièrge, Raymond Bouchard, Michael Sarrazin
Production Company: Pierre Sarrazin Productions, Les Films Vision 4

Léo Lespérance (Rémy Girard), a retired bus driver, moves his family to Hollywood Beach, Florida, where he sinks his life savings into a ramshackle twelve-room motel. Things seem to go well at first. But Léo soon begins to experience problems with his teenage daughter Carmen (Marie-Josée Croze), his son Cyrille (Guillaume Lemay-ThiviPrge) and, most of all, with his wife Ginette (Pauline Lapointe), who has developed a romantic attachment to a has-been lounge singer named Romeo Laflamme (Michael Sarrazin). All the while, Léo must fend off the machinations of a determined local land developer (Margot Kidder) who has set her sights on Léo’s property. However, after several bad turns, things eventually work out for la famille.

La Florida is a somewhat simplistic comedy that blends the American Dream (financial independence) with the Québécois dream (a life of sunny luxury in Florida). The film was very popular in Quebec; the opening sequence, which shows the family packing up to leave during a Montreal blizzard, has a special resonance in Canadian cinema. La Florida failed to take home any Genie Awards, despite eight nominations, but won the Golden Reel Award for highest box-office gross.