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Monica La Mitraille

Also known as Machine Gun Molly
In French, with English subtitles (2004)

Monica: "If I were a guy, no one would care. It was the only way out I knew."

Born into poverty and the victim of tragedy, trapped in the traditional female roles of the post-WWII era, Monica Sparvieri's biggest mistake was that she found bank robbery more interesting and fun than prostitution.

Monica isn't what I would call a sympathetic character -- it's hard to feel sympathy for someone who loves armed robbery so much that it gives her goosebumps -- but she was still just trying to make a living the only way she knew how. Celine Bonnier did a terrific job portraying the complexities of this character. Monica felt like a real person to me.

Monica had three serious relationships. She was married twice. Her first husband, safecracker Michael Burns (Frank Schorpion), refused to include her on jobs. Her second husband (or maybe he was just her live-in boyfriend?), Gaston Lussier (Patrick Huard), took her more seriously. In the end, though, with three kids at home and all of her men in jail, Monica finally met her match: a volatile bank robber (Roy Dupuis) with whom she could Bonnie and Clyde.

I don't know how they went about casting this movie. But if they gave Roy Dupuis his choice of which of these three male leads he wanted to play, he certainly picked the right one. Gerry doesn't come in until the last forty-five minutes, but the character is a live wire; Dupuis just jumps off the screen and dominates the last half of the movie. Dupuis and Bonnier are very believable as lovers and partners; it was like they'd known each other forever. (Gee, I wonder why.)

The final scenes of the movie, which I can't describe without giving away the ending, were terrific. I really liked this one. Can you tell?

Three out of four stars,

Billie Doux loves good television and spends way too much time writing about it.

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