Michael Rowe’s Rest Home rolls in Montreal

25 November, 2014 by Don Groves

Cannes Film Festival best actress winner Suzanne Clément and Canadian Paul Doucet are starring in Rest Home, Australian filmmaker Michael Rowe’s first English-language film.

The psychological drama, which follows a security guard in a retirement home whose life spirals out of control when he catches his wife with a lover, pushing him to the brink of insanity, is shooting in Montreal.


It’s a Canadian-Australian co-production between Serge Noël’s Possibles Média and Trish Lake’s Freshwater Pictures, with investment from Screen Australia and Quebec’s SODEC fund.

Rowe has lived in Mexico City since he landed there 20 years ago when he was 23 with $76 in his wallet, motivated by what he drily terms as a mixture of “youth and stupidity.”

Año Bisiesto (Leap Year), his zero-budget drama shot entirely in a shabby apartment in Mexico City in 17 days, won the Caméra d'Or prize for best first feature at the 2010 Cannes festival.

Originally Melissa George and Canadian Roy Dupuis were attached to play the leads in Rest Home. George dropped out when she agreed to star in the US remake of The Slap, reprising the role she played in the original Matchbox Pictures-produced series.

Clément won the best actress prize for Laurence Anyways at Cannes’ Un Certain Regard in 2012. Her credits include Mommy, À la vie, Les hauts et les bas de Sophie Paquin and I Killed My Mother.

“Michael had met Suzanne earlier in the year, they bonded, and she signalled to us her strong interest in working with him,” Lake tells IF.

“When it became obvious because of our tiny budget film that we couldn’t shoot around Melissa’s TV schedule, magically Suzanne’s busy schedule opened up and we suddenly had a five week window so we went for it.

“Paul and Suzanne know each other well and Michael thought they were a great match.”

The other financiers are Screen Queensland, the MIFF Premiere Fund and Telefilm Canada.  Pyramide International is handling international sales and releasing in France, Rialto will distribute in Australia/New Zealand and Mongrel Media/Film Option in Canada.