A lone woman occupies an empty building, waiting for something to break her stasis, in the new feature from director Denis Côté and actor Larissa Corriveau.


Wavelengths, TIFF '23

Mademoiselle Kenopsia

Denis Côté

In the vast, empty halls of a large building — maybe a school, a church, or some combination of both — Mademoiselle Kenopsia (Larissa Corriveau) occupies a sliver of space. She checks on the rooms, inspects the industrial kitchen, and takes calls from a distant supervisor. She is entirely alone. Unless she isn’t.

There’s really no point in describing Denis Côté’s latest any further: Like the eponymous character, Mademoiselle Kenopsia simply exists, waiting for us to take notice. Côté has moved in and out of experimental spheres for the entirety of his career, building fictional worlds around real people in Carcasses (TIFF ’09) and Curling (TIFF ’10), and taking relationship dramas to the edge of genre in Vic + Flo Saw a Bear (2013). With his latest project, he and frequent collaborator Corriveau do something new. It’s a performance piece, and a meditation on loneliness. It’s theatrical, and wholly cinematic. It’s about the isolation we’ve all just shared, embodied in one person.

Vincent Biron’s eerily precise camerawork encourages us to look closer, adding to the nervous tension as Côté slowly reveals what sort of movie we’re watching. And Corriveau — who co-starred in Côté’s recent features Ghost Town Anthology (2019) and That Kind of Summer (2022), and whom Festival audiences might recognize from her key roles in Nelly (TIFF ’16) and Viking (TIFF ’22) — holds it all together with a performance so strong you can feel Mademoiselle Kenopsia’s gaze even when she’s offscreen. It’s downright haunting.


Official Selection, 2023 Toronto International Film Festival


Thu Sep 07

Scotiabank 7

Wed Sep 13

TIFF Bell Lightbox 4

Thu Sep 14

Scotiabank 12