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short takes (1)

French Canadian films are also struggling to establish a toehold in American theaters, but Les Bons debarras -- called "Good Riddance" in English -- is not a felicitous example. The main character is a young girl trying to grow up in an emotionally turbulent household that includes a retarded man and her own pregnant though unwed mother. The setting is sordid and some of the details are disgusting, though the drama is well acted, and directed with an intermittent sense of nuance and restraint by filmmaker Francis Manciewicz.