Review: Dead Cat

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“What were Catherine and Louis thinking when they chose a cat with distinctive white spots? It would have been much easier to replace if they had picked the all-back one! Now, they will have to tell their daughter Sophie that Nugget’s dead. Unless…”

That synopsis is a great setup for a dark comedy Chat mort (Dead Cat). The french-language short film written and directed by Danick Audet and Annie-Claude Caron, focuses on parents who care so much about the psychological and emotional health of their young daughter, that they come up with elaborate plans to evade telling her that their pet cat, Nugget is dead.

The film is well executed. The direction and editing enhance the comedic timing and the delivery of the actors. There are times when the camera cuts away from a reaction or punch line so quickly that joke sets in during the sequence that follows, making it even funnier. One specific shot that made me laugh in the cinema (perhaps inappropriately) demonstrated the perils of a child who is ill-prepared to deal with the death of a pet by showing one of the Sophie’s friends stone-faced in goth make-up, holding a black balloon. There is a lot of story and comedy crammed into a tight 12 minutes.

Chat mort (Dead Cat) was paired with feature film I Used to Be Funny at IFFO, the International Film Festival of Ottawa, on March 14, 2024. The festival continues until the 24th. Check out iffo.ca for more information and to purchase tickets.

You can check out Dead Cat next at the Canadian Film Fest and Festival REGARD. It is great to see that the film was on the shortlist for the Best Live Action Short Film award at the 96th Academy Awards and was awarded Best Narrative Short at the Tribeca Festival in 2023.

More info & links:

  • Writers / Directors: Annie-Claude Caron & Danick Audet
  • Cast: Léane Labrèche-Dor, Pierre-Yves Cardinal & Lilas-Rose Cantin
  • Dead Cat on IMDB

Jith Paul

Web Designer, Editor, Film Reviewer

Jith Paul is an independent filmmaker based in Ottawa. While pursuing a career as a software engineer, he decided to take a detour to follow his passion for film and filmmaking, establishing Treepot Media in 2010.

He is a co-founder of the Ottawa Canadian Film Festival, and editor of the film613 blog.

When he is not busy fighting crime, he coordinates the efforts of an international team of software developers and service providers as the Team Lead for Digital Development at CPAC, the Cable Public Affairs Channel.

jithpaul.com