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Hidden Diary (2009) - Plot Summary Poster

(2009)

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  • Pregnant and living in Canada, Audrey visits her parents in the small French town of her birth. Over the holiday, she comes to learn the story of the grandmother who gave up her family, left, and never returned - and in doing so compels another revelation from her own mother.

  • Audrey moved to Toronto ten years ago for a job. Upon news that she, single, is pregnant, she makes a last minute decision to return to her French coastal hometown for a few days to contemplate her situation. Her initial thought is to get an abortion when she returns to Toronto, as she and the father, Tom, an artist, are no more than just friends, both who are nowhere close to being equipped to be parents or a permanent couple. The trip is also despite she having just been assigned a big project at work, which means this trip will be a working vacation. In France, she will be staying with her parents, Michel, an optician with his own business, and Martine, a general practitioner, both who she doesn't plan to tell about her pregnancy. Audrey and Martine have always had a difficult relationship, Audrey who feels that nothing she does is good enough or proper enough for emotionally cold and judgmental Martine. Instead of staying with her parents, Audrey, who wants the peace and quiet of being alone, decides to stay at the closed-up house of her recently deceased maternal grandfather, Gilles, who was a tailor with his own shop in his working life. Martine and her younger brother Gérard have decided to keep the house for the time being, it their childhood home. There, Audrey discovers a notebook that belonged to her maternal grandmother, Louise, who abandoned the family when Martine and Gérard were children, Louise who was never seen by the family again. After Louise's abandonment, Gilles immediately burned all her possessions, leaving nothing now for Martine and Gérard as keepsakes of their mother. The notebook is both a cookbook of what were Louise's favorite recipes, but also her journal, she describing how stifled she feels in her life, despite loving her children. The notebook is also stuffed with several family photographs and a large wad of money. Thus, the notebook becomes a mystery about Louise for Audrey: why she didn't take it and especially the money when she left. Audrey speaks to some people who may be in the know, such as Gilles and Louise's longtime neighbor Suzanne, who admits she didn't know them well. But Audrey is largely guided by Louise's spirit, which fills the house and notebook. In making certain discoveries and as she goes through her early pregnancy, Audrey may find greater peace in her strained relationship with her mother, who Audrey does not plan to tell bout the book in Martine's possible hurt feelings toward her mother.

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