Saturday, 19 September 2020
Canadian Double Feature
Thursday, 19 March 2009 00:00
canadian Over the weekend I was lucky enough to see two films that made me very proud of the changing face of our Canadian film industry. I use the word “changing” because it can no longer be said that Canadian films are simply dull, depressing or uninteresting to a wider market. If you want to do your homework check out this shortlist of recent Canadian movies: C.R.A.Z.Y., Fido, Sharkwater, Passchendaele; each one is highly original, top-quality entertainment that is helping us Canucks have a voice in the international movie industry.

Now add to that list Growing Op. Filmed right here in Moncton, this is a “high”-ly entertaininGrowing Op Posterg comedy that I can’t imagine anyone not enjoying. Those of you who were able to attend the sold out screenings on Saturday will know what I mean.

This coming of age comedy is about a sheltered teenager named Quinn Dawson. His parents operate a marijuana grow-op out of their suburban home, but all he wants is a normal life. Escaping his parent’s private jungle becomes even more tempting when he falls for the new girl next door. In order to get closer to her Quinn “rebels against rebellion” by enrolling in public high school.

Growing Op really is top-notch entertainment and far exceeded my expectations. It has exactly the right combination of a well-written script, obviously high production standards, and great acting throughout. Steven Yaffee is the loveable Quinn, Katie Boland really stands out as his sarcastic sister, and a brilliant performance by Wallace Langham as their father really grabbed my attention.

If you haven’t seen it yet, I strongly recommend picking up Growing Op on DVD.

oneweekposterThe second Canadian film I managed to take in is One Week. Joshua Jackson (TV’s Fringe) stars as Ben Tyler, a young “everyman”. He’s a teacher, engaged to be married in only a few weeks and floating through his pleasant existence. A visit to the doctor changes all that when he is told he has cancer and probably less than two years to live. Listening to the profound advice printed on a “Roll Up the Rim” Tim Horton’s cup, he abandons all responsibility and heads West on a vintage motorcycle. The idea is to experience a real adventure before resigning himself to a hospital bed for grueling treatments. This aimless journey baffles his fiancée (Liane Balaban) who can’t understand why he would delay treatment, much less leave behind the people who love him.

Ben’s progress is marked by the incredible landscape as it changes from city lights, to open fields, to the vast mountainous range that is the Canadian Rockies. The scenery is really a prime reason to see this movie and it makes me poneweekpicroud to live in a country with such a vast and diverse landscape.

What would you do if you knew you only had a short time to live? Realistically I don’t think we can ever know for sure unless we are faced with it. But one thing that struck me about One Week was that it was very realistic. It finds the humor that often coexists with tragedy in our lives. The characters are flawed, they make mistakes and you feel their uncertainty. There is no sudden life-altering “revelation” though Ben searches hard for one and does have a lot of interesting experiences along the way. There isn’t a Hollywood ending. It is simply a thought-provoking story well told.

It was once nearly impossible to see homegrown content in this part of the country, but with better exposure these films will become more widely available. So let’s do our patriotic part, get out there and support good Canadian films in theatres. With greater demand comes greater supply. The quality of these films proves it is both time and money well spent.