Whitewash

(Canada, 2012, 90 mins, DCP)
CAST Thomas Haden Church, Marc Labrèche, Vincent Hoss-Desmarais, Geneviève Laroche, Isabelle Nélisse, Anie Pascale
PRODS Luc Déry, Kim McCraw
SCR Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais, Marc Tulin
CAM André Turpin
ED Arthur Tarnowski
PROD DES Emmanuel Frechette
MUS Serge Nakauchi Pelletier
PROD CO micro_scope
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After being provoked into a sudden (and spectacularly executed) act of violence, a taciturn widower (Thomas Haden Church, in top form) drunkenly pilots his snowplow into the depths of a wintery Quebec forest and sets about living as an outlaw. Converting his stranded vehicle into a slapdash shelter, he clumsily scrounges sundries from nearby cabins, comically serving notice that he’s hardly a natural born bandit. Mirroring our anti-hero’s increasingly delirious, sleep-deprived psyche, the reeling film flits about chronologically, methodically revealing the trauma that left him the broken man he is and the torment that landed him in this predicament. In turns loopy, tragic, morbidly amusing and suspenseful, Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais’ singular debut signals the arrival of a formidable new talent on the Canadian filmmaking scene.

“What starts as a tense thriller eventually evolves into a darkly humorous and astute character study, a Coen brothers-esque comedy of errors by way of a Jack Londonian survival story… Church has a flair for deranged humor delivered in his trademark deadpan, and in Whitewash, he’s given the difficult task of playing the straight man to his own clown. Throughout the film, he seems to fluctuate between lucid and unhinged, which perfectly matches a film whose quicksilver shifts in tone are the greatest of its surprisingly plentiful virtues.”—Drew Hunt, Slant

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