Cinemanovels

(Canada, 2013, 89 mins, DCP)
Director:
Cast Lauren Lee Smith, Jennifer Beals, Ben Cotton, Kett Turton, Katharine Isabelle, Catherine Michaud, Gabrielle Rose
EXEC PROD Jennifer Beals, Giuliana Bertuzzi
PRODS Kristine Cofsky, Terry Miles, Lauren Lee Smith
SCR/CAM/ED Terry Miles
PROD CO Cinemanovel Films
Classification:
Guests in attendance. Dedicated to the memory of film critic and VIFF friend Ian Caddell.

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A stale relationship, a woman’s spiritual awakening, a distant father who cares more about his art than his family—Terry Miles’s latest takes these tropes and combines them in fascinating ways. Grace (Lauren Lee Smith) is vulnerable and dissatisfied, open to inspiration, but having a hard time finding any. It’s certainly not coming from her marriage: husband Ben (Ben Cotton) is a bubbly urban professional, genial but oblivious. She’s also the daughter of John Laurentian, a giant of art cinema, and when he passes away she decides to curate a retrospective of his films. This brings her into contact with Adam (Kett Turton), a neighbour in her building and a longtime devotee of her dad’s work. Her project is the start of a journey, but one without a clear destination.

The film is strong on detail: every social situation, every behavioural quirk, every peripheral particular that we see rings true. And, as with the best realist films, there’s a foundation of mystery beneath the surface. Men and women, money and power, cinema and life—in this tangle of relationships some things are resolved and others remain elusive. Grace’s travails are often funny and always poignant; her struggle to define herself is small-scale, but heroic nevertheless.

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Terry Miles
Cinemanovel Films
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