Wednesday, January 02, 2008

things can only go up from here

I'm beginning to suspect that I have done something to piss off the universe, as my back appears to be euchred again.

I had 3 good days, where I drove around, went to a movie (Walk Hard - funny as hell, go see it), did a bit of grocery shopping, celebrated the birth of a new year. Hell, yesterday I was even
talking about starting up my exercise regime again today. Which is likely what did it, I think the gods want me to die of a heart attack and this is their way of ensuring that happens. Well fuck them anyway! I spent the morning crying and being generally miserable, and then my sweetie bought me a heated electric pad, so I've got the thing wrapped around me and fully expect that shortly I will be doing backflips like that guy in the commercial.

But I wanted to alert you to two excellent Canadian films that I saw in the past few days.

I wasn't even sure that I wanted to see Eastern Promises, as I wasn't all that fond of A History of Violence, and I assumed that Eastern Promises would be more of the same, you know, David Cronenberg, Viggo Mortensen, lots of mayhem and violence. But no, it is a really well done, very engrossing tale of the Russian mafia in London. Oh sure, there's tonnes of violence and the nude bathhouse fight is a scene which will go down in cinematic history, but it's a compelling story, very well told, extremely well researched, and very nicely acted by some highly competent actors. If you don't mind some gratuitous violence, do see this.

But the real surprise was Wilby Wonderful. I had never heard of this film, which was released in 2004 and reads like a veritable who's who of Canadian cinema. Sandra Oh plays a driven real estate agent married to the scruffy town cop (played by Paul Gross), who is carrying on with Rebecca Jenkins, newly returned to the small island town of WIlby, determined to make a go of things this time, with her teenaged daughter (played by Canada's newest it girl, Ellen Page). The imminently watchable Callum Keith Rennie is Duck, the dyslexic sign painter who appears in the opening scene to thwart the suicide attempt of the sorrowful Dan Jarvis (James Allodi). With Maury Chaykin as the slippery mayor and the writer/director, Daniel MacIvor, doing triple duty as the bumbling copy who is in his pocket, the cast shines in this day in the life tale of the odd assortment of characters who populate this tiny town, a town which carries a few secrets.

I actually shed a few tears at the end of Wilby Wonderful and I never cry at films. It's at once thought-provoking and uplifting, but not in a sentimental way, and it leaves one with a sense of hope. Look for this film!

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

It made me cry a little too. There were about five or six people whose little faces I just wanted to squish.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Cool flicks, I'll look for that Wilby movie. Get better soon my friend.

Allison said...

I hope that your back gets better soon. I can't believe you exercised! Ouch. Although they do say that the best medicine for back pain is to walk. Just he sure to take it easy though.

I have heard good things of both of these films, but I have yet to see them. I will most likely see Wilby before Eastern Promises. Thanks for the reminder.

Feel better!

Toccata said...

Never heard ot the Wilby movie. We need to get better at marketing our home grown films.

Sure wish that stupid back of yours would smarten up. Take it easy.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

I know, Eva, I saw you wiping them away too. I loved so many of those characters. Do you want to watch it again and we'll squish some little faces?

I think you'd love it, Dr M, and did I mention that the soundtrack is glorious as well? And the scenery!
Thanks for the good wishes.

While I didn't go so far as to actually exercise, Al, I guess the mere thought of doing so was enough to make the gods vengeful. I do find that walking around is sometimes the best relief, so I will do that more often.
I am so relieved to hear that you know of Wilby Wonderful, as I was starting to think I had only imagined it! I think you'll enjoy it immensely.

It's funny, Toccata, I thought I had a fairly decent grasp on Canadian cinema, but this one just completely bypassed me, and it was nominated for all kinds of things as well.
I have given my stupid back a good talking to, and we promise to try to work together now.

justacoolcat said...

Eastern Promises looks interesting and I'm sure the wife's love of happy endings will make her want to see Wilby Wonderful.

I suggest you watch more movies I haven't seen until your back heals,drink two bottles of wine, and blog about it in the morning.

She's Crafty said...

I am so in the mood to rent movies but to lazy and tired to walk the 3blocks to the video store. Hope your back gets better soon and doesn't cause you too much more pain. Thanks for the movie tips.

strangemange said...

Don't ever feel bad about crying, literally or figuratively, about pain. That shit hurts. ;)

I'm so sorry your back got all spastic on you again! Yay for Jer & his magic heating pad, though... geez girl, I really feel bad for you. :( Take it EASIER!

Dale said...

A History of Violence wasn't my favourite either but Eastern Promises looks, well, promising. Wilby sounds pretty good too, why don't we know about it already?

Get better soon!

phlegmfatale said...

I'll check out Wilby W.
And a film with a naked bathhouse fight scene?
I'm so THERE.

I think Daniel Craig and Viggo M are so apt to get their kits off, ain't they? They should star in a nekkid fight/love scene together. If they could throw Harvey Keitel in the mix, it would be transcendent.

jim dandy said...

I enjoyed Eastern Promises OK. I own a video store and get a bit burnt out on movies. Especially main stream stuff that's "supposed to be real good!" I get more from foreign language, indy, and art house films.
Wilby sounds good, as I like to cry with a good story. (our secret!)
I will look for that one! (dunno why I haven't heard of it yet.)
Feel Better Please Please Please!

BeckEye said...

Ah, I was supposed to go see Walk Hard over the break. Never did though. I must see it soon.

I love that little finger-flipping kid. He's a huge Internet star.

mellowlee said...

Wilby Wonderful is a great flick! I should watch it again! I was planning on seeing Eastern Promises tonight, which is great, cause now I know it isn't a stinker *G*

Man, I hope you are feeling better soon Barb, that really sucks! Take it easy *HUG*

Jetson Stamina said...

Robaxacet and scotch cures everything.

I will look for Wilby.

Sunflower said...

Hey, This is ocean with a new name.May the new year flood your home with happiness,your heart with love, your life with fulfillment, your soul with strength, your body with good health,your mind with wisdom...and your computer with lots of ram !

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Wifey will love this one, Just A. Not so sure I can do the two bottles of wine thing, as my gut is already protesting the drugs.

And I hope you find the strength to get yourself some rentals, Serah.

Oh there was tonnes of crying happening, Michelle, and too much pain to be embarrassed about it.

Somehow Wilby slipped under the radar, Dale. We actually watched it again last night!

You should be directing films, Phlegmfatale! You'd make millions.

Your secret is safe here, Jim Dandy. Do keep a watch out for Wilby Wonderful. I think you will love it.

Walk Hard is pretty damned funny, Beckeye, and the music is surprisingly decent.

You are one of the only people I know who have even heard of Wilby Wonderful, Mel. Isn't it beautiful? Enjoy Eastern Promises!

Sadly, Robaxcet did nothing for me but give me false promises, Jetson.

Hi Sunflower, thanks for the good wishes! Same back at you!

JustRun said...

Yuck. I'm glad you can find movie joy in the midst of back misery. Drink and stay in bed would be my Rx. :) Hope you're well again soon.

Bubs said...

Not only do I not MIND a little gratuitous violence, I PREFER it! Thanks for the recommendation.

Beth said...

So sad that you're hurting. But thanks for the vid reviews!

Today is Michael Stipe's birthday. C'mon by and check out my indulgent mix tape. There are Radiohead and Thom Yorke tracks ...

John Mutford said...

I'm Ziplisting those movies right away- thanks for the heads up.

Sorry about your back pains again!

Barbara Bruederlin said...

You really should have been a doctor, Justrun, that's pretty sound advice.

Oh you'll like the first one then, Bubs! Maybe not the second one.

Happy birthay to Stipey, Beth! I hope he knows how much you appreciate him. I shall be by.