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!