Van's father, Stan, is fond of video, always taping scenes of daily family life. But he does not take care of Van's grandmother, Armen. Although he could afford having her at home, she is ... See full summary »
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Van's father, Stan, is fond of video, always taping scenes of daily family life. But he does not take care of Van's grandmother, Armen. Although he could afford having her at home, she is spending her days watching TV in an old people's home. Van often visits her. He meets Aline, whose mother is in the next bed. Van wants to get his grandma out of the old people's home. Aline will help. Actually, Van, whose mother left, years ago, is looking for a real family life. Written by
The breakthrough film by the most stylish and original critic of the audio/visual age is a sophisticated mock soap opera charting the corrosive influence of TV and video on the fabric of modern family life. With astonishing versatility and a grab-bag of black comic gestures, writer director Atom Egoyan injects an air of deadpan, dispassionate humor into a convoluted melodrama which is less kinky than it sounds: a young man, finding his family identity threatened, rescues some nostalgic home videos before his father can erase them with homemade S&M porn, and then 'kidnaps' his neglected grandmother from her nursing home with the help of a sympathetic woman who earns a living selling phone sex. The screenplay shows a tendency toward over plotting (which should be obvious from even this thumbnail synopsis), but Egoyan unravels the many narrative knots with a rare technical and creative dexterity that earned his film the honor of being the best Canadian film of the year.
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