This is the story of an extremely obese, rather immature, yet very bright and talented young man, and of his world and the people in it... mostly homeless young adults... who refer to their... See full summary »
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This is the story of an extremely obese, rather immature, yet very bright and talented young man, and of his world and the people in it... mostly homeless young adults... who refer to their lives and where they live as their individual "planets," and everyone else as "refugees." But there are problems in his world, where a talent for the piano has been reduced to playing Chopin on a piano that has had the strings cut by his mother out of frustration at his incessant practicing... the same mother who now requires him to be there to administer her insulin shots. Still, because he is a 'good boy', he plays on the soundless piano, and takes weekly lessons from a piano teacher so eccentric that she will only allow him to strum out the notes on her dining room table... until, like real planets when other bodies get too close, he finds himself pulled and moved in a different direction. Written by
BOB STEBBINS <email@example.com>
Blame the TV commercials - the movie is better than you think.
I was pleasantly surprised when I finally stumbled upon the airing of this film on CBC after a relentless and annoying ad campaign than had made my eyes glaze over. Had CBC simply let one scene run in its entirety, it would have represented the film a lot better. Contrasting selected scenes from the film with their samples in the ad would be an education in the power of editing. Scenes, lines and gestures that played corny and over-acted in the ad were properly paced, naturally, in context. My only criticism is that an early scene where Sarah Polley goes along with a video-camera-toting couple gave me a chill I interpreted it as the last we would see of her character. . .because of the Bernardo-Homolka overtones. Then after all the build-up of that little scene, there is no follow-up. The scene might have been intended to imply what COULD HAPPEN on the street, but it felt a little cheap and manipulative, a false scare in an otherwise more organically moving little film. Except for that little tacked-on tangent, and the fact that we share the indignanty of seeing the large lead actor shirtless a couple of times, I think the film is underrated. Nice to see Margot Kidder as a flakey friend, and the supporting cast in general help to buoy the shy fellow whose story is being told. Again, Sarah Polley is especially centered yet oddly authentic as a panhandler. Just make sure you're in the right mood.
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