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It's sometime in the 1970's. Fifteen year old loner Agnes Marie Pottie - nicknamed Mooney - dreams of escaping life in New Waterford, a coastal Nova Scotia town on Cape Breton Island. She has quiet contempt for most of the people around her - including her large family - who don't share her sensibilities. They, who are ruled by Catholic mores, in turn think she's unconventional and weird. She thinks she's realized her dream when, with the help of her teacher Cecil Sweeney, who himself has escaped to New Waterford to find himself (at which he has been unsuccessful so far), she has been awarded a scholarship to attend an art school in New York. Her dreams are temporarily dashed when her parents don't allow her to go. She devises a plan to get out of New Waterford, one that goes against her loner status. In the meantime, a bit of New York comes to New Waterford in the form of Lou Benzoa, who, with her dance instructor mother, has temporarily moved next door to the Pottie's to escape life... Written by
When writer Tricia Fish moved to New Waterford at age 13 with her family, her six-year-old brother ran into their kitchen one day all bloody, and happily said, "I made a friend!" She incorporated this into the movie, in an identical scene with the character of Darcy, Lou's little brother. See more »
When Moonie goes to Sweeney's trailer, as she is walking through the field there is for a second the shadow of the camera operator on the ground on the right side of the frame. See more »
I wasn't really born here, you know. When I was a tiny infant, my real mother, a famous opera singer, dropped me from a silver jet as she passed over what she saw as a beautiful tropical coastline. God's country.
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Allan Moyle, the director of "New Waterford Girl" captures the right atmosphere of a small town in Nova Scotia. He shows us how the people live in this isolated area. The life of the small village, with all its local characters, is presented by Mr. Moyle in a way that affects us into feeling for these people in that barren place.
The best thing going for this movie is the brilliant performance by Liane Balaban. She plays Moonie Pottie, a girl that wants to break away from the boredom of the town and go away to pursue her ambition. This young actress' face registers a lot of emotions going on inside Moonie's mind. She knows the only chance for her to get out of the mediocrity in which she lives is to become pregnant because invariably, those fallen girls are sent away to have their children.
Luckily for Moonie, she finds a friend in Lou, the rebel American teen ager who arrives from the Bronx to hide away with her mother and young brother. This is the only part that doesn't make much sense, but it's a diversion to the story that otherwise would be too confined to just the locals. Lou gives Moonie a confidence that the latter one didn't know she had. Moonie grows up helped by her friendship with the tomboyish Lou, who is too wise for her young age. Tara Spencer-Nairn does a wonderful job in recreating Lou Benzoa.
The film takes a while to click with the viewer, but it will stay in his mind for days after having seen it. The Pottie family is presided by Francis and Cookie. As played by Nicholas Campbell and the always excellent Mary Walsh, this family shows an inner strength, even at times of great crisis.
Andrew McCarthy is also seen briefly as the teacher that wants a better life for Moonie, who inspires her to break away from this small town. Cathy Moriarty plays, yet another, boxer's wife. She has nothing to do in the film.
This small movie will charm those willing to take a trip guided by the sure direction of Allan Moyle.
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