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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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Many, many, times. And I have to say, it gets better each time you watch it. The nuances of a Cape Breton accent (I was pleased that the writer and several of the actors came from Cape Breton, and even from New Waterford itself), the expressions on the faces (Liane Balaban's face is VERY expressive, so make sure you remember that other people are in the movie, too), and the various little relationships. For instance, take the character of Joey, who obviously follows Mooney around as much as he can (near her at the wedding; standing outside the church when she comes out, following her to a party... They don't show it in the film, but I imagine he probably stood outside her house sometimes, hoping she'd come out).
This movie is very much worth watching if you're the type who watches a movie three times over one weekend. Or if your like me, trying to transcribe less-popular movies so people who love the movie can read the transcript and remember what the dialog sounded like, and enjoy the experience of the movie again and again, even if we don't have the DVD (or the tape, if you like it like that).
Unless you already love independent films of one variety or another, this movie may not be for you. It IS a bit quirky (I've read complaints about that), but the quirkiness isn't overbearing. It's just an accurate portrayal of the freaks and psychoses that people in a small town develop over time, with lack of contact to "people from away." (Father Madden, for example, and Dr. Hogan) If you like this movie, try Lawn Dogs, or The Quiet Room, which are still more independent than Hollywood, but will get you into the Independent genre without making it too difficult.
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