|Index||8 reviews in total|
I wrote this screenplay. It was my sixth screenplay and my only to make
it to celluloid. I also worked on the set as assistant director. We had
a young and eager crew and cast.
A lot of good lines fell to the floor -- some to pacing, some to poor performance, some to my inability to communicate my vision to the cast and director.
Here's my favorite lost line: Jake tells Viktoria "We'll get you home. If Chick has to swim the Bering Strait pulling a rowboat with a rope between his teeth, I promise, we'll get you home." After considering his promise, Viktoria replies, "Atlantic would be longer swim."
The exteriors were shot in a small town southeast of Grand Rapids, Michigan. The interiors were done on the director's sound stage in Cascade, Michigan.
Natalia Nazarova has gone on to become a successful screenwriter in Moscow. I have lost touch with Tantoo Cardinal.
Watching the film is like watching one of my children. It's hard to see them stumble forward in life, sometimes making the right choice, sometimes not. But I am fortunate and proud that they are out there trying.
In response to the questions raised by lyonslib, it could have been set in any small town anywhere. When it came time to choose the name of the town, we went for Paradise for the implications, not the location, and unfortunately, our duct tape, tinfoil and, chewing gum budget did not allow us to move the cast and crew to the Upper Penninsula for filming. Already facing the challenge of writing a story where the central character was a young Russian girl, I choose not to refer to the actual Paradise and not to paint the locals as Yoopers. There are a few references to locations near the small town of Freeport where we were shooting (Gun Lake, Cascade, East Grand Rapids).
I watched this movie without any expectation, and was pleasantly
surprised. This movie has a decent, simple and believably humane
storyline, and reasonably good acting. There is no skin show or any
other excesses or exaggeration. There is nice evolution of the
characters in the movie, and the way they come to learn from and
respect one another is quite natural, just like in real life.
But what impressed me most is that the script was written by someone highly informative. I am used to American movies, where they say/write things which show that the movie makers are totally ignorant of the world (for example, the closed captioning in the movie, Courage Under fire, mentions "whisper in Iraqi" when people speak in Arabic, or in "Man on fire", Denzel explains that Bhutan was the country where there was serious trouble in the Royal family recently. The fact is that, there was a massacre in the royal family of Nepal on June 1st, 2001, and NOT Bhutan, whose king, J. S. Wangshuk, has been in power since 1972), and/or utter contempt for non-American people (a case in point: "Courage Under fire" constantly shifts back and forth between "Iraqis" and "Fuckers"). I do not even need to mention how Hollywood has usually depicted Germans (I'm sure they are totally unaware of the difference between 'German' and "Nazi') for 60 years now, and the Vietnamese in such 'acclaimed' movies as "The Deer Hunter" and "Apocalypse Now" (some of these won Oscars, right?"
Postmark Paradise, on the other hand, is a movie, from which one can learn a thing or two about another country/culture. For example, the lady states that communism in Soviet Russia made education accessible to everybody, including in Ukraine, her country of origin. It's a hard fact. The level of inexpensive education and health-care that Fidel Castro, for example, provides, will never be possible in the United States. I come from a poor country where, due to its alignment with the USSR in policies, we could avail inexpensive and quality education.
This movie also makes it a point to tell that Ukraine is not the same as Russia, that Soviet Russia is not synonymous with Russia, and that not everything associated with Russia is negative. In a time and age, where Russian mail order brides are the butt of joke everywhere, the movie-maker makes it a point to tell that NOT all "Russian" women are waiting to whore themselves out. In fact, the accompanying documentary in the DVD shows interviews with real women waiting to get married to real people for real reasons; it also interviews guys from the USA, who traveled all the way to Ukraine to meet their perspective brides.
I was also glad to listen to Willie Nelson's "I guess, I've come to live here in your eyes" during the credits.
I liked this movie. I think, you would like it too.
I rented this movie thinking it was a romance,but it's really more of a charming slice of life. The fact that is was made in my home state of Michigan increased it's appeal to me. The acting was hit and miss, some actors much stronger than others. Natalie Nazrova,as Viktoria,the Ukrainian mail order bride was sympathetic and well acted. After checking IMDb, I see Tantoo Cardinal,the other lead character has a long list of credits. I was surprised because she seemed stiff and it was difficult sometimes to read her emotions.Perhaps that's how they wanted the character of Reenie played.The cinematography was good and the plot kept my interest. I would recommend it to anyone who likes small independent films with realistic settings and characters, and to any Michigan native.
A small indie on a modest budget, but solid production values, good
pacing. This is not really about mail order marriage, the films focus
is less on the "bride" and intended groom, more about the small
community, some strong character development. I liked it. Tantoo Renee
is very convincing as the jaded barmaid with a heart of gold. The
supporting actors are believable, the comedy is underplayed and doesn't
detract or interfere with the story line.
It would have been so easy for the director to go for a couple of climatic scenes or confrontations, and that he did not is to the films credit. It plays out as it might in real life, with measured ups and downs, no explosions or car chases, just flawed people who we can come to care a about and identify with, growing a little, learning a little.
Recommended for those who like thoughtful, surprising film fare. To this
viewer, it is somewhat reminiscent of Local Hero. Not recommended for
adrenalin junkies or those who thrive on sophomoric humor. I gave it a 7,
though might change my vote to 8 over time. (I've never given a 10, and very
At the time of this writing, there are 21 votes in the rating. Unweighted average is 8.1, weighted average is 2.9. Two votes are "1", one each for 5 and 6, all others are 7 or over. Three votes by males 18-29 average 1.2, presumably weighted or it would be mathematically impossible (1+1+5)/3 = 2 1/3. I've often wondered about the secret algorithms for weighted averages. By this film, it seems apparent that 2 males 18-29 carry more weight than all other demographics combined (19 votes). Sigh.
Despite its comedy theme, Postmark Paradise is moving and profound.
twists in the
plot, screenwriter Dan Slider managed to make this story anything but
Tantoo Cardinal and Natalia Nazarova were perfectly cast for their roles. While the rest of the cast were relative unknowns, that's the way this movie needed to be to effectively depict life in a backwoods Michigan town.
Winner of the East Lansing Film Festival, the movie was a constant sell-out. Sell-out crowds also attended Postmark Paradise when it was shown in our small community to raise funds for the local library. After seeing it, everybody I saw exiting the theater voiced high praise for Postmark Paradise.
Like "The Full Monty" this film is a sleeping giant that will be a hit through word of mouth.
I first saw this movie at the East Lansing Film Festival a few years
ago. I liked it enough that when it came out on DVD I bought a copy.
One of my criteria for a good movie is "will I watch it again".
Postmark Paradise certainly meets that standard. I think it's a film
that slipped under the radar.
Postmark Paradise is a gentle comedy loosely based on the phenomenon of the international "mail-order" bride. Tantoo Cardinal does a fine acting job and the writing is much better than average. The film provides some good laughs along the way--don't miss Viktoria's song. You'll be pleasantly surprised by Postmark Paradise.
The movie was not bad at all, and the acting was just fine. The only thing that bothered me was that it did not look like Paradise, Michigan at all. Unless of course there is another Paradise other than the one in the Upper Penninsula. Does anyone know? I am familiar with the Grand Rapids area, too, and know where The Dirty Shame Bar is located, but I'm just confused about if the Paradise I know of (just south of Whitefish Point where the Edmund Fitzgerald went down in the 1970s in Lake Superior) is the same village as what was portrayed on the movie. It just did not look familiar at all. I know that sometimes there are places with almost the same name (i.e. Garden and Garden City), so am wondering if this is the case with this movie or not. I don't know why this bugs me so much, but I'm curious as heck! And I'd like to know where the other Paradise is.
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