While visiting his hometown during Christmas, a man comes face-to-face with his old high school crush whom he was best friends with -- a woman whose rejection of him turned him into a ferocious womanizer.
When a Las Vegas performer-turned-snitch named Buddy Israel decides to turn state's evidence and testify against the mob, it seems that a whole lot of people would like to make sure he's no longer breathing.
The previous review gave a good summary of the movie's plot, so I'll just give some of my impressions of the movie.
This is a very solid, touching Canadian independent movie. It is hard to get ahold of in the U.S. (at least right now.) I was able to order it through a Canadian video retailer via E-bay (Viewers Choice Video [firstname.lastname@example.org]).
I had wanted to see the film because Helen Shaver won a Genie (Canadian Oscar) for the movie last year, and I am a huge fan of hers because of "Desert Hearts." Wow. Going from playing a cool, elegant, blond, NYU English Professor in "Desert Hearts" to a strung-out, let-it-all-hang-out, chatty prostitute in "We All Fall Down" is a bit of a shocking turn (and very brave!)
The movie portrays the seedier side of Vancouver, British Columbia. As an American viewer who has lived in the South Side of Chicago, I was struck with how nice, civil, and family-centered even the slums of a big Canadian city are shown to be. Maybe niceness is a general Canadian characteristic, even in the bad parts of town.
(Yes, there was some violence at the beginning and end of the movie, but in the way people interacted with each other throughout the movie, the violence was the exception rather than the rule, so much so that the violence seemed like a plot device to shape the movie's theme, more like an effective metaphor for what was happening in the main character's mind.)
Compare the portrayal of the seedy side of life in this movie to Gus Van Sant's of Portland in his first 3 movies. I'd definitely take Martin Cummins' Vancouver over Van Sant's Portland!
I liked the unapologetic portrayal of a young man openly grieving over the death of his mom, who dies of cancer in her 40's. No macho b**s**t there. I found it striking since I am so I used to the hyper-aggressive, mega-macho portrayals of manhood in most movies.
This is a movie for those that enjoy the type of independent film where the writer/director has an uncompromising vision that he or she is trying to bring to life, whatever the commercial consequences.
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