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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Underrated Canadian indie explores issues of love, identity and loss

Author: wonderdawg from Duncan, Canada
9 January 2005

Things I Liked About The Movie:

. Sabrina Grdevich as Lola brings an intriguing screen presence to the role of a woman who may only reach her true potential by becoming someone else. It is impossible to determine what an attractive complex woman is thinking at the best of times and when you consider that the title character is going through a profound transition in her life it is no wonder the men she meets on her road to a new self realization look suitably baffled. . I like the way director Carl Bessai contrasts the urban rush of Vancouver traffic with the serene beauty of the British Columbia Interior. It is only when Lola leaves the jangle and confusion of the city and heads out into those windswept wide open spaces that she begins to achieve some sort of clarity. She flashes back to her chance encounter with Sandra (Joanna Going, memorable in a small role). Lola only spent a few hours with her new friend before tragedy struck but the woman made a deep impression on her. Lola is finally able to see her life with insensitive husband Mike (played by the reliably fine Colm Feore)for the emotional dead end that it is. Like Atom Egoyan in "The Sweet Hereafter" Bessai uses landscape to put character and story development into a psychological context. (The rugged mountainous terrain of the Interior is like a Canadian equivalent of John Ford's Monument Valley westerns.) . Like all stubbornly idiosyncratic independent pictures this film moves at its only deliberate unhurried pace with Bessai giving his lead actress lots of room to explore the nuances of her character. Some readers have complained that the film moves along too slowly and nothing much happens along the way. They miss the fact that much of the action here is on an internal level. As a lifelong fan of the female mystique I find Ms. Grdevich's face fascinating to watch as her character sorts through issues of identity, love and loss and finally decides to get a life ... even if it is not her own.

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4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Searching for one's self....

8/10
Author: jlvilandre from Canada
26 December 2006

Living in a city as beautiful as Vancouver has its dark side, in more ways than anyone can imagine. Attracting lost souls at an early age is one of the lures of British Columbia's only glittering and inviting city cozily lodged on the shores of the warm Pacific Ocean and nestled in view of the surrounding Rocky Mountains.

Teenager dreams of squirting out of small towns and abusive family relationships abound and mostly end up in a wasted life naively domineered by pimps, drugs and finally untimely death is commonplace.

When Lola, a somewhat unfocused and distracted girl being psychologically abused by her boyfriend, decides to change her life, accidentally finds herself in a journey to find motherly love in an unknown woman.......

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A prime example of a film that should have been 15 minutes shorter.

6/10
Author: Shaun Gerow (randymeeks@canada.com) from Prince George, B.C., Canada
5 February 2002

Lola is a perfect example of a movie that should have been at least 15 minutes shorter. There simply isn't enough story here to warrant Lola a tag of being a good film.

Don't get me wrong, Lola isn't terrible. The acting is good. The Sandra and Lola characters are polished fairly well. But seeing the main character walking in downtown Vancouver doing almost nothing will keep a moviegoers attention for so long.

I gave Lola 6 out of 10.

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6 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Interesting movie, Wonderful acting

8/10
Author: marxisdead from Ottawa, Ontario
26 November 2002

The One line Summary says it all. Don't expect too much action, this is a rather slow movie where you have to do your work and think to fully enjoy it. The main actress is incredible; she plays two different roles and you truly believe she is two different people.

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6 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Fantastic Canadian Indie

Author: whipit7 from Toronto, Canada
13 July 2003

Great little movie. Shot in the mountains in Alberta, a simple story about a girl running away from her older partner too journey home. Colm Feore and Sabrina Grdevich both do fantastic jobs. It's nice to see that movies like this are made in Canada where it seems acting/directing/writing talent is pretty sparse these days.

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4 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Somebody send Lola a plot

Author: Brya5938 from Canada
16 June 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Found this piece-of-drek DVD in the bargain bin of my grocery store. Even at $4.99, it was overpriced.

It starts off interestingly enough: Lola, the young woman sits prim and mute in a big leather chair, the camera moving gently back and forth until we hear her therapist ask, "Why are you here?"

Lola: "I don't know."

Therapist: "Well, what do you hope to accomplish here?"

Lola: "I don't know. I kind of feel like... I don't know."

Then, she gets up and walks out. End of scene. What the heck are we supposed to take from that? There MUST be a better way to dramatize a main character in search of identity than that.

I think that's the main problem: the director, Carl Bessai started off as a camera operator and went straight to director without ever learning screen writing along the way. There is only the slightest semblance of story, numerous implausible plot turns, wooden characters, dreadful on-the-nose dialogue and no coherent character arc to pull the viewers in.

Compromises are rife throughout this movie, aside from the choice of director/script. Sabrina Grdevich (Lola) may be a fine actress but was clearly not ready for this movie. She seems plump and her performance seems guarded. There is a short nude scene, for example, where she remains conspicuously clothed.

Her husband, played by Colm Feore, is a brutish one-dimensional character and one cannot see how they ever ended up together.

Joanna Going (I love that name) plays Sandra and is a charismatic actress but is given little to do, except say bad lines. She should have got the lead if you ask me, as Sandra is quickly killed off by a loan shark. Apparently nobody bothered to ask Mr. Bessai why a loan shark would kill his client - how then would he collect?

Amateurish mistakes: there is a scene where you can clearly see the camera crew reflected in a store window as the character walks down the street - duh?

About half way through the movie, Lola boards a train out of town and the story has run out of gas. She meets some guy, a plumber, who tells his story and goes away; she meets another guy hitchhiking and nothing comes of it; she meets Sandra's mother who, conveniently enough, has gone blind and, supposedly, can't recognize her daughter anymore.

Lola wraps up the movie by saying "I'll be around." The writer forgot to put in the part about why we're supposed to care.

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