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Christmas on the Canadian prairie: Harlan, a small-time grifter, plans a big con with his moll Fiona, scraggly and half his age. Expensive watches "on loan" from a jeweler, cash borrowed at a high vig from a tribal fund manager, and an old violin are props in the con; a pawnbroker with a safe full of money and various well-armed or well-protected thugs get their ores in as well. Problems, crosses, and double-crosses mount: Harlan finds himself on the stick's short end as the night progresses. Whose money will end up where? And for whom will this be a silent night? Written by
Film noir Canadian style shot on a shoestring budget. Kevin Pollak in a rare lead role. Some interesting twists and turns. Lies and deception. Happy ending. It is refreshing to have the film set at Christmas, and creates opportunities for delightful contrasts with low-lifes and Christmas music.
I love the genre and I liked the movie. Not great by any means. But it moved along nicely and had enough subtleties and nuances that it felt fresh and not simply derivative. Oh, and Liane Balaban is fetching without working too hard at it.
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