Coach Joe Newton has used the sport of Cross Country Running to teach simple but important lessons to high school boys for the last 50 years. "Always do your best", "be on time" and "it's ... See full summary »
The first ever feature-length film to capture the essence, drama and unique spectacle of the famed 26.2-mile race, the production features five runners - three amateurs and two elites - as ... See full summary »
Without one eccentric first-generation Jewish immigrant from Transylvania, the New York City Marathon simply wouldn't exist. Ehrlich's fun, loving, and inspirational tribute to the late ... See full summary »
It's 1945, and 16-year-old Terry dreams of waiting tables at the Airlines Hotel in Gander, "Gateway to the World at War!". When his mother becomes ill and their house is quarantined, Terry conjures up the hotel world to keep his fears at bay, complete with a spy mystery and a romance with the vivacious Laurie Dwyer. But with a war outside and death upstairs, Terry must choose between boyhood ... See full summary »
Chronicles the motorcycle trip of Ben Tyler as he rides from Toronto to Tofino, British Columbia. Ben stops at landmarks that are both iconic and idiosyncratic on his quest to find meaning in his life.
Forty runners compete in the most grueling race on earth, the Badwater. The film documents the trials and tribulations of these athletes as they run 135 miles through Death Valley in July ... See full summary »
Amy and David are two underachievers from suburbia. Amy has had a rough life raised by her neglectful drug addicted single mother. David has been raised in a more conventional family, but ... See full summary »
This film is centered on three young men in their early twenties - a transitional times in their lives. Saturday night Scrabble games, speaking in a shared code and hopeless schemes for ... See full summary »
It's the 1953/54 school year at St. Magnus Catholic School in Hamilton, Ontario. Fourteen year old Ralph Walker is in many ways a typical teenager. He is experimenting with smoking and is openly preoccupied with the opposite sex, which makes him the brunt of jokes amongst his male classmates and which constantly gets him into trouble with the school's strict headmaster, Father Fitzpatrick. As penance and to redirect his energies, Father Fitzpatrick orders Ralph to join the school's cross country running team under the tutelage of the school's avant-garde thinking teacher, Father Hibbert. Some of the more unusual circumstances of Ralph's life are that he lives by himself in the family home, telling the authorities that he is living with his paternal grandparents (who are in reality deceased), and telling his widowed hospitalized mother (Ralph's father was killed in the war) that he is staying with a friend. Ralph's focus in life changes after his mother falls into a coma. It will take ... Written by
The name of the imaginary author of Ralph's manual on long-distance running, Simon Longboat, was borrowed from the great Canadian runner Tom Longboat, who won the Round the Bay Race in 1906 and the Boston Marathon in 1907. See more »
The actual winner of the 1954 Boston Marathon was Veikko Karvonen from Finland. His finish time was 2:20:39. See more »
Forgive me father for I have sinned. It has been 11 weeks since my last confession.
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One of the best movies I've seen all year. I tried to catch it in the theatre but it was vapourized too quickly and having seen it I'm completely baffled- surely Canada can afford to promote movies a little better than this. Many such missed opportunities come to mind ("Marion Bridge", "The Hanging Garden" et al). This is one of the best of its genre, the extremely gritty dedicated athlete/musician/singer/painter who takes on the world against all odds. But this is done with a twist. It all takes place in the 1950s in very Catholic parochial school Ontario.
Ralph (Adam Butcher) is a brazen but cute 14-year-old student fighting the system but inwardly grieving his Dad, who died in the recent war (WW2)and his extremely ill mother who lies in a coma in the hospital. This is never sentimentalized, his exchanges with his mother before she slips into her coma are beautifully written and believable.
How he cobbles together his faith and goes out to seek a miracle is the crux of the story but there are many lovely sidebars, his almost-girlfriend who wants to be a nun, his best friend who forges notes for him, a fun loving nurse, played by the never disappointing Jennifer Tilly, squeaky voice in place and some disbelieving factory workers who mock his attempts at athleticism.
Ralph is a fully developed character, his sinful side clashing consistently with his puritanical, self-punishing side, his innate flirtatiousness offset by his being picked upon by the older boys in his school. Adam nails the role to such a degree that one forgets he is acting.
A younger priest (Campbell Scott plays this beautifully) with a secret past agrees to help the young boy and Gordon Pinsent plays the part of the older rigid priest with conviction even though he has some thin dialogue to sink his teeth into the movie's only weakness.
The sexuality content is handled well and honestly with none of that gruesome teenage guffawing that litters other movies of this ilk. Because of this content it would not be suitable for children which is a shame, but it is not gratuitous and is an intrinsic part of the Catholic sin quotient of the era. 8 out of 10. A marvelous, thoughtful film.
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