Pedro, a gay man with an active social life and big circle of friends, takes in his nephew Bernardo for a couple weeks. When it appears as though it might become a permanent arrangement, ... See full summary »
José Luis García Pérez,
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.
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
Saint Ralph is a triumph. It approaches the "inspirational" movie genre (think everything from Rocky to Chariot's of Fire) but manages to evoke a genuine and unique flavour in the form. It is fresh, original, funny, and extremely moving. The characters are well developed, the plot intriguing and inviting, and the dialogue simply priceless. People literally clapped in the theatre; more than half hung around for all of the credits, and groups were huddled around posters seeking more information about the film.
My favourite detail: I was simply astonished at the music score for the climatic scene. Gord Downie's version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah is breathtakingly beautiful, and perfectly set. Adam Butcher, playing Ralph, in the scene transcends the child-actor role. His face displays an exquisite complexity of emotions, chilling and sublime, while Downie sings. Truly marvelous.
The premise, by now, is familiar: a boy's mother falls into a coma, and he believes a miracle will awaken her. The movie positions itself in that delicious but awkward transition between boyhood innocence and adulthood stoicism or cynicism. Ralph is a child, becoming a man, learning the limits of his own body, his mother's body, and all the while confronting adults inability to imagine or dream. He dream's on and takes the audience on a sweet journey that will rekindle your fire. It truly is an inspirational film, without being sappy or relying on overwrought clichés.
A truly promising start for Michael McGowan, a new Canadian filmmaker.
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