Paul Gross stars as the leader of a recently reunited curling team from a small Canadian town. This offbeat comedy follows the team as they work through their respective life issues and ... See full summary »
James B. Douglas
A hardened American gunslinger is repeatedly thwarted in his attempts to mount a showdown in a friendly town in Canada where no one seems to understand or appreciate the brutal code of the American Wild West.
The six-part half-hour miniseries starring kids takes a new approach to the mafia mentality by bringing the mean streets to the schoolyard with the kids running the show. Mourners of the ... See full summary »
Louise is living in Montreal, unemployed. Her sister Paulette often gives her a hard time. She only gets to see her poetry-quoting married boyfriend Julien once a week. She hangs out a lot ... See full summary »
The Country is in a spin when the prime minister drowns, Canada is thrown into a national crisis. His son, Tom McLaughlin takes over the realm promises to bring much needed leadership to the country. All the while lurking behind this chaos, a conspiracy of international proportions threatens the existence of Canada itself. Where action will speak louder than words. Written by
Paul Gross stars in this self-styled Canadian political thriller which aired on CBC over the past few nights. The two-part series originally aired last fall but I forgot to catch it, and heard little in its aftermath. It's a rare thing - a Canadian political thriller... I'd describe it as vaguely similar to House of Cards (the exceptional 1990 British political black comedy), with hints of the ridiculousness of Canadian Bacon and even X-Files.
Upon the death of his father, the Prime Minister in a suspicious canoeing accident, Tom McLaughlin-- a seemingly decent chap-- outwits rival and unlikeable snorer Marc Lavigne (right away, that name stuck out as bit too much like mass-murderer Marc Lepine) to become Canada's new PM. Backed by a media baron-- part of a trio of corporate bigwigs with mischievous smiles-- McLaughlin rides a wave of popularity to start hatching a subversive scheme. It becomes apparent McLaughlin is about to sell Canada down the river by exporting water through a far-fetched (or is it?) water pipeline from Northern Quebec. It's necessary, he claims, or else the increasingly parched United States will end up taking it anyway. But it turns out McLaughlin has a gun to his head, and is a mere puppet for a pseudo-Bilderberg all-powerful group of old men who control the world.
Strangely this group seems to only have the resources for one secret agent: the elusive Daniel Holt, who is everywhere and nowhere. He knocks off cops who get too close to the truth, wiretaps the Solicitor General (Lavigne), tortures wrongfully imprisoned muslims, and recruits Cree youth in Northern Quebec for devious plots.
Meanwhile, the head good cop Sgt. Leah Collins, played by Leslie Hope, is busy figuring out who Holt is and trying to establish what really happened to McLaughlin Senior during his canoeing trip 'accident'. Mild flirtations with PM Tom McLaughlin and finally a pact with Lavigne bring her closer to the truth.
The opinions we form of the various characters are in a state of flux; with the burning question being: If your neighbour were thirsty would you not give them a glass of water? It would be nicer if the plot had a smoother flow - more a Saint Lawrence than Hell's Gate. But the film editing, sound and cinematography are luscious. Night time fly-by shots of Parliament Hill are interspersed with evil looking Gargoyles and the Rideau Canal.
Gross by far steals the show, and I'm looking forward to seeing how the heck he's going to turn into John Diefenbaker in the upcoming Tommy Douglas Story.
The conclusion is unsatisfying, but it's hard to say what would have been a happy ending. It's almost as if the inevitable, the unavoidable, the manifest destiny took hold. All in all, any political nut would find this at least mildly amusing. Somehow though even with the explosions, blackouts and murders this film doesn't rate with the 2002 mini-series Trudeau.
Someone mentioned that McLaughlin could not have possibly become Prime Minister in such a short thing. Well, actually one doesn't have to even be elected to be Prime Minister, legally (remember John Turner, briefly 1984). And this movie does take place over a period of many many months. This is fiction, folks, and it's not bad. It's by no means a great film, but it's entertaining.
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