Pip is a street kid who's meeting life head-on in the big city. On his eighteenth birthday he receives his grandfather's Second World War memoirs on audio cassette, a gift that awakens the ...
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Margaret Anne Florence
Pip is a street kid who's meeting life head-on in the big city. On his eighteenth birthday he receives his grandfather's Second World War memoirs on audio cassette, a gift that awakens the ghost of the long lost world. His grandfather relates the story of the day he turned eighteen, fleeing German forces through the woods of France with a dying comrade hanging on for life. In Pip's own and contemporary way, he begins to live the parallel life of his grandfather, both lost in their environments and generations. Along Pip's path he stumbles into an unlikely alliance with Clark, a gay street hustler on the make, and Jenny, an aspiring social worker who tempts Pip with feelings of love and domesticity. He also forges a small but important relationship with a local priest, in whom he confides his deepest secret: the death of his brother and the heinous act his father committed against him before his passing. Written by
It's nice to see a film from Canada with a Canadian focus. We Yanks tend to be a bit parochial in that if it ain't American, it can't be much good-- after all, we invented movies and hey, where's Hollywood anyway? This little film which gives us several peeks into Canadian middle class which isn't much of a departure from what some American Indie would have made about marginalized people, e.g., street people, hustling gay men, etc. The story line which begins confusedly and pops back and forth from flashbacks to back-story, then fuses the two in a very confounding manner to bring the viewer back to the present and then a quick cut to the future at the end. This is a morality tale of redemption, suffering and quasi-resurrection, melded into a young man's odyssey seeking virtue in an amoral world. The acting is generally weak: Pip the main character is completely unconvincing as an innocent youth wandering lost because of self-loathing and self-betrayal. He comes off as a spoiled brat who loathes anything smacking of responsibility more than he abominates his own self-perceived and self-condemned failings; Paul Anthony neither looks nor acts 18 in this role. His counterpart in the back story, Brandan Fletcher is quite convincing of the 18 year old Jason, caught in the throes of WW1, helping a dying comrade and having to kill or be killed. Indeed, the contrast is notable and highlights Anthony's not too attempts at misplaced and miscounted youth. Carly Pope is charming as the girl-friend albeit her love interest in a young spoiled homeless kid does not come across very well. David Beazley and Clarence Sponagle are fine in their roles of young gay men attempting a relationship and Serge Houde as Pip's hypocritical beast of a father and the ever brilliant Alan Cummings as the gay Priest gives the story the necessary added texture of complexity, duplicity and ambiguity. All in all, a decent film that could have admittedly better but then too, it could have been disastrously worse.
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