Widowed father Jim and his twenty-seven-year-old son Caleb run a custom furniture business in the Slocan Valley area of British Columbia. Jim is the craftsman who will do whatever is necessary to produce a quality piece, regardless of cost to the company or customer wants. Caleb is the business person who tries to reign Jim in, realizing that if he cannot do so the business will fail. Into their lives returns Matthew, an old friend of Caleb's parents from back in the days when they were hippies during the Vietnam War era. Jim was an American draft dodger and Matthew was an American army deserter. While Jim has stuck to his idealistic hippie roots, Matthew is now a wealthy developer who is building a lodge in the area. In discussions solely with Caleb, Matthew commissions chairs to be made for the lodge. Seeing this contract as a way for the business to flourish, Caleb agrees but asks Matthew not to divulge to Jim that the chairs they will be making are for him, as he knows Jim will ... Written by
Tell him to fuck off.
Tell who to fuck off?
Jim. You gotta tell him to fuck right the hell off.
What are you talking about?
You love him right?
Then that's what you have to do. Look. Jim told his dad to fuck off. He said "Pops, I'm moving to Canada. Fuck you, I'm gonna grow my hair long." I told my dad to fuck off, they told their dads to fuck off. This is the history of western people, Caleb, I mean it's about the only meaningful tradition we have left.
... You know, we ...
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After viewing Aubrey Nealon's first feature "A Simple Curve" I was struck by the ability of this young writer to evoke such a compelling impression of growing up in the wilds of British Columbia with Hippie parents intent on getting back to the land. Nealon wrote and directed this beautiful film and really demonstrates the makings of a great filmmaker.
This coming of age story really does a brilliant job of intertwining the story of the young protagonist Caleb and his father Jim. The tension set off between the two characters is heightened by the interesting similarities between Jim's first days in the Valley and Caleb's struggle to escape. The more Caleb rebels against the ideals of his father the closer he comes to him.
The dialogue moves seamlessly from drama and high seriousness to dry wit and sarcasm, weaving together the stories of a strong cast of central characters. The writing for each character is excellent and the actors' performances only serve to flesh out Nealon's already keen instincts for character development.
As a twenty something myself trying to escape the clutches of parental conditioning and New Age utopianism, I can say that this film really resonated with me. Like Caleb, I too have a father obsessed with Buckminster Fuller. And like Caleb, I am also struggling to make sense of myself in a world which does not conform easily to the ideals instilled in me by my parents.
I highly recommend this film.
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