7.9/10
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Small Avalanches (2006)

| Short, Thriller
Adapted from a short story by award-winning author Joyce Carol Oates, Small Avalanches is the gripping tale of a teenage girl's dangerous encounter with a middle-age man. Set in rural ... See full summary »

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(screenplay), (short story)
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3 wins. See more awards »

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The Man
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Uncle Winfield
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Nancy
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Nancy's Mother
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Adapted from a short story by award-winning author Joyce Carol Oates, Small Avalanches is the gripping tale of a teenage girl's dangerous encounter with a middle-age man. Set in rural Ontario in the mid-1970s, Small Avalanches follows Nancy, a surly 13 year old as she tries to find something to do on a hot summer day. After pestering her mother for some change, Nancy heads to the rundown garage where her uncle works. She walks aimlessly around the car wrecks and gas pumps, and grumbles jealously about her cousin with a babysitting job. Finding no sympathy from her uncle, Nancy returns home in the suffocating heat along a deserted road. When she is accosted by a strange and aggressively charming man who follows her from the garage, the teenager becomes confused-at once intimidated and flattered by the man's attention. As his intentions become clear and his manner menacing, Nancy escapes the would-be molester by forcing him to chase her through the forest. Overcome by exhaustion from ... Written by Lara Fitzgerald

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Short | Thriller

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CAD 75,000 (estimated)
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(RCA Sound System)

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1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
a perfectly realized short film, absorbing & creepy
14 July 2008 | by (Vancouver, Canada) – See all my reviews

Lara Fitzgerald's "Small Avalanches", adapted from a story by Joyce Carol Oates, is something of a small miracle - a perfectly realized short film. In little more than twenty minutes the director succeeds in depicting with stunning honesty the lazy nature of a rural summer day and the boredom that can consume a young person in their "tween" years. This achievement alone makes "Small Avalanches" worth watching, but in short order she then creates a progressively sinister scenario of a predatory male's efforts to capitalize on both the naive nature of a young girl and the isolation she finds herself in. Her idle walk home becomes all the more nerve wracking because she isn't fully aware just how bad this big bad wolf truly is. Max Vendrig and David Keely both play their parts without a false note in either performance, and the technical credits are first class. Here's an instance of watching a filmmaker achieve so much from so little, and that is the sort of talent that makes anyone who loves film look forward to enjoying what else they may create.


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