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After the mysterious death of their infamous director, members of a formerly renowned theatre company reunite for his wake. The grieving widow welcomes the thespians to her country house, but the drama intensifies when old rivalries and jealousies erupt, exposing a myriad of secrets and lies. Written by
A Wake is a really great bit of cinema. It's all about the acting, and the performances are excellent. A little bit of Hamlet, a little bit of Opening Night and it's all set up as a riff on The Celebration. It seemed to be so well written I was surprised to learn that the actors were improvising; it must have been the swift editing that made it all seem so tight. The only criticism that I can think of is the title because it is not so much about death as about performance; it's theatrical without losing it by going over the top. Buitenhuis has taken the chamber drama concept of Dogma and put in a Canadian winter setting, so you get that closed in cabin-fever sense, along with a group of fairly wild personalities trying to work out some festering issues from the past. I can't wait to see it on the big screen!
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