A Canadian therapist has one last chance to keep his own personal life afloat by avoiding a job transfer to Gimli and working to help three patients suffering from extreme post-traumatic stress disorder.
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Thirty-two year old Winnipeger Joel Rothman's personal life falls apart after his wife, Mari, catches him cheating. Following, he can't sleep which affects the parenting of his adolescent daughter Jenny. A therapist, he dismisses the work of counseling his patients. Because of his poor work, his Health Maintenance Organization (HMO), his employer, wants to transfer him to the small town of Gimli, which he doesn't want both for his own sake and Jenny's. As such, he begins to do whatever he can for his three remaining patients - Victor Koblinsky, Chandra Mergulhao and Sophie Winters - who he counsels in group therapy. Although each of the three has a different issue with which they are dealing, each does suffer from delusional thoughts the result of post-traumatic stress syndrome. Joel is under pressure from the HMO to certify all three, despite his assurance that all three are getting better. Ultimately, Victor, Chandra and Sophie have to convince him of what is reality and what is ...Written by
A fabulous, intelligent film and a credit to Canada!
I'd like to begin this review with a warning - before watching this movie please take care not to watch any of the special features on the DVD version nor read too many reviews since several (including some of those on this site) give away important plot points that will utterly spoil any viewing for you! With this in mind I won't attempt to discuss the film's plot in great detail. There are plenty of twists and turns and the story stays gratifyingly away from clichés. All four lead actors (Jonas Chernick, Callum Keith Rennie, Michelle Nolden and Lindy Booth) put in terrific and powerful performances. (No surprise with Rennie who is most certainly one of the finest actors currently working in cinema & television although largely unsung in the US and the UK) All four characters are absolutely believable and all are multi- layered. The three latter actors (playing the former's patients) manage to convey their characters' balance of vulnerability with manipulation and make the viewer sympathetic to their individual plights whilst being appropriately discomforting to watch at times. There are some clever cinematic devices used (of which you will become more aware once you have watched the film in its entirety and studied the extra features on the DVD) but these are done cleverly and subtly and not at all self-indulgently. This is a fabulous, intelligent film and it will leave you thinking. And you'll probably be debating it for a time to come. You'll certainly find it isn't the film you thought you were watching at the outset!
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