21 user 27 critic

Whole New Thing (2005)

After years of being home schooled by hippie parents, Emerson is enrolled at his local high school. The intelligent and androgynous youth confounds his classmates and captures the attention... See full summary »


Amnon Buchbinder
11 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Aaron Webber ... Emerson
Robert Joy ... Rog
Rebecca Jenkins Rebecca Jenkins ... Kaya
Daniel MacIvor ... Don
Kathryn MacLellan ... Ms. McPherson
Drew O'Hara Drew O'Hara ... Todd
Ryan Hartigan Ryan Hartigan ... Jeff
Geordie Brown Geordie Brown ... Buddy
Callum Keith Rennie ... Denny
Jackie Torrens Jackie Torrens ... Claire
Lisa Lelliott Lisa Lelliott ... Massage Guest
Leah Fassett Leah Fassett ... Laura
Samantha Spencer Samantha Spencer ... Debra
Rebecca Regan Rebecca Regan ... Teri
Marguerite McNeil Marguerite McNeil ... Don's Mother


After years of being home schooled by hippie parents, Emerson is enrolled at his local high school. The intelligent and androgynous youth confounds his classmates and captures the attention of his English teacher. The teacher-student relationship leads to problems for everyone involved. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Who was YOUR first crush?


Comedy | Drama


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Parents Guide:

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Official Sites:

Official site




English | French | Spanish

Release Date:

8 January 2006 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Révélations See more »

Filming Locations:

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada See more »


Box Office


CAD 750,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,949, 6 April 2007, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$11,445, 11 May 2007
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


The film was written in two weeks then filmed in 15 days. See more »


Rog: How often do you masturbate?
Emerson Thorsen: After every meal. I floss, too.
See more »


Featured in Whole New Thing: Deleted Scenes (2007) See more »


Builds the Bone
Words and Music by Joel Gibb
Performed by The Hidden Cameras
Published by A Common Enemy
See more »

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User Reviews

odd but occasionally compelling tale of adolescence
27 October 2007 | by Buddy-51See all my reviews

What happens to people who are raised without conventional social boundaries? Emerson Thorsen (Aaron Webber) is a thirteen-year-old boy living with his aging hippie parents in rural Nova Scotia. Even though they clearly love their son, Roj (Robert Joy) and Kaya (Rebecca Jenkins) often act more like Emerson's pals than his parents (they have the annoying habit of querying him about his burgeoning sexuality). After years of home schooling, the sensitive, highly gifted Emerson is enrolled in the local middle school where he immediately stands out from the more conventional members of the student body who have no interest in discussing poetry or reading Shakespeare. Emerson not only has problems relating to the other pupils, but he develops a crush of sorts on his English teacher (Daniel MacIvor, who co-wrote the screenplay), a common enough occurrence, except that Emerson, so long shielded from the societal norms of the outside world, feels no compunction not to act on his feelings, creating complications for everyone involved.

Alternately touching and queasy, "Whole New Thing" is a generally sensitive coming-of-age tale that distinguishes itself with its novel setting and its unusual set of characters. The movie doesn't always feel like it knows where it's going, but that can be as much a recommendation for the film as a criticism of it. There are times when it seems as if it is going to go completely off the rails - particularly in the marital travails of Roj and Kaya - but it always manages to somehow right itself at the last minute. Only at the VERY last minute does it fail to do so, succumbing to an ending that is far too abrupt, upbeat and amicable for what has gone before.

The acting is strong, and there is just enough complexity in the characters and storytelling to make us suspect that MacIvor (who has directed a number of films of his own) and writer/director Amnon Buchbinder, should they choose to collaborate again, will do even more sophisticated work in the future. As it stands, this is a promising early effort for the filmmakers.

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