Summer's almost here, and there's a fine crop of Canadian films on the horizon, including comedies, dramas, documentaries, thrillers, and U.S. co-productions (and one U.S. doc that sneaks in because it's about Neil Young).
Here's a run-down of some of the great films that are hitting theatres in the next few months - if you're thinking of a trip to the theatre, think about one of these:
EDWIN BOYD: Citizen Gangster
Already open in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver and now expanding to Winnipeg and Halifax, 'Edwin Boyd: Citizen Gangster' is based on the true story of a war vet and family man turned bank robber. Oh and he's also trying to become a Hollywood star. Folks are saying this is the role of Scott Speedman's career so far. He was nominated in the Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role category at this year's Genie Awards. Co-stars Kevin Durand and Charlotte Sullivan were also nominated.
INDIE GAME THE MOVIE
It's sometimes hard to see Canadian documentaries in the theatre and this one is no different. But if you happen to be in Toronto over the next week, check out this underdog story for the digital age. 'Indie Game' captures the aspirations, pressures and challenges of today's independent video game designers as they try to break into a multi-billion dollar market. A hit at Sundance and Hot Docs, hopefully it will see a wider release.
The film is already open in Toronto and Vancouver, and on June 1 it expands to Montreal. Samuel L Jackson in a Canadian film? You betcha. After twenty‐five years in prison, Jackson's Foley is finished with the grifter's life. When he meets an elusive young woman named Iris, the possibility of a new start looks real. But that pesky past keeps coming back to haunt him.
A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO ENDINGS
It premiered back at TIFF 2010 but now the whole country can finally see it (if you are in Vancouver, Toronto, Vancouver or Montreal and later on Calgary). An all star cast of Harvey Keitel, Jason Jones, Scott Caan, Paolo Costanzo, Wendy Crewson, Tricia Helfer and J.K. Simmons holed up in Niagara Falls to shoot this comedy about gambling and brotherhood.
388 ARLETTA AVENUE
Toronto actually played itself in this stylish and atmospheric thriller about privilege and justifiable paranoia. And it was shot entirely from the vantage point of surveillance and handheld cameras! Nick Stahl and Mia Kirshner star.
TAKE THIS WALTZ
We've been waiting a long time for this one. Director Sarah Polley returns with Take This Waltz, a Toronto-in-the-summer -love- and -betrayal-story. Michelle Williams stars as a married woman who becomes obsessed with her neighbour - but she's married to Seth Rogen!
While Stacy Peralta's 'Bones Brigade' documents the west coast skateboard scene of the 80s, another film emerged out of this year's Hot Docs, turning the camera on Canada's east coast scene right now. Moncton documentary photographer Jaret Belliveau unveiled what starts out as a gonzo skate movie then turns into a surprisingly heartfelt documentary that bears witness to the power of community, dedication and the DIY spirit.
'Trailer Park Boys' fans rejoice. While waiting for the rumoured third installment of the film series, check out creator Mike Clattenburg's latest venture about four men working for a moving company. Will Sasso, Charles Q. Murphy, Victor Garber and Gabrielle Miller star. Fun Fact: the script was co-written by Clattenburg and east coast singing star Mike O'Neill. There's no trailer yet so here's a some music the two Mike's made together.
NEIL YOUNG JOURNEYS
OK, this isn't exactly a Canadian movie but it qualifies by association. It's a Canadian story about a Canadian icon. Like Jonathan Demme's two other docs on Neil, most of the film consists of a simply filmed live performance, this time at Toronto's Massey Hall, forty years after he first played at the iconic venue. But we also get taken along as Neil returns to Omemee, Ontario, where he grew up
DIARY OF A WIMPY KID: DOG DAYS
A co-production between Canada and the US, 'Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days' sees its hero Greg Heffley still keeping a diary and still being wimpy. And Toronto's Devon Bostick returns for a third time so that has to count for something.
LEGEND OF A WARRIOR
When you are an emerging filmmaker and the son of a legendary Martial Artist, the script really writes itself. Here Alberta's Corey Lee reclaims his Chinese roots by training with his Dad, the legendary Frank Pang Lee and in doing so, explores their father son connection. Martial Arts fans will also recognize Billy Chow, whom Frank trained throughout his career.
FOR A GOOD TIME CALL
Celebrated Canadian short film director Jamie Travis goes feature length with a bang, teaming up with Lauren Miller (Mrs. Seth Rogen), Ari Graynor, and Justin Long for the latest installment of Hollywood's R-rated female fare. Sundance audiences loved it and by all accounts it's going to be BIG. It's so fresh it doesn't even have a trailer yet but here a cast interview from Sundance:
Related stories on Strombo.com: