While Whistler Film Festival is long behind us and Shaun ended up doing event coverage this year instead, I still got a good chance to watch some movies at WFF which were highly discussed but never really covered by anyone else on here yet. I ended up watching a lot of the good ones this year around (and most of them are already covered anyway) so here’s three films I got to watch, and enjoy, and some of the most discussed lately.
The Artist’s Wife – An artist’s rendition of an artist’s wife’s lifestyle, this movie tells the story of an aging artist named Richard Smythson (Bruce Dern) and what his lifestyle is like with his young wife Claire (Lena Olin). But lately, Richard has been taking up drinking more than he has painting. Eventually, Alzheimers gets the best of him putting a kink in the love life so Claire goes to her stepdaughter Angela (Juliet Rylance) for help to hardly any avail. One day after a drunk incident, Claire decides to take up painting herself. That’s probably for the better because Richard gets more aggressive and his newfound crazy-go-nuts attitude gets him fired from working as a college art teacher. Somehow, no matter what happens, the family can’t seem to connect very well at all. Despite all the shouting and chaos among Claire and Richard, and even Angela and her family, the film shows the importance of family in a lovely, funny, and even heartwarming story. Art is a great way to express, especially in media form. One has to admire what Richard accomplished somewhat in his own stupor. It’s amazing what one can destroy and also at the same time somehow create when they’re going nuts. Somebody once told me “We’re artists. We don’t drink, we don’t smoke, we make art.”
To that I say, “Speak for yourself.”
The Marijuana Conspiracy – Okay, I was invited to this one by the director. It was interesting. Everybody knows Vancouver (and eventually, the rest of Canada) is famous for being the go-to spot for drugs, especially Cannabis. Fellow writer Darren says the legalization will most likely make Canada more friendly than it already is and small convenience stores will boost in sales on snacks. Personally, I’m skeptical about it myself because when I took a hit of the stuff, I started experiencing anxiety attacks. Long story. Anyways, this story is based on a true story set in Toronto in the 1970s. An experiment called Project Venus goes underway with the plan to lock girls into a big old recreational place in a college and study the effects that the weed have on them even giving them money for doing so. So Dr. John Bradow hires a newly drugged youth Barry (Greg Calderone) to manage over the dosage to the girls with the help of his supervisor Dr. Harlow (Paulino Nunes) who stands as the girls’ disciplinarian. Much like another film I saw, we get quite a mix of ladies. The girls consist of Mourinda (Tymika Tafari), a black lady who often deals with discrimination, Mary the street teen with nowhere to go (Julia Sarah Stone), Marissa (Morgan Kohan), who isn’t the most clearest at thinking, Janice the big dreamer (Kyla Avril Young) who has moved to Toronto after an unexpected brownie incident with her mother, the hippie girl Jane (Brittany Bristow), and several others like Joanne (Alanna Bale) who didn’t manage to stay for too long for reasons (In Joanne’s case, she lied on the application). As the test goes on, Marissa gets acquainted with Adam (Luke Bilyk), one of the researchers, Dr Harlow tries to set things right, Janice gets homesick and anxiety, the crabby Nurse Alice (Marie Ward) gets super strict given her little tolerance for these highly dosed girls, and the girls themselves get to know each other through weed and doing macrame as per the study. This film was very funny and well made, and had a lot of well developed details for being made out of just an article. It’s interesting to see what people thought of the cannabis back then, and how Pierre Elliott Trudeau didn’t trust it as much as his dear sonny boy does. Certainly different from more recent expectations. A great worthwhile film, that everybody enjoyed.
Spinster – Since I know I always cover a movie about the single life and there’s always someone single who occasionally browses this site for articles about love, I guess this one seems fitting enough. This movie is about a woman named Gaby (Chelsea Peretti) who has the birthday breakup blues after her boyfriend leaves her due to her rushing a relationship. Her friends are encouraging her to have kids, her father (Bill Carr) is encouraging her to get a new boyfriend, and her brother (Josh MacDonald) encourages her to babysit his niece Adele (Nadia Tonen) who is currently with his ex-wife. After Gaby fails to pick up a baseball pitcher and a chiropractor, she tries to search for a perfect man online, and only manages to land one through lying, long enough for a 1-night stand. Gaby ends up getting a dog instead and at the same time gets to know her elderly neighbour (Kirsten Olivia Taylor). Suddenly it seems after getting a cute dog, Gabby’s life seems to be more in order as she teaches her niece to think for herself, plans to open her own restaurant, and even find a nice man (Jonathan Watton) while out on a hike. The movie was well made and gave humorously good feels. While it was silly mushy-gushy lovey-dovey, it was a very beautiful concept. The script was practically suited for the lead actor making the same isolated story. It was one of those few films that shows sometimes being alone actually is okay.