Sweeping Forward (Review)

Everyone finds themselves dealing with this problem, whether they know it or not, and this problem is anxiety of competition. It doesn’t just affect average folks, it affects most of us in the film industry too, especially me. And that’s what this movie focuses on, fear of competing against someone who may be better than you. Patricia MacDowell worked hard to write, produce, and direct this film and it shows just how much effort is put into such a powerful story. I’m normally not fond of sports, but this was kind of interesting.

Our protagonist Bess Lavigne (Anne-Marie Saheb) has this problem in particular as it’s revealed she is trying to take some anxiety pills but has this feeling that she will lose. At curling. That’s right, our main character is a curler, can’t get any more Canadian than that (Even her license plate is a Canadian flag). Years ago, Bess was one of the best curlers of all time, but since an incident years ago when she was young, her father gave up on cheering for her at a game which made her uncomfortable since then.

Let’s just say this mental health issue of hers becomes more serious to the point where it’s hard to go grocery shopping and even focus. Then one day at her job as a cleaning lady at the hospital, Bess comes across four other women who have problems as well.

What does Bess do with these four women? Well, Bess manages to tell her boss an alibi saying one of the women slipped on the ice while curling to cover up the truth about the woman’s abusive boyfriend. Bess’s boss (Marjolaine Lemieux) takes this as the truth and decides to make Bess the coach of the four women in a curling trial to teach them curling. Bess feels uncomfortable about this at first, but takes it anyway as her close friend Sally (Lydia Bouchard) also offers to help with the teaching and from there, things get interesting. I mean, really, you don’t see many women in stilettos and miniskirts going to a curling rink.

The movie itself is kind of silly, but there’s a lot of power to it as well. Pure Canadian content, from the concept to the characters, to stuff in the background. It’s a good Canadian film, but the stereotypes make it look like something you’d expect to be produced from people in the U.S. who have a loose grip on our country. On the other hand, it’s kind of funny as well. The whole layout of the story however delivers a powerful message about solving more than one problem for one person. The film shows that anything can be achieved as long as you work hard at it, and if you believe in someone they believe in you too, especially with overcoming anxiety and figuring your life out. It teaches no matter who you are, you’re capable of getting something done. Of course, it also teaches the basics of curling.

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