1h 25min | Drama | 25 May 2017 (USA)
Nova Scotia. 1976. It’s the weekend of the American Bicentennial and 15-year-old Kit is running away from home. Enlisting the help of his girlfriend Alice, Kit hitchhikes through the stunning maritime landscape towards a new home with his glamorous, artistic mother Laura. However, as Kit and Alice near their final destination they find their relationship tested as Kit approaches a realization that will change his life forever.
As a Canadian and an avid film watcher and lover, the last thing I want to see within the Canadian film industry and the films that are being released, are films that are made in Canada and may star Canadian actors and actresses, but essentially have the look and feel of an American film and in more ways than one is basically just a carbon copy of an American film. In my mind this shows no originality and is basically just another example of someone in the film world wanting to cash out and more, or less sell any artistic integrity they have and not use the beautiful landscapes, locations and things that make living in Canada great, but instead filming in big cities and trying to make a film from Canada look and feel like it is New York City, or some other big town in our big brother to the South. Thankfully over the years there have been people and organizations here in Canada that try to preserve Canadian films, talent and content such as The National Film Board of Canada, for one example. There have also been original Canadian television and film projects that are filmed here in Canada and look anything but being filmed in the states. Take the classic Canadian television series, The Beachcombers for a good example. Good stories and good acting and yet filmed completely in a logging town right on the water itself and featuring all Canadian actors. Nothing Americanized about it at all. There have also been some great examples of Canadian films showcasing our amazing country such as Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, which was an Inuit film and filmed completely up North using Inuit people as actors and having a real and authentic feel to it and yet being a great film all the same. A lot of talent is coming out of Quebec these days such as the wonderful Xavier Dolan, but we need more talent all across Canada, which is why I am so proud and thankful of a film such as Weirdos here. A film that is uniquely Canadian and just an unique film all on it’s own as well. The film takes place in the 1970’s in Nova Scotia and a lot of the film has the characters either walking, or driving across the roads there, so you can see the beautiful landscapes as well as hearing some great Canadian music from that time period in the background as well. The film was shot in black and white which I personally think was an excellent choice to give the film the unique style and voice all of it’s own. And did I mention that the cinematography is gorgeous and some of the best black and white cinematography I have seen in awhile? More directors definitely need to go back and utilize this because it is a much under-appreciated art form. The film also has all the elements of a coming of age comedy/drama, but without the usual things that would say make an American film of the same kind feel so cliché, or like something that has been done a thousand, or more times before. This one has the spirit of something like Hal Ashby’s wonderful Harold and Maude, and yet it borrows some of those similar elements that made that film so unforgettable and great, but also wants to be it’s own unique story and vision and this movie sets out and completely achieves that. The characters feel real to me in a story like this, especially the two leads and even though it takes place in the 1970’s, I feel that these characters could have easily been from right here and right now because one of the truly commendable things about Weirdos, is in a sense it is a time capsule film of that time period, but the other great thing about it is that it could really fit any time period and transcends time and world events to make it seem fresh and new right now even though it took place 40 years ago. The screenplay here must have been a lot of fun to write as it equally was to watch because it is filled with such originality both in it’s characters and showing people and their differences and eccentricities that don’t make them weird perhaps, but shows them as who they are and really gives them a chance to shine. This isn’t so much a film about weird people, but instead people who are finally given their chance to speak and be in the spotlight and I find that quite refreshing. Weirdos is one of the most inventive and original films not only in Canadian films, but worldwide in quite awhile and it is brought to life with some of the best talent imaginable. This is a highly recommended piece of work that like any good film, will grow on you as you watch it and with repeated viewings as well. Very good.
Director: Bruce McDonald
Writers: Daniel MacIvor, Daniel MacIvor
Stars: Dylan Authors, Julia Sarah Stone, Molly Parker
Release Date: 25 May 2017 (USA)
Also Known As: Nineteenseventysomething
Filming Locations: Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada