Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Maury Chaykin, Paul Gross, Rebecca Jenkins, Daniel MacIvor, Sandra Oh
Director: Daniel MacIvor
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy, Drama
A day-in-the-life dark comedy concerning a group of islanders their respective secrets and one mans plan to kill himself quietly. Studio: Repnet Llc Release Date: 05/23/2006 Run time: 99 minutes
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The Wickerman | Austin, TX | 04/19/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"You know, I really love finding stuff like this. From the mind of the tragically underrated but extremely talented Canadian filmmaker Daniel MacIvor comes "Wilby Wonderful", a quirky offbeat tale of love, redemption, and other random things. Basically it's a day in the life of the residents of Wilby, a small and tightly-knit island community. There's not really a main plot on the whole, but rather several smaller plots that sort of intertwine and fit together nicely.
The story follows a variety of colorful characters, including a depressed gay man who continually attempts suicide; a teenage girl (played perfectly by the ever-amazing Ellen Page) who is struggling to maintain relationships with her promiscuous alcoholic mother and her jerk boyfriend, who is pressuring her into having sex; a high-strung real-estate agent (Sandra Oh) whose fierce dedication to her work is putting a serious strain on her marriage; a handyman (played by an unfortunately unknown actor named Callum Keith Rennie) who oddly seems to offer solace to everyone he meets, and many others.
The characters all face their own conflicts, which all escalate as the day progresses, and each plot thickens as their paths cross. With a movie like this, the challenge is keeping everything focused and organized, and MacIvor does an excellent job of this. The performances are great across the board, and the story is filled with genuine emotion and just a bit of dark humor to balance things out. It may sound a bit bleak and depressing by my description, but this is ultimately a feel-good movie that never feels sappy or contrived. It also manages to be quirky and unique, but still pretty realistic. You sort of get the feeling that these kinds of things probably really do go on in small towns all over the world, that sort of struggle to maintain a balance between the conflict of the individual and the comaraderie of the community.
Finally, the cinematography is excellent as well. It has this sort of simplistic, pastoral feel that's perfectly conducive to the mood, and the location (somewhere in Nova Scotia, I think?) is really beautiful. I really like the music too. There's at least a couple of songs in here for which I really need to find the artist.
Anyway, this is just a really great movie, one that I could watch over and over and never get tired of. I really wish MacIvor would make more movies, because I really dig his style. He did one before this called "Marion Bridge" (which also stars Ellen Page, and the woman who played her mother in this one), which is also really good. I definitely need more."
You don't have to live on an island to be insular, but it he
niente | 02/23/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This quiet film perfectly captured for me the essence of living in a small community where people still care about who your parents were and what you did in high school long after the glory of prom night has passed, and where political corruption can be truly small and petty and yet still ruin people's lives. It's a surprisingly sweet film considering the dark nature of the central plot. An excellent ensemble cast practicing some fine, tightly controlled acting, makes it enjoyable to watch as events in the small town pass through a possible crisis. I'm just happy I don't have to live somewhere like that (ever again.)"