Tag Archives: Bruce McDonald

Wild about WEIRDOS

weirdos_02

 

 

Bruce McDonald’s 2016 TIFF offering, Weirdos, is the kind of film that makes you glad you went to the movies.

The title is a flashback to ‘70s jargon, where ‘weirdo’ was a common expression used to describe anyone who wasn’t like everyone else.

Set in 1976 Cape Breton, the principle weirdos in this magical collaboration by McDonald and playwright Daniel MacIvor are two teenage misfits, Kit (Dylan Authors) and his girlfriend Alice (Julia Sarah Stone,) who are desperately seeking to bring some colour into their black-and-white lives. Together they hitchhike their way to the big city – in this case, Sidney, Nova Scotia – where Kit plans to live with his glamorous mother (Molly Parker.) And although at first glance Weirdos resembles a teenage road movie, Kit and Julia soon learn that sometimes the destination is the journey.

Regardless of the size of their roles, McDonald has a wonderful way of giving his actors their moments to shine. Molly Parker should be a shoo-in for a Best Supporting Actress nomination for her tempestuous portrayal of Kit’s unstable mother. Allan Hawco offers a stellar, close-to-the-bone performance as Kit’s struggling father. Cathy Jones is heartwarming as Kit’s stiff-upper-lip grandmother. Rhys Bevan-John intrigues and entices in a high-risk cameo role that happily pays off. And thanks to McDonald’s light touch and MacIvor’s justifiably celebrated way with words, young scene-stealers Dylan Authors and Julia Sarah Stone win and keep us rooting for them from start to finish.

Given the lavish natural beauty of Cape Breton, Becky Parson’s soft black-and-white cinematography keeps us focused on story, not scenery, McDonald’s ‘70s soundtrack is a lyrical blend of rhythm and nostalgia, and all of it makes for  outstanding viewing. Weirdos is anything but weird, but it sure is fun to watch.

weirdos_01-1

 

Advertisements

FOD keeps us laughing with The Hungover Games, and Meg Tilly returns to the stage in little ol’ T.O.

FUNNY OR DIE:  On Monday I told you about the new Rob Reiner-Billy Crystal sequel to When Harry Met Sally with Helen Mirren in a key romantic role. The whole thing was a gag dreamed up by Rob and Billy for Will

MIRREN: make-believe with Billy

Ferrell’s startlingly successful comedy website Funny or Die, as you could tell almost immediately after you clicked on the sneak preview. Award-laden actress Mirren, who rarely get the chance to play comedy, was clearly up for her assignment, and watching Rob and Billy’s meetings with young, trend-happy “studio executives” is priceless. If you missed Monday’s column, or by any chance took it seriously, click here for that special sneak preview of When Harry Met 

HUNGOVER GAMES: it all seems so familiar ...

Sally 2, a movie that hopefully will never get made. Nonetheless, most of today’s major movers and shakers love sending up their own careers on FOD, and FOD loves sending up the industry that spawned it. As soon as The Hunger Games was released, and even before it achieved its mammoth box office numbers, FOD was on the case. “Each year, drunk people are selected to participate in torturous games the morning after a big night out. There’s no sunglasses, no water, and no headache medicine.” Yeah, right. To see the trailer for The Hungover Games, click here. And enjoy!

RITTER: taking a flyer

CASTING ABOUT: Ex-time traveller Scott Bakula (he did it before Erin Karpluk) is headlining a new plot, Table For ThreeJimmy Fallon is exec producing a new comedy pilot about three 30-something guys who become parents despite the fact that they haven’t grown up themselves … Frances Conroy and Tovah Feldshuh are among the stars in Beautiful People, a pilot for a series in which families of mechanical human beings exist to service the human population  — until some of the mechanicals begin to “awaken”… Jason Ritter, Michael Imperioli and award-laden Broadway star Norbert Leo Butz spark County, a pilot about 
young doctors, nurses and administrators in an underfunded and morally compromising L.A. County hospital … Phylicia Rashad returns to the small

RASHAD: pilot season

screen in Do No Harm, a pilot about a brilliant neurosurgeon (Steven Pasquale) whose dangerous alter-ego threatens to wreak havoc on his personal and processional life (calling Dr. Hulk?) … and Julia Stiles plays a female FBI cult specialist who investigates the mysterious disappearance of a group commune in Alaska in Midnight Sun, a pilot based on the hit Israeli format.

NO BIZ LIKE SHOWBIZ:  NHL All-Star Theo Fleury and actress Carmen Moore (Arctic Air) host the 19th Annual National Aboriginal Achievement Awards tonight on Global and APTN …  Jimmy Smits has signed on for a season of FX’s celebrated Sons

TILLY: on stage in T.O.

of Anarchy, and not as a cop. He’ll be playing a gang member … Bruce McDonald is set to personally introduce Hard Core Logo II, his long-awaited follow-up to his cult classic mock-doc Hard Care Logo, tonight at TIFF Bell Lightbox … Theatre Sheridan’s rave-garnering production of Rent has been held over even before it opens! The TS production, now set to open May 16 at the Panasonic Theatre, was originally booked to close on May 27 but will now run through June 3. To order tickets, click here … and Meg Tilly, so terrific in Global’s Bomb Girls series, returns to the stage this month at the Tarragon in a revival of the Michel Tremblay classic The Real World?  — which originally premiered at Tarragon almost 25 years ago. The stellar cast assembled by director Richard Rose also features Matthew Edison, Cara Gee, Sophie Goulet, Tony Nappo, Cliff Saunders and Jane Spidell, and previews start April 24. Click here for tickets. And have a great weekend.

*     *     *


George & Dani get David, Billboard gets Mary J., CMW gets Dave & Paul, and Madonna gets Jesus

SEEMS LIKE OLD TIMES: Winnipeg’s favourite ex-pat David Steinberg is directing the premiere episodes of Living In Your Car, the new comedy series

STEINBERG: Auto pilot

STEINBERG: Auto pilot

from This Is Wonderland creators George F. Walker and Dani Romain. Set in a not-so-fictional slumping economy, the TV series follows a fallen corporate exec who gets caught cooking the books and is legally forbidden from working in any position that involves other people’s money. Clinging desperately to the last symbol of his past, he makes his home inside his luxury car. Walker, Roman and Joseph Kay originally wrote the scenario in response to the Enron debacle.

MADONNA: don't roll your eyes

MADONNA: "Roll your eyes if you want ..."

“Fortunately for us,” adds Walker. “there has been no end to financial misconduct.” Steinberg, who knows all about funny, says he was excited by how topical the subject was, “and how wonderfully written the scripts were, and how funny. Who wouldn’t want to direct this?Additional episode directors for the series include Bruce McDonald, Shawn Alex Thompson and Paul Fox.

SHARPS ‘N’ FLATS: Keynote speaker for the eighth annual Hollywood Reporter & Billboard Film And TV Music Conference at the end of the month is

LUZ: model citizen

LUZ: model citizen

Mary J. Blige … meanwhile, considerably closer to home, iconic music innovators Dave Stewart and Paul Williams are both set to be keynoters at the 2010 Canadian Music Week in Toronto next March … the runaway hit of the Toronto Fringe Festival, it’s been called the next Drowsy Chaperone. So better get yourself to  Nursery School Musical at the Berkeley Street Theatre before it closes this weekend … fresh from screening her rave-winning film on Hugh Hefner at TIFF, director Brigitte Berman detours to Florida this weekend to present her Oscar-winning doc on Artie Shaw to the Miami Jazz Film Festival … and yesterday I told you that I consulted Liz Smith to get the down-low on sky-

SMITH: Roll your eyes if you must

SMITH: Roll your eyes if you must

rocketing French pop star Sliimy, but I should also mention that Liz says Madonna’s relationship with her current playmate. 22-year-old Brazilian model Jesus Luz “is much more than a casual fling; the pop icon is deeply, seriously happy. Roll your eyes if you want (and I know some of you will!), but I can’t begrudge Madonna her happiness. She didn’t break up anybody else’s home and they are both adults.” Adds veteran gossip girl Liz: “Don’t be tiresome about the age difference. That’s so 20th century!”

HOT TICKETS: Toronto’s now-fabled Hot Docs festival has joined forces with Kinosmith to launch The Hot Docs Collection, which will see the DVD release of popular Festival films and other titles chosen in consultation with Hot Docs programmers. The first two titles in the Collection, RIP: A Remox Manifesto and Flicker, are now available for purchase, and you can order ‘em right here … and what “hot ticket” attraction sold out in hours in New York, racking up $2.5 million dollars in ticket sales? No, not U2, and not even the aforementioned Madonna. The hot seller was the Metropolitan Opera, which enjoyed a very robust first-day box-office haul for its coming season. Who knew?

(All those folks who bought all those tickets, that’s who!)

TOMORROW:

CFRB takes aim at CBC’s morning man.