WFF ’21 Review: ’18 1/2′ is an amusing genre mashup

18 1/2

There are many theories about the missing 18 1/2 minutes of Richard Nixon’s White House recordings. At a time of heightened controversy –thanks to Watergate and the ensuing investigations– the gap in recordings created a convenient slot into which a persons conspiracy theory of choice might fit.

Dan Mirvish’s new film 18 1/2 explores a quaint, yet zany, moment of alternate history where the tape itself was taped and a young transcriptionist secrets it away from the White House to listen to it with a journalist. Hilarity ensues when they check into a small town motel to do just that.

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WFF ’21 Quick Review: ‘A Wicked Eden’ offers a glimpse into a fascinating world

A Wicked Eden

There’s a whole world of sexual proclivities out there. The world of the dominatrix and the submissive is represented in media fairly thoroughly but often without much depth. A Wicked Eden changes that, taking a deep dive into the world of Alexandra Snow, a popular dominatrix.

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WFF ’21 Review: ‘Carmen’ is a lovely story of self-rediscovery and empowerment

Carmen

Devotion to a church or a cause is, for many people, a true calling in life. Those who join the priesthood describe hearing a call to that life and dedicate their lives to it. On the island of Malta, a tiny island nation in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, it is also a tradition that when a man hears that call, his younger sister goes with him. In theory, this is to devote her life to the church. In practice, it appears that it is to ensure that the new priest has a servant.

In Carmen, Natascha McElhone plays such a woman; having lived a life of servitude since she was 16 and set free 34 years later when he brother dies, suddenly she has to rediscover her own life and desires. What follows is a lovely journey of self-discovery that takes Carmen around the sun-drenched, 1980s set Maltese countryside.

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WFF ’21 Review: ‘Confessions of a Hitman’ paints a portrait of a man you’d never suspect

Confessions of a Hitman

Every country has their extraordinary criminals, and Canada is no different. One key difference with notorious contract killer Gerald Gallant though, is just how ordinary he otherwise was. Living a mostly quiet suburban life, he carried out 27 hits (and attempted 12 more) in 25 years and went almost entirely unnoticed. Confessions of a Hitman chronicles that life and its absurd banality with Luc Picard in both the starring role and the director’s chair.

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WFF ’21 Quick Review: ‘We’re All In This Together’ is a quirky family drama

We're All In This Together

Of all the most reliable subjects for drama, family is the most reliable. After all, unlike friends or coworkers, you don’t get to choose family, and that extra level of tether adds stakes to any situation. We’re All In This Together is a good example of this fact, bringing together a pair of estranged twins, an underaged sister in a relationship with an older man, and a mother who went over a waterfall in a barrel. Literally, not figuratively.

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WFF ’21 Quick Review: ‘Moon Manor’ is a lovely story about a man going out on his own terms

Moon Manor

Moon Manor feels like a film that is destined to be divisive. It follows an older man who has learned he has Alzheimer’s, and rather than waiting for it to erase him slowly, he throws a big party –a FUN-eral– to make sure he connects with the important people in his life before committing suicide.

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WFF ’21 Review: ‘Drinkwater’ is a quirky, Canadian, familiar coming of age film

Drinkwater

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: a teenager is hopelessly in love with a beautiful girl and signs up for some kind of feat to impress her. He trains for this event and trains some more. At least once, he loses faith, but along the way, he grows up a little, turns his bully into a friend, and in the end, gets with the girl who has been his friend the whole time.

If any of this sounds familiar, then Drinkwater won’t have that many surprises in store for you, at least when it comes to the plot. But, on the other hand, it has a good central performance, an incredibly Canadian take on the materials, and a delightful supporting performance from Eric McCormack.

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WFF ’21 Quick Review: ‘Tzouhalem’ is a Fascinating local legend

Tzouhalem

Our history is littered with stories of great men and women, figures that are larger than life and did incredible things. Being Canadian, most of the stories feature people from either Great Britain or France, but there were many nations of indigenous peoples here well before any colonists showed up. Tzouhalem tells the story of a larger than life figure on what we now call Vancouver Island, a warrior chief who was both a great man and a monster.

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Heads up Canada: the 2021 Whistler Film Festival is coming!

2021 Whistler Film Festival Festival_Header

Good news, everyone: the 2021 Whistler Film Festival is about to start! One of the last festivals on the Canadian circuit returns for its 21st year with a five day run (December 1st through 5th, 2021) in cinemas starting in Whistler BC and a month-long run online (December 1st through 31st). The films online are available Canada-wide, and the festival has a ton of Canadian films for you to enjoy.

You can follow along with my coverage using the WFF-2021 tag right here on AwesomeFriday.ca.

You can see –and purchase tickets for– the full lineup of 30+ feature films and 35 shorts on the festival website.

2021 Whistler Film Festival Coverage Banner

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