Kat (Molly Parker) and Vic (the late, great Tracy Wright) are two rock and rollers who once shared a friendship, a band and a whole lot of bedlam. A dozen years after the breakup of their band, Trigger, the lovable yet dysfunctional duo reunite to rediscover their friendship, relive their rock and roll memories and reignite bits of their wild past.
The pretext to the reunion is a benefit concert in Toronto. The nostalgic Kat, who now works as a music producer in Los Angeles, seems almost too thrilled about the event, while her sour ex-partner, Vic (a pitch-perfect performance by Wright as a kind of Toronto Chrissie Hynde) needs a little encouragement. McDonald – a longtime music fanatic who pitched a variation on My Dinner with Andre to screenwriter Daniel MacIvor – films their rendezvous at a hip, high-rise restaurant with great verve. The restaurant is too chic for the simple Vic, but perfectly reflects Kat’s oversized ego. Their difficult and sometimes spiteful discussion – which touches on punctuality, egoism, sacrifice and opportunism – resuscitates their rivalry and their long-dormant demons: alcohol and drugs.
Their conversation is so captivating that we could spend the evening listening to them, but there is a concert to rock, so the duo hits the streets: first to Vic’s apartment, where we meet her writer boyfriend (Don McKellar, in a playful appearance); then to the concert hall, where the women butt heads with the show’s blasé stage manager (the great Sarah Polley in a memorable cameo). Finally, they hit the stage for a performance that neither of them would have thought possible an hour earlier.
McDonald, who’s now expert at crafting genre-bending music and concert films, builds this captivating story from the foundation of its characters: Vic’s bohemian authenticity and Kat’s careerist opportunism. The third central character is the city itself. This is a Toronto with Queen Street West as its central meridian, tilting between glossy display and grotty corners of creative truth – just like these two remarkable women. Tracy Wright acted in McDonald’s very first feature, Roadkill, in 1989. She died as Trigger was being completed. Knowing that he was directing her for the last time, it is as if McDonald designed the film as a tribute to all the elements Wright brought to the screen – her heat, her light, her darkness and especially her cool. —TIFF
Bruce McDonald (born May 28, 1959) is a Canadian film and television director. McDonald was born in Kingston, Ontario. He graduated from the film program at Ryerson University. His first movie was The Plunge Murderer, followed by a feature-length zombie flick, Our Glorious Dead, made with his grandfather’s super-8 camera and shot on location at his Rexdale, Ontario high school, North Albion Collegiate. The film premiered in the school cafeteria and made $100.
His more successful feature films have included Let Me See(…), Knock Knock, Roadkill (1989), Highway 61 (1991), for which he won Best Director at the highly regarded San Sebastián International Film Festival, Dance Me Outside (1994), Hard Core Logo (1996) and Picture Claire (2001). Roadkill won most Outstanding Canadian Film at the Toronto International Film Festival and Hard Core Logo has been frequently ranked amongst the greatest movies ever to come out of Canada. McDonald earned some notoriety when he quipped, while… read more
A tribute to the acting genius of the late Tracy Wright. Bruce McDonald has made one of his best films here with a wonderful script by Daniel MacIvor masterfully potrayed by the duo of Wright and Molly Parker. Every moment rings so authentic like a rock and roll "My Dinner With Andre". The conversation between these women over the course of a night is raw, cathartic and in the end illuminating. A treasure.