Nova Scotia. 1976. The weekend of the American Bicentennial. 15-year-old Kit is running away from home, hitchhiking with his girlfriend Alice to move in with his estranged mother (Molly Parker) and, hopefully, to find himself.
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This is a gem! Julia Sarah Stone captures the beauty that comes from within and sets a teenager apart from her peers. You can feel her empathy for her “ boyfriend” throughout the film and her sincere interest in Mr. Po, just two examples that showcase her character’s depth. Being a weirdo and believing that we all, not just Canadians, fall on that continuum, it’s the perfect title!!
Absolutely charming Nova Scotia set film from Bruce McDonald from a poignant and nostalgic script from Daniel MacIvor. One could argue there is nothing new here but one would be missing out on some fine turns from leads Dylan Authors and Julia Sarah Stone, supports Molly Parker and Allan Hawco and a great soundtrack of seventies Canadian music. Sometimes even the most familiar can be charming and meaningful.
I recognize the honesty of this gorgeous Canadian coming-out-and-of-age cine-psalm, and am more than happy to excuse the foregrounding of a number of not-exactly-fresh-on-the-scene devices employed in Daniel MacIvor's kinda-lightweight-but-definitely-impactful screenplay, because I love Mr. MacIvor and because the results speak for themselves. I was a Canadian kid. I felt the highway calling through the screen.
Exceptionally disappointing. A frustratingly mediocre paint-by-numbers effort from the once-relevant McDonald. The coming of age story takes no risks, and is predictable from the first few moments - when it is obvious that the lead has a secret his kinda-girlfriend pal and cool-but-embarrassing dad will eventually find out. Casting was odd, and most of the good players could've used some careful direction.
Underwhelming crowd-pleaser with a handful of nice touches, like the encounter with the Canadian police officer - basically the opposite of anything one experiences in the US. The political subtext - i.e. the hypocrisy of the American Bicentennial celebrations on TV, with scenes of white men dressed as Native Americans - is well handled. The key message - better a weirdo than a yankee - is very relevant today.
A quirky—perhaps overly quirky—coming of age road film which while failing in many critical regards seems sure to be a festival crowd-pleaser. It is ultimately successful in providing the ambition of a road film which is to chart a journey of both physical and spiritual proportions, with the protagonist experiencing a journey both within and without.
70/100 - Good.
Well, I am obviously not as sophisticated as these other reviewers, because it did not bother me at all that this film did not "take risks" or used "not-exactly-fresh-on-the-scene devices." But I loved it. We are all weirdos to some extent, and this movie did not try too hard to divorce our low-key, uninventive, everyday weirdness from that of the characters on the screen.
The best aspect of this film is the interactions with the mother. It was really the only time these characters felt filled with any life. I found most of the acting to be flat and not in a purposeful way of something like "The Neon Demon". It's all very reminiscent of the 2000s mumblecore films that are extraordinarily hit or miss.