This film feels like a dream: a chance to sit down with Ian McKellen and talk about his life and career. McKellen: Playing the Part is a fascinating collection of interviews, snapshots, home movies and film clips, all narrated by the chatty McKellen, who fills every moment with intelligence, humour and emotion.
This British-Canadian film was shot in Nova Scotia and follows the life of a distraught young man who returns to his hometown after having left his family ten years prior. The Hanging Garden was written and directed by Thom Fitzgerald and released in 1997. The motion picture stars Peter MacNeill, Chris Leavins, Kerry Fox and Joel Keller.
With a story so detailed that it feels autobiographical, this earthy, natural drama can’t help but catch the audience by surprise as it pushes the characters through a series of intense situations. Golden Boy, is a strongly personal variation on the usual story of a young man who ends up lost on the streets of Los Angeles.
This comedy musical is centred on an aspiring Broadway entertainer and a stripper who accidentally get miscast and have to swap roles. Written by Jeffrey A. Johns (who also stars in the film as the leading character), the motion picture features Adam Huss, Shirley Jones and Rena Strober. Waiting in The Wings: The Musical was directed by Jenn Page and released in 2014.
You might think you know the story: two men meet at a remote cruising spot, where men have been mysteriously disappearing for weeks, and find themselves falling deeper into a murderous cat and mouse chase. But this surface level synopsis is the only true similarity between Devil’s Path and 2013’s widely acclaimed anti-thriller Stranger by the Lake, a film to which it will likely be compared based on the subject matter alone.
Every Act of Life proves to be a surprisingly comprehensive documentary, effectively recounting six decades of a successful career at a brisk pace. For theatre fans, this is essential viewing – and for those of you like me, who shamefully don’t watch as many plays as they should, this is still well worth a look.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post is set in the early nineties in Montana, but the film doesn’t wear the cultural differences separating then and now too heavily; a cassette tape here, a “Clinton/Gore” bumper sticker there, but no detail significant enough to leave the audience thinking that what we’re seeing is a relic of the past, and not something that’s unfortunately still taking place well into the 21st century.
Quirky American coming of age dramas aren’t exactly hard to come by – every other film that has emerged from the Sundance film festival feels like it could easily fall into this category, with very few managing to stand the test of time. Hearts Beat Loud undeniably fits into the pantheon of stereotypical “Sundance movies”, but offers something far more emotionally substantial than your run of the mill coming of age tale.
Released in 1999, this Spanish motion picture follows the life of an Argentine nurse in charge of organ donations, a single mother whose son is an aspiring artist. Starring Cecilia Roth, Penélope Cruz and Marisa Paredes, All About My Mother (Todo Sobre Mi Madre) was directed and written by Pedro Almodóvar.
Freelancers Anonymous taps into the current issue of underemployment, where employers cut hours and benefits, forcing people to take multiple jobs to make ends meet. Thankfully, director Sonia Sebastian and writers Lisa Cordileone and Amy Dellagiarino never get overly serious about this, keeping things very light while grounding the humour in likeable characters.