Friday, September 20, 2013

Movie Review: The Grand Seduction (CIFF 2013) (A Letter to...)

Dearest Taylor Kitsch,

Last night your movie The Grand Seduction opened the 2013 Calgary International Film Festival, or as we like to call it, CIFF. You weren’t there so I will give you a briefing on what you missed, on the screen and off.

The screening took place at the Jubilee Auditorium which is NOT a movie theatre. I won’t go off as I did last year about the horrible sound and other reasons why they should nix this as a place for a screening – I just don’t have time and I am sure you don’t care. You will care though that there were thousands of people in attendance – and I am sure they all loved you as much as I did (or thought they did, no one loves you as I do).

Your director Don McKellar was in attendance and spoke before we saw the film. He seemed like a pretty legit guy. He talked about the movie and how he didn’t know if Calgarians would get it…until our city flooded this summer and he figured we would understand how these fishermen felt. Huh?

Taylor, you need to assist in weaning him off the crack. Besides water, I don’t see any comparisons at all – and trust me I was actively looking for them. Out of work old fisherman in a small 100 person town trying to save it from extinction vs. thriving business capital of 1 million having water in the street for a couple of weeks. I’m not downplaying the flood, but come on.

After a year’s worth of speeches the film started. I hunkered into my seat ready to see your beautiful face grace the screen. And then…OUTRAGE!

Have you seen the film? Did you know you do not make an appearance until hours into the movie? OK, maybe not hours, but it was a long time before I stopped thinking about lighting myself on fire. Completely unacceptable. I was entertained in the meantime by the bats flying around the theatre. Yes, that happened. It would have been awesome if we were screening Batman, but we weren’t so it was just terrifying.

Back to your lack of screen time. Why did you let them do this to you? You are front and center on the movie poster…do you not feel like you are lying to your fans with this supporting role disguised as a starring one to get the girls and the gays in seats? More importantly, do you feel like you have robbed me of my desired movie experience?

I mean, I went into the movie knowing my desired experience was not going to be met. TK walking around Newfoundland shirtless for 2 hours didn’t really seem like a viable option based on the story line. I did expect however, that they would abide by the Taylor Kitsch movie etiquette rule: must be shirtless a minimum of 3 times per movie (preferably 5-10). Do you know how many times you were shirtless in this movie? One. One measly moment.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking I am objectifying your body. I am. Sue me.

You are probably also thinking that a shirtless Taylor didn’t really go along with the story. You’re right. A doctor from the city goes to this small dying Newfoundland town full of old men (and like, 5 women as far as I could tell) to work for a month. He spends his time looking at foot fungus, watching cricket and attempting to fish all while hanging out with the townies. None of these activities provide a platform for clothing removal.

Once I realized the movie was less about you and more about old men who refuse to leave a dying town, I cried a little. And then I laughed, a lot. It was actually pretty funny. That Gordon Pinsent is a riot. Pure crazy old man genius. (Side note: Did you know old Gord voiced Babar in the late 80s – that’s some Canadian royalty sh*t right there, amazing). Brendan Gleeson also gave some chuckles, but as the protagonist he had to carry the serious side as well…you know, saving the town from extinction is not really all out barrel of laughs.

I think the parts of the film that focused on your character’s love for cricket and the lengths that the town went through to make you believe that they were cricket fans as well were my favorite. The cricket match on the hill was prime time hilarity. (Side note: Why did Paul like cricket so much? He didn’t seem like a giant loser.)

Least favorite, that townie rejecting you over and over and over again. Who does she think she is? There are no other men there younger than her grandpa and she is rejecting YOU? So rude, and absolutely unbelievable. What a work of fiction!

At the end of the day I came to terms with your lack of presence in the movie and came around to enjoy it. Should you stick to low budget movies like this in the future? Maybe, but make sure future directors stick to the Taylor Kitsch movie etiquette rule.


Verdict: 3.4 Stars

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