Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Miracle on 3rd or 4th street... "FAITH, FRAUD, and MINIMUM WAGE"

This goes to the top of my new Christmas list as it did what a really good Christmas present is supposed to do - pleasantly surprise.
Canadian film is really good for that. I despise the somewhat tragic Canadian Film Industry's built-in limitations but occasionally(and more often than you'd guess) a movie comes along with my absolute favourite film element - investment. We've all seen those films where the cast and crew seem to be enjoying themselves more than we are - I'd use Iron Man 2 and The Big Bounce as good examples, but before that line is crossed - that's the realm I like ...where I feel real investment ...and that's what's up on the screen with Faith, Fraud, and Minimum Wage - a whole bunch of faith...
I had a great discussion with my ol' buddy, Clyffy some years back on the fact that a good movie is ...well, a miracle - I honestly believe it is.
How do a bunch of ego's and ideas and hard work come together to make something meaningful and memorable? Tax credits...rewrites...politics...financial woes ...the weather ...nothing short of a miracle I'd say. That's a beauty of film that really only those who make it understand ...extraordinarily difficult road ...extraordinary destination.
Okay - the performances... Callum Keith Rennie is one of the actors to watch these days - he's just plain great. I loved hating him in Battlestar(a series I don't love hating) but Californication ...whew, didn't think Duchovny could be eclipsed on his own show...
and he's really good here(Rennie) as a dad who reminds me of a few painfully real souls I've know. I like his sensitive smashed-up father a lot ...very good in those moments when emotions can switch up fast ...and obsessing over the dead to the living - I've seen my share ...catharsis on the screen for this kid.
Martha MacIsaac is the film, and if she weren't fantastic it just wouldn't work - but she is. Andy Bush is great, as is Don Allison in the role of "Nately's" villainous Stephen King-esque "Uncle Bob" ...who I hated instantly. Brian Heighton's cameo is a highlight and everything Matt Amyotte says is funny ...you should actually listen to Dave Marsh's songs ...funny funny. In fact, the film boasts a really impressive soundtrack ...well-tailored and catchy as hell.
Buuut Ricky Mabe kinda stole the show for me. He's excellent in the sensitive-jock role and two of my best moments are his uttering of her whole name - old romantic trick but I like it, and the kiss - one of the best screen kisses I've seen in years. Cool cool cool.

**Spoilers ahead...sort of..
The ending/resolution is one o' those make-or-break moments and I held my breath it wouldn't all get tidy and sweet. The miracle is that it doesn't ...instead, it gives a great Christmas gift ...the unexpected. The film works the same as it's lead character - small, feisty, & affecting.

I waited 19 years for Indiana Jones to get back up on the big screen - within five minutes I cared more about the people in this low-budget Canadian film, not because it was written by my friend, Josh - but because it was written well.

A good Christmas movie reminds us what this is all about...
and makes us smile in the process.

Thanks, man

5 comments:

Josh MacDonald said...

Heh heh... Well, willya lookit this??

Thanks buddy... and methinks this merits you another follower (in the form of me)!

ArthurMacarthur said...

I think now I should've delved into character development a bit...as there's plenty - again, the boyfriend's character and her father for me..
I liked the Willie Nelson line better this time around too.

Patrick said...

Coolio - why am I not surprised?
Can I watch it with the two of you when I'm back? And Fran, and Clyf?

ArthurMacarthur said...

Yes. maybe. maybe.
ask Josh.
hiya bro..

ArthurMacarthur said...

Josh MacDonald is the kindest, bravest, warmest, most wonderful human being I've ever known in my life.