MODRA (TIFF Lightbox) – This is a really nice feature, directed by Ingrid Veninger (Candy from PHIL THE ALIEN, among other credits… I swear, I’m the only person who enjoyed PHIL THE ALIEN, so that credit’s the highlight of her huge list of IMDB entries). It stars her extended family, a Canadian teenage boy, and a drunk. It’s something of a portrait of the life of a teenage girl, as remembered by a mother twenty years later, with the rough edges worn smooth.
Haylie plays the female lead Lina; it’s her first film role, and she’s not giving up her day job selling popcorn at the Royal Theatre in Toronto just yet. The film opens at the Royal Theatre in February… that should be an interesting day. “Large coke and a popcorn with… hey… you look really familiar….”
THE LAST TRAIN HOME (TIFF Lightbox) – I wasn’t sure if this was a documentary or a scripted film until the fight scene about half way through the film, when one of the subjects acknowledges the cameraman. I tend to gloss over synopses when possible so that I can see a film somewhat fresh, so I just didn’t know. The subjects of the film were amazing; I thought they were possibly doing scripted improv, but no, they were living their lives and the camera just happened to be there. I’m reminded of John Ford’s THE GRAPES OF WRATH by the father’s stoicism.