Saturday, 1 October 2016

Weirdos (EIFF 2)

Weirdos is a quirky indie road movie set in Nova Scotia in 1976. Directed by Bruce McDonald and written by Daniel McIvor, Weirdos stars Dylan Authors and Julia Sarah Stone as Kit and Alice, two fifteen-year-olds who decide to hitchhike from Antigonish to Sydney, Nova Scotia to attend a beach party and so Kit can move in with his mother, Laura (Molly Parker). Kit is running away from home because he is angry with his father and his father’s attitude. Alice is in love with Kit and is looking forward to some goodbye sex on the beach (they haven’t had sex at all yet), but she knows something isn’t quite right about their relationship. 

As the tension in their relationship grows, the two teenagers encounter a group of friends, a quirky but friendly police officer, and eventually Laura and the people she lives with. Along the way, Kit will be confronted with a number of truths that will change his life forever. Oh, and did I mention that Kit is regularly ‘visited’ by the spirit of someone claiming not to be Andy Warhol (Rhys Bevan-John) and that the celebration of the U.S. bicentennial plays a role?

Weirdos is in many ways an extraordinary little film. The black and white cinematography is stunning, with one gorgeous shot after another. Combined with a great 70’s soundtrack, Weirdos does a great job of making you feel you are in 1970’s Nova Scotia. The acting is, on the whole, very good, with Parker and the two young actors standing out. At times very funny and at times very sad, Weirdos is a kind, gentle film that offers a number of profound observations and precious scenes. 

Which is not to say that Weirdos is perfect, as I felt there was some unevenness in the writing and some awkwardness in the acting in a few scenes. Especially in the first half of the film, when we don’t yet know what’s happening, the film drags a bit. Nevertheless, I enjoyed Weirdos very much and am giving it ***+. My mug is up.

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