1)Mommy (Xavier Dolan, 2014): One of the winners of the Jury Prize at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, this film is an extraordinary accomplishment for the 27-year-old director. Dolan tells the story of a single mother, her violent son, and the shy neighbour who enters their lives. The most beautiful aspect of the film is the three main characters and their relationship with each other. No one is presented as strictly good or evil, as each have their virtues and flaws, and they all try to help each other be the best versions of themselves. Dolan presents heart-felt moments of the three characters forgetting their worries and enjoying each other’s company, which brings light to the dark subject matter. Each actor gives an amazing performance, especially Anne Dorval, who won a Canadian Screen Award for her portrayal of the mother. Combined with unique editing and a great soundtrack, this is a very moving film.
2)The F Word (Michael Dowse, 2013): A movie that was filmed in Toronto, and actually takes place in Toronto, how refreshing! This film is filled with charm, witty dialogue, and lovely shots of Toronto. Everything about this film is so natural and fun to watch: the story of two friends struggling with becoming more than friends is relatable, Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan have great chemistry and the writing reflects how young people talk to each other today. Can you think of 10 other names for Cool Whip?
3) The Red Violin (Francois Girard, 1998): A poetic film about the transcendent power of music. The story unravels the mystery behind this iconic instrument in a brilliant way, and displays the unique impact that music has in each country and time period it reaches. With beautiful sets, and an Oscar-winning score, this is a gorgeous film that takes you on a journey around the world, across time, through the move of music.
4) Being Canadian (Robert Cohen, 2015): A hilarious documentary that follows Robert Cohen as he travels across Canada to figure out what it really means to be Canadian. Along the way, he chats with locals, Canadian celebrities, and non-Canadians to discover that no one really knows how to define our culture. It’s a light-hearted film that pokes fun at Canada, while still making you feel proud to be part of such a multi-faceted culture. It’s also fun to be able to relate to the topics they discuss on screen, such as our love of Tim Hortons, tendency to be too nice, and the fact that a scandal to us is 30 million dollars’ worth of maple syrup stolen.
5) My Internship in Canada (Philippe Falardeau, 2015): A comedic take on Canadian politics following the partnership between an indecisive Member of Parliament, Steve Guibord, and his hopeful intern from Haiti, Souverain Pascal. When Guibord has to break the tie-breaking vote deciding if Canada will go to war in the Middle East, he travels across Quebec to see if the public can help him make this decision. The clash between the stubborn Canadian and the idealistic immigrant is enjoyable to watch, and the absurd arguments presented by the different lobby groups are hilarious.
Those are my favorite Canadian films. Which ones are yours?
Don’t forget to celebrate National Canadian Film Day tomorrow by watching a great Canadian film! Visit www.canadianfilmday.ca to see which screenings will be held in your area, as well as the full broadcast schedule to see what will be playing on T.V!