Wilby Wonderful - a darkish little comedy about a small Canadian town


Wilby Wonderful (Canada, 2004)

Seen: Saturday, 15th May 2010
Runtime: 99′
Director: Danny MacIvor
Cast: James Allodi, Maury Chaykin, Paul Gross, Rebecca Jenkins, Sandra Oh, Ellen Page, Callum Keith Rennie
Production House: Palpable Productions, Da Da Kamera
Plot: (from imdb)

A day-in-the-life dark comedy concerning a group of islanders, their respective secrets, and one man’s plan to kill himself quietly.


Rating: +1 (Loved It)

Impressions In Short
A very cute Canadian independent film.

More About the Film
It’s one of those films that have many intertwining stories, which makes for a lot of developed characters and that in turn means you can cast a lot of good actors *grin* I don’t know a lot about Canadian cinema, but in the same way that the Harry Potter films or Love Actually are a whose who of the British acting landscape, this film seems to be a bit of a whose who of the Canadian one. Many of the parts were apparently written with these specific actors in mind and the end result of all these factors is that you’ve got some very good performances in it *grin*
Naturally, I watched this because of Paul Gross *grin* Unlike Eastwick, this part is very much in line with his Due South image. He’s the local policeman who always tries to do the right thing, only Buddy French is much more realistic and no where near as idealistic as Benton Fraser. Besides, Buddy French has his own problems - his marriage is falling apart and his mother has just died. Paul Gross is amazingly cuddly and vulnerable in this. I enjoyed him a lot :)
I never really “got” Callum Keith Rennie before, but I genuinely loved him in this. There’s a nice calmness and ease about him in the part.
Everyone else was very good also, I’m just way too lazy to actually write about all of the major characters ;-P But the great thing about everybody is that they’re all subtle, no hamming.
I loved how the film very subtly brought in a lot of small clues as to what was going to happen (it has a very good culmination to all of the stories). I think it’ll be fun seeing it again cause I’ll probably notice a lot of little clues and lines that I missed before. I enjoyed the “the Watch” subplot a lot, even though at the beginning of the film I hardly noticed it. It was only at the end when I suddenly had an “aha” moment ;) “The Watch” is the only bit of the coastline that is still completely natural and untouched. We get to see the two policeman looking for evidence of something there, but initially we don’t get much of an idea of why they’re doing it and what goes on there exactly. What does go on there ends up effecting a lot of the stories though ;) It was very beautifully set up in the script and reminded me of “mysterious” places like that and the way people refer to them in real life. Like even relatively close to me in the Warsaw suburbs, there’s a nudist beach by WisÅ‚a. For years I thought it was a bit of a myth, but then one day my mum and I stumbled upon it while walking the dog and it really is there *grin* The way I’d heard people in my region refer (or sometimes not refer) to it really reminded me of how people referred to “the Watch” in the film (not that the Watch is a nudist beach or anything ;-P it’s something else ;) but for some reason my mind made that connection ;-P).
The one thing I found a bit disappointing is that I’d have liked a bit more humour in the first half of the film. Once the stories get into their culmination stages the darkish humour does come through, but before that the film is a bit bland at times. I think it needed a bit more oomph in the first half.

If a small film like this, which feels “very Canadian” sounds appealing to you then I think so :)

Leave a comment