One of tragic star Cory Monteith's final movies, All The Wrong Reasons, has landed its director a top prize at the Toronto International Film Festival in Canada. Gia Milani picked up the Grolsch Film Works Discovery Award for her directorial debut and was handed a $10,000 (£6,600) cash prize on Monday (09Sep13).
In the film, Monteith plays a married store manager who falls for a clerk played by Emily Hampshire.
The Glee star died following a heroin and alcohol overdose in July (13).
"When you're doing a romantic scene, it's kind of awkward. And it's all very choreographed. So we were just laughing because this was Gia's first movie. She'd never directed two actors in a love scene. I remember her being shy about telling us to... 'Can you put a hand here, and is that OK?'" Actress Emily Hampshire on filming a love scene with the late Cory Monteith in director Gia Milani's debut feature All the Wrong Reasons.
Actor Cory Monteith's penultimate movie All The Wrong Reasons will debut at the upcoming Toronto Film Festival in the Glee star's native Canada. Director Gia Milani's ensemble movie, in which Monteith plays a store clerk, also features Emily Hampshire, Kevin Zegers and Karine Vanasse.
The film was shot a year ago (12) in Halifax, Nova Scotia, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The news of the world premiere in September (13) comes just over a week after Monteith's death in a Vancouver, Canada hotel on 13 July (13). The local coroner concluded the Glee star died due to an alcohol and heroin overdose.
Written and directed by Jacob Tierney The Trotsky stars Jay Baruchel (She’s Out of My League Tropic Thunder) as Leon Bronstein a 17-year–old who believes that he is the reincarnation of October Revolution leader Leon Trotsky whose real surname also happened to be Bronstein. Upon realizing that his father’s employees only receive a half-hour break for lunch he stages a protest and subsequently a strike. His father David (Saul Rubinek) quells the demonstration quickly by having his son carted off in handcuffs. As punishment for his attempted revolution Leon's private school tuition is cut off and he’s forced to enroll in a public school.
Before he begins the new school year Leon attempts to sue his father and tries to enlist the help of a former protester Frank McGovern (Michael Murphy). While basically stalking the man he meets his daughter Alexandra (Emily Hampshire). (The real Trotsky’s first wife was also named Alexandra and just like the movie’s Alexandra apparently couldn’t stand her Leon either.)
At his new school he joins the Student Union humorously thinking that is an actual union. Led by Dwight (Jesse Rath) who Leon refers to as “my Stalin ” he unknowingly chooses “social justice” as the theme for the school dance. He then asks two union members Jimmy (Justin Bradley) and Caroline (Kaniehtiio Horn) if they want to form a real union in order for the students to have equal representation. To prove to the administration that they are not the generation of apathy they organize a student walkout much to the chagrin of Principal Berkhoff (Colm Feore who himself sports a peculiarly Trotsy–esque beard).
While a few online reviews have compared The Trotsky with Wes Anderson's Rushmore this is not the case at all. Yes both films feature awkward actors playing awkward students who fall for women that are older than them but that's where the similarities end. Rushmore degenerates into a witty catch-as-catch can between Jason Schwartzman and Bill Murray for the affections of Olivia William's character while The Trotsky is in a quirky way a biopic of the historical Leon Trotsky told through the life of a misguided boy.
We've seen this kind of movie many times before: A charismatic kid rallies the varying masses of his school to band together and fight the system. But this formula is adhered to because it is a part of the story – Baruchel's Leon actually believes that he is the Bolshevik reincarnated and does his best to follow his life perfectly. The film takes what is tried and true in films like this and finds an innovative way to tell its story.
The actors do all that they can with the material and make the formulaic Trotsky enjoyable especially Rubinek as Leon's father David and Baruchel who has yet another outlet for his quirks that endear him to so many moviegoers. Tierney’s writing and direction are fairly tight and he should be commended on his sophomore effort. He tries to present an abridged version of Trotsky’s life and succeeds so well that by end of the film you almost hope for a sequel so this inventive way to tell a biography (or even a pseudo–biopic) and Leon Bronstein (the real and the film’s) life can be carried out to its grim conclusion.
Alex Hughes (Alan Rickman) is an emotionally closed-off British ex-con who heads to Canada to visit an old lover. When he misjudges the distances between Ontario and Winnipeg he rents a car and starts driving across the snowy winter landscape. He encounters a charming young woman named Vivienne Freeman (Emily Hampshire) who hitches a ride and begins to thaw out his frozen heart but then tragedy strikes as the pair has a terrible car accident and Vivienne is killed. Alex is left with terrible guilt and so drives to the little town of Wawa to offer condolences to Vivienne’s mother Linda (Sigourney Weaver). Surprisingly Alex discovers that Linda is a high-functioning autistic and as he agrees to help her plan the funeral an unlikely friendship develops. Meanwhile Alex also meets Maggie (Carrie-Anne Moss) Linda’s beautiful next-door neighbor; his relationships with those two very different women change him very unexpected ways. Forget Ripley from the Alien flicks! With Snow Cake Sigourney Weaver gives the performance of her life. She transforms completely into Linda Freeman a middle-aged woman whose life is framed – but not controlled – by her autism. From her slightly twitchy movements to the far-off look in her eyes Weaver masterfully captures the physical elements of the disorder; add in the completely believable dialogue that reveals Linda’s inner emotional state and the portrayal is one that just might bring Weaver an Academy Award for her work. Alan Rickman is equally affecting as a man whose personal anguish threatens to shut him down completely; his emotional reawakening is so real that we can’t help but empathize and root for him. Carrie-Anne Moss is quietly effective as the sexually restless neighbor and Emily Hampshire is a beam of sunshine in her short time on the screen as Linda’s daughter a real face to watch for the future. Welsh director Mark Evans cut his teeth on British television and small films like Trauma. With Snow Cake he proves that he’s got a talent for telling emotional stories without descending into sentimentality. That’s a fine line and one that makes this film sit head and shoulders above those Lifetime channel flicks that send a chill up the spine of every red-blooded male (and many of us females too). First-time screenwriter Angela Pell should get massive credit as well. She tapped into her personal experience as the parent of an autistic boy translating that knowledge into creating a portrait of a grown woman (and mother of a normal daughter) who has successfully made her way through life despite her disability. The potent combination of those two talents united with across-the-board fine acting make Snow Cake a supremely satisfying cinematic experience. Watch for this one during awards season later this year.