Sleeping Giant

Sleeping Giant ★★★½

this is a touching coming-of-age dramedy about three 14-15 year old boys who spend time together during their summer holidays at Lake Superior.

the boys are portrayed as both hilarious and poignant in their growing pains and uncertainties; their families are all, in a way, broken, and the kids are learning to come to terms with that harsh reality.

i think director andrew cividino exhibits a very gentle hand with his narrative and his actors, never really forcing anything; thus, the film evolves organically, even with some savvy cuts.

by far, though, my favourite parts of the film are those more joyful moments, when the boys reveal that strange mixture of rebellion and childishness that comes with the early teenage years.

the more dramatic elements certainly don't spoil the film, but it definitely peaks when the kids are unleashed.

cividino won "best first canadian feature" at the TIFF, and indeed, there's a lot of promise in his work. it'll be interesting to see where he goes next. he has expressed interest in doing a genre film, specifically horror, and i think i can see why. his shots of the cliffs in this film made me think of "picnic at hanging rock" and some of the movie's close-ups (burning bugs, eating adults!) are positively frightening!

~ VIFF 1 ~

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