Posted Date: Sunday, September 29, 2013
I recently checked out the Canadian-made film "Whitewash," that plays today at 9:30 p.m. at EIFF13.
It's dark comedy that follows Bruce (Thomas Haden Church) as he deals with the consequences of a fatal accident. Stranded in the woods during a frozen Northern Quebec winter and unable to return home, his motivations are made clearer through flashbacks and narration, forcing the audience to reassess their initial impressions.
Thomas Haden Church is fantastic in the film, equally believable portraying a deeply flawed character struggling to survive and come to grips with his actions and a warm-hearted, generous Good Samaritan.
Writer-director Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais uses the setting incredibly well, as his film takes on a "man against nature" narrative during the harshest moments, and a "man against self" during its quieter stretches. Hoss-Desmarais tells his (and co-writer Marc Tulin) story methodically, and at moments you can't help but feel stranded in the woods alongside their main character.
There are a few comedic beats through the film, though nothing you would find yourself laughing at after the movies conclusion. It is a slow burn of a film as Bruce struggles with his conscience and isolation, while the audience finds finds sympathy in a deeply flawed character. What your expectations for Bruce's future are after the first few minutes of the film will be tested as more of the story unfolds. The film earned its director the "best new narrative director" prize at the Tribeca film festival.
Overall, I really enjoyed this film and would definitely recommend checking it out this evening at the Edmonton International Film Fest.