Monday, 1 September 2014

Thursday Movie Picks Meme: Movies Set Locally

This week, the theme for Wanderer's Thursday Movie Picks Meme is movies set locally. According to her I'm allowed to pick the country or state. Unfortunately, up here in Canada we have provinces so I won't be able to get that specific. However, I have found three very different movies that are not only set (at least partially) in Canada, but are also in large part Canadian productions.

Dead Ringers (1988)

No discussion on Canadian Movies would be complete without putting some Cronenberg on here. A lot of his really weird and bizarre movies were placed in his hometown of Toronto, and that happens to include Dead Ringers (despite British actor Jeremy Irons playing both main characters), the story of two identical twins who attempt to exploit the fact that nobody can tell them apart. Unfortunately, while they might look the same, they have very different personalities and things end up spiraling out of control.

Wilby Wonderful (2004)

I'm not sure how much more Canadian you can get than this. This film is set in a fictitious Canadian town with a cast made up more or less exclusively of Canadian actors (this might be the only time you'll ever see Ellen Page not pretending to be American). It is a simple but really emotional little film veering the line between dark comedy and drama. However, one plot thread involving the mayor is a bit darker with hindsight, given some of the stuff he does might remind current viewers of one Rob Ford.

Passchendaele (2008)

Okay, technically a fair portion of this film takes place in Europe, and this film has its critics, but I got to give credit where it is due. A lot of the biggest war movies seem to focus on either the Americans or the British (or in some cases both) during World War II. There isn't a whole lot of acknowledgement towards the fact that we Canadians played a big part in both World Wars beyond maybe a passing mention or on a rare occasion a Canadian character played by a non-Canadian (Charlie Allnut in The African Queen or Joyce in The Bridge on the River Kwai being good examples). 

It's nice to see a film dealing with World War I that for once doesn't try to make it look like the Americans did everything, and instead opts to acknowledge a battle where we Canadians played a major role. In fact, say what you will about World War II, but the Americans didn't join WWI until just before it ended, while we were involved right from the beginning. Also points to it being directed by a Canadian (Paul Gross of all people, who happens to be better known for his work in comedy) and featuring Canadian actors.


  1. There are very few films that take place in Canada. One is the Shipping News and the other I can think of is The Ice Storm and The Sweet Hereafter

    1. There's kind of this weird thing when it comes to Canadian filmmaking. It's like, Canada has this really big film industry that is apparently extremely successful everywhere but Canada, where it is so cleverly hidden that it gets dominated by Hollywood productions and it becomes easy to forget we even have our own film industry.

  2. I'm not aware of many movies set mostly in Canada, either. However, I have found an upcoming Blogathon you might be interested in. It's specifically about Canada's contribution to film...

    1. Oh yeah, I've seen that blog. I've already signed on to do a few articles on Cronenberg.