Tall, cinema-obsessed, beer-swilling, comic-book-reading father of the world's cutest 14-year-old.
90 minutes of Canada's patriotic troubadour holding court at Toronto's legendary Horseshoe Tavern, doing what he did best: stomp plywood, tell bad jokes and immortalize the nation in song. Tom has traveled the country's byways and found its identity in ketchup and potatoes.
Also an invaluable portrait of Canadian bar culture of the era. Perhaps my favourite moment comes when Tom takes a smoke break, I mean, graciously yields the stage to a younger musician. Suddenly, a chair emerges out…
Scenario: my conniving but financially dependent sister is standing between me and the woman I want to marry.
Response A (Serious Drama): I wrestle with notions of family responsibility and personal happiness, make the tough choice between the two and deal with the consequences.
Response B (Noir): Hey, there's a bottle of poison in the bureau drawer ...
The family dynamics here take an awful long time to turn Noir, but when they finally do, the film enthusiastically twists the knife. Alas, it's only for a short time. The cop-out finale makes one long for the quagmire that could have been.
A tantalizing puzzle-box of a movie with some ingenious ideas for action, but I struggled to find a way into either its complicated narrative or its cipher-like characters. The information payload of each exposition dump left my memory as soon as words were uttered, as if they were themselves susceptible to the film's inversion conceit. Possibly, I might have understood the film better before I watched it. Or maybe it just plays better in its original form, the flowchart.