A lot of indie Canadian films seem to get lost when doing battle against the bigger-budgeted films that populate the box office.
That’s why when a smaller film comes along that really catches our attention, like the Untitled Work of Paul Shepard (hoping for a DVD release date soon!!), we like to talk it up and get it the notice it deserves.
Moon Point very much falls into that category. It’s a charming, quirky film that adds a new chapter to the tradition of ‘The Road Movie.’
Darryl Strozka (played by new-comer Nick McKinlay) is a twenty-something stuck in a point of his life that we all drift through a some point. He’s directionless, jobless and loveless, and he’s emotionally stuck at the age of 10. A point that none of his family are willing to let go, and seem to bring up ad nauseam, especially when they compare him to his cousin Lars.
We meet Darryl and Lars at an engagement party for Lars, despite a noticeably absent bride-to-be. When pressured and belittled about who he’s bringing to the wedding, Darryl reveals that he’s going to bring minor celebrity Sarah Cherry (Kristen Gutoskie) as his date.
You see, they have a history, brilliantly illustrated through flashback, and some of the most enjoyable parts of the film… Sure it was when they were 10, but if he still hasn’t gotten over it, then maybe she hasn’t either.
Sarah is shooting a low-budget horror movie a couple of towns over in Moon Point, but without a job to pay for transport, and without a license to drive, how will he get there?
Darryl enlists the help of his handicapped friend, nicknamed Femur (in a stand-out performance by Kyle Mac – his drunk scene is hilarious) and using his motorized wheel-chair towing a wagon, they set out on a trip that will redefine both of them.
Along the way, as in any road movie, they meet an odd assortment of characters and fellow-travellers. Joining them on the outskirts of town is Kristin (brought to joyous life by Paula Brancati), a sexy, feisty girl who’s running from her troubles, but not getting very far in her broken down car.
Kristin throws in her lot with our Road To Moon Point duo into a trio. From there we get to see how all the characters work and interact, their stories, their secrets, their fears and their hopes.
All while dodging a psychotic inn-keeper who’s seen Deer Hunter once too many times, and believes Femur is a robot, a lecherous ice cream vendor, and an AA meeting filled with people dressed as fruit.
I’ve heard some people say that Darryl is an unlikable character, and that this minor redemption at the end is unearned, but I have to disagree, he does start out unlikable, but only because he’s supposed to be. There is a hint at the end of the movie that he may get the girl, but maybe not… But he’s doing something. He is no longer lazing in the back of a wagon watching the world pass him by at 5mph, he’s actually on his own two feet making a go of it.
To say the film is quirky wouldn’t do it complete justice, but if you can get yourself into that mindset before you see it, chances are you’ll enjoy it. And if you can’t then don’t see it until you are. Far too often a movie fails in the viewers’ eyes because they weren’t expecting the type of film that it is. That’s why I always like to watch the trailer before I see it…
Have a look at it here…
Now if that looks like something that will appeal to you, see it!
We’ve had a look at some of the other reviews that have been posted, and some of them by people who are paid professionally for this kind of thing, and while we believe everyone is entitled to their own opinion, it’s sad that some of those reviewing it couldn’t be bothered to pay attention to the film they were in the theater to see and then judged it anyway.
Is Moon Point a perfect film or comedy? No. Those are few and far between. Is it an enjoyable romp with blossoming Canadian talent? I say yes.
If we don’t embrace the films made nationally by homegrown artists in front of and behind the camera, then who else is to blame for the drivel and schlock that the corporations are telling us we want to see? No one but ourselves.
By embracing these little films, Rock Paper Scissors, Gravy Train, Untitled Work of Paul Shepard and Moon Point we are helping to foster Canadian filmmaking, and allowing it to stand out and be noticed between endless sequels and recycled plots.
And even if you didn’t like the movie this time, by going out and seeing it at least you made it possible for Canadians to try again. You’re helping to get fresh minds and talent involved in a business that has become stagnant, and afraid to take risks.
Something that our characters in the film learn, and something I have learned in real life… If you don’t take the risk, it’s never gonna pay off.
And finally, it has a kick ass soundtrack by Canadian Indie bands! Check it out!