TIFF – The Dick Knost Show (2013) – Bruce Sweeney

 

Bruce Sweeney`s latest character piece, you`ll recall I highly enjoyed The Crimes of Mike Recket, is a look at the world of sports radio, specifically the acid-tongued, quick-witted, numbers-driven Dick Knost (a hilarious turn by Thomas Scholte). He is controversial, and after he sends a number of inflammatory tweets, his network higher-ups finally have the leverage to oust him from his position.

Knost hosts a talk show with his one-too-many-pucks-to-the-head semi-friend Neil (Paul Skrudland). He hates soccer, thinks hockey is only hockey when it`s full contact, and thinks head injuries are for pansies. Until he suffers a couple of them himself, effectively knocking him out of his job, and makes him re-evaluate his life.

Holding the fort down, and fighting to keep Knost`s job his own is his producer Kelly (the always wonderful Gabrielle Rose, who seems to be delighting in firing quips and giving attitude) and her lovely assistant Jane (Alexandra Staseson). Kelly takes on network executives Claire (Jillian Fargey) and Matt (the awesome Tom Butler) with attitude, manipulation, arguments and a healthy dose of blackmail.

Dick-Knost

While Dick is off, languishing about his apartment drinking tea, or feeding the ducks in the park before passing out on a bench, his show has been taken over by a hungry, but un-opiniated host, Simon (David Lovgreen) who seems to be willing to talk to any guest, which opens more doors for him, until he scores an interview with soccer legend Rico (Zak Santiago).

It`s hilarious to watch the wheels turn and spin, as those around Dick fight to help him keep his job. It`s awesome to watch them all turn it around…

Sweeney`s ear for dialogue is sharp as ever, and there are so many laugh out loud lines, as well as brilliant throwaways, that I was glad to have watched it a second time to catch little things I may have missed, Gabrielle gets some amazing ones, and watching Scholte as Dick in the final interview is priceless, the way he sets everything up, and then just… SHOOTS… HE SCORES!!!

dick

Gabrielle Rose OWNS every scene she is in, playing Kelly with joy, conveying everything she needs to with a glance, a well-turned phrase and her presence. Kelly is a master at what she does, and Rose brings her to life with a clarity that makes me wish that on one hand I wish I knew Kelly and had her in my corner, but also that I never have to work with her. Despite the fact that it is called The Dick Knost show, this is very much Gabrielle`s film and she makes the most of it and she is a joy to watch, firmly entrenching herself on my list of favorite Canadian actors!

Scholte is pitch-perfect and is absolutely engaging, hilarious, and gets to say things we always wish we could, Skrudland is wonderful as the co-host with the fascination for Paulina Gretzky, and Lovgreen`s Simon is a douche, but it`s Rose`s film, and she makes every moment of it worth watching!

The Dick Knost Show screens one last time during TIFF, Saturday 9:15am at the Lightbox!

dick knost

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