Toronto After Dark, my favorite film festival, playing at the Scotibank Theatre, breaks from the norm this eve, which for them the supernatural, aliens, blood and gore, and goes out on a limb with a Canadian crime drama. And full disclosure, I know some of the folk involved in the film, including my friend Samantha Herman who serves as producer.
Not necessarily this festival’s usual fare, and though it feels slight out of place amongst the festival’s lineup, Robbery is a standout feature which serves to remind us what a brilliant actor Canadian legend, Art Hindle is.
Richie (Jeremy Ferdman) is a petty thief who is in a bit of a hole due to a gambling addiction. He is living with his father, Frank (Hindle) who was a criminal in time as well, but now suffers from the onset of dementia.
But that’s not going to stop Richie from mining his dad’s memory for any guidance in helping him pull of little heists to get out from the pit he’s in.
When he meets Winona (Sera-Lys McArthur) in an addictions group, they have an connection, and she may be the key to everybody getting what they want.
But things never go as planned, and their are reveals, crosses, and oh so much trouble coming for this trio.
Hindle may never have been better, his performance is tinged with sadness, a sly charm, acerbic wit, and then when he has a fugue and loses his memory the transformation is heartbreaking.
I enjoyed how this one played out, I thought I had it pegged as a crime drama with a nice character arc, but by the time the final acts of the film kick into gear everything changes, and I loved that it didn’t go the way I thought it would.
Writer/director Corey Stanton takes his time telling the tale, and lets his characters, and actors breath, and grow, and while there is a series of characters passing through Frank and Ritchie’s lives, including the wonderful Tara Spencer-Nairn, it’s the pair we are interested in. The two actors have a good chemistry together and the story practically pops whenever they are on the screen together.
And while the film is very much about Richie, Hindle’s Frank has a great arc, and watching him at work is watching a master craftsman at his craft.
An unusual choice for a TAD film, but one that pays off in character and story. Check this one out tonight – get your tickets for that show and others here.
Robbery is preceded by the short, The Fool from Francesco Gianini.
Get your tickets, and I will see you Toronto… After Dark.