Sunday, October 2, 2011

Vancouver International Film Festival - REVIEW: Cloudburst


Hey hey, smutlings! I'm back from another day of screenings at the Vancouver International Film Festival, and boy, do I have a review to share with you! I'm still grinning from ear to ear after seeing the film Cloudburst, starring Olympia Dukakis. Why? Well lemme tell you!
So here's the basic premise behind Cloudburst: The blind partner of an 80-year old grisly "bull dyke" gets put into a nursing home after a confrontation between said bull dyke and her partner's granddaughter (against the bull dyke's will, of course). So what's an enraged and lovesick lesbian gonna do? Bust her lover out of the nursing home and take a roadtrip up to Canada to get married! 
So what makes this movie so special? Olympia Dukakis portrayal of the stubborn and vulgarly outspoken Stella is simply brilliant, with comedic timing so spot on that her acerbic one-liners come at you like rapid fire. Dukakis is equally matched by Brenda Fricker's Dot, Stella's blind romantic counterpart of 31 years, and their genuine, non-saccharine love for each other squeaks through their constant spats. The screenplay by writer/director Thom Fitzgerald is comically clever and quirky, and presents us with characters that are complex and believable amidst situations that are at times quite absurd. Also Fitzgerald's exploration of same sex relationships amongst the elderly has to be commended, and Tom Harting's breathtaking cinematography exquisitly captures the natural beauty of Nova Scotia that serves as the backdrop for Stella and Dot's journey.
Although the story revolves around a lesbian couple, there's something here for straight girls and gay boys, too! Besides Olympia Dukakis being an icon in her own right, there's a hilarious scene which features full frontal male nudity - something I wouldn't expect in a movie about two elderly lesbians! Plus the 20-something aspiring dancer that the lesbian lovers encounter on the way, Prentice (played by newcomer Ryan Doucette), is quite irresistable and strikingly handsome, and he's often shirtless and in various states of undress! (Drool!)
So, to quickly summarize my review: GO SEE THIS MOVIE. I cannot stress it enough.
Cloudburst screens again at VIFF on Sunday, Oct. 2 at 4:00pm, Empire Granville 7
For tickets and showtimes, visit www.viff.org/festival
Visit the official Cloudburst website at http://thomfitzgerald.com/feature-films/cloudburst/

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