Special Presentations

Weirdos

Bruce McDonald

Canadian master Bruce McDonald (Hard Core Logo, The Tracey Fragments) teams with veteran playwright and screenwriter Daniel MacIvor for this offbeat coming-of-age comedy-drama, about two Nova Scotian teens who hit the road in July 1976 accompanied by the laconic ghost of (the still-living) Andy Warhol.

Canadian master filmmaker Bruce McDonald may be a badass, but he's no stranger to sentiment. This year he treats the Festival to one of his most heartfelt films yet.

It's July 1976, and the USA is celebrating its bicentennial. But, north of the border in the small Nova Scotian town of Antigonish it's a weekend like any other, which means not much is going on. Music-loving 15-year-old Kit (Dylan Authors) spends his time either alone in his room listening to Elton John albums, or hanging out with his platonic girlfriend, Alice (Julia Sarah Stone, a 2014 TIFF Rising Star). Like Kit, Alice feels out of place, and her divorced parents have too many issues of their own to offer much comfort.

Craving a turning point in their lives, the two decide to hitchhike to Sydney to visit Kit's glamorous but unstable mother, Laura (Molly Parker, who also appears at this year's Festival in American Pastoral). Through their quest for something bigger and better — both on the road and at their destination — they'll face some truths about themselves that will point the way to a more honest, fully lived future.

This coming-of-age road movie is punctuated by smart repartee courtesy of veteran playwright and screenwriter Daniel MacIvor. It's also got a delicious blend of magic and naturalism — Kit's journey is guided, spirit animal–style, by a laconic Andy Warhol apparition (Rhys Bevan-John).

Accompanied by a suitably killer '70s soundtrack, and shot in softly sunlit black and white, McDonald's film is grounded in its quiet and life-affirming moments; the film's offbeat sense of humour arises organically from the differences in the ways its characters express their love. These sweet weirdos are temporarily lost, but they're about to help each other find out where they're headed.

MAGALI SIMARD

location_on Bell Lightbox 1

theaters Regular

location_on Scotiabank 7

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location_on Isabel Bader Theatre

theaters Regular

location_on Scotiabank 7

verified_user Industry