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Five Great Canadian Christmas Films

by on 2012/12/15

Hacker Renders
They’re not exactly festive, but they’re certainly seasonal. In a country renowned for its comedy, these are relatively dour affairs, but their tone never gets in the way of their excellence.

While we have at least twelve days of Canadian picks beneath our Christmas tree, too many of them are unsatisfying or middling. These five represent the cream of the crop.

Two have appeared on a previous list of unconventional favourites. The others are “new” but fit in just as well. Whether you’re drawn to family drama, the apocalypse, or somewhere between, you’ll find a treasure more memorable here than whatever the current fad gadget is.

C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005)C.R.A.Z.Y. (2005) on 2011/07/10

* * * * *

“Experiences like C.R.A.Z.Y. keep me watching and writing reviews. It’s an unconventional epic, but an epic nonetheless, the portrait of an outsider in the pre-It-Gets-Better days. Everybody’s Fine remixed by The Buddha of Suburbia.”

The Dead Zone (1983)The Dead Zone (1983) on 2012/08/09

* * * *

“David Cronenberg directs them in this series of connected tales involving a small town English teacher, John Smith, whose traffic accident costs him five years, his health, his job, a relationship, and his former religious faith . . . The Dead Zone is a compelling experience.”

Last Night (1998)Last Night (1998) on 2011/07/30

* * * * *

“Like the hybrid of two other recent features — One Week and Exotica — Last Night shows a beguiling cross-section of society struggling with their mortality. I’ve seen it a few times already, and my affection for it has never dimmed.”

Mon Oncle Antoine (1971)Mon Oncle Antoine (1971) on 2012/07/29

* * * *

Mon Oncle Antoine was a tad deliberate for me, but still worth seeing for gentle historical fare. It could make for an interesting counterpoint to Bob Clark’s A Christmas Story, for they struck me as similar in many ways. Just be advised, Antoine is slower, darker, and comparatively adult.”

Spider (2002)Spider (2002) on 2012/08/25

* * * * *

“It’s difficult to pass judgement here without seeming unfairly critical of the Cronenberg efforts I’ve reviewed at so far. They are, almost without exception, fascinating entertainment but Spider, for me, was an order of magnitude greater. It comprises many strengths from what’s gone before, imbued with more resonant depth. To paraphrase Neville’s character, that repertoire is full of loud worlds, and this entry is a quiet island.”

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