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quietearth [Celluloid 10.07.09] Canada movie review drama fantasy



Year: 2009
Directors: Ryan Ward
Writers: Ryan Ward & Matthew Heiti
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: quietearth
Rating: 8 out of 10

It's films like this which make me seriously question people's commitment to the art form I so love and make me wish I had enough cash flow to start my own dvd distribution label. (Anyone wanna back me?) SOTS premiered at Slamdance earlier this year, and while some of it's brethren went on to some form of release, this gem still does not have a sales agent or distribution anywhere and has been lightly playing the fest circuit. What starts out as a drama about a young man with tourette's syndrome bleeds into the divine, and is overall, a solid, thoroughly enjoyable indie which deserves far more attention.


The fantasy portion of the film is better left unexplored, so I'll give a brief background before concentrating on an overview of this brilliant and profound cinematic movement. Ryan Ward, writer and director, also plays the main character Sonny who suffers from a illness which makes him randomly scream out curse words and other socially unnaceptable things. His social life is therefore, nonexistent, and his family life is as acerbic as what comes out of his mouth. Sonny's often gets his face trademarked in his infrequent dealings with people. Seemingly miserable all around, I can identify with his feeling like a foreigner and liked him immediately.

This dramatic slump is the basis of SOTS, and after a brief upturn of happy childhood flashbacks in the beginnings, my head left the clouds and was grounded with the reality of Sonny's dire situation. His life sucks. And in all his turbulence, we swing heavily upwards with him at moments. His attachment to childhood is the only positive thing he has until the film forwards into his exploration of love which is as aberrant as every character in the film. All this is explored through the dreamy, grainy, and beautifully shot backdrop of Toronto.

Seemingly melodramatic in both tone and character's personas, SOTS has a constant cloudy and drab pallor which parallels Sonny's life. In his rare lucid moments, brief, utopian, dream sequences are framed brightly, or alternately, in haze, and play along with his sublime internal poetry or some incredibly poignant music from Joanna Newsom or Devendra Banhart. But these moments are few in the overall symphony of "just getting by" save the brief moments of divinity and personal connections.

For all this I only have one complaint. Two of the tangential actors clearly cannot act. Besides that, this is Ryan Ward's opus and is one of the most prized screeners in my collection.

My girlfriend loved this film. I loved this film. Everyone I show the trailer too wants to see it. Someone give it a proper release!

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Anonymous (9 years ago) Reply

agreed. the trailer is fantastic. really want to see this. didnt know that he the writer&director also plays the lead, thats great.
someone get this a release alreadyyyy.

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Rosomak (9 years ago) Reply

Is anybody know what was the budget of this film?


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