Combustible Celluloid
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With: Molly Parker, Rebecca Jenkins, Stacey Smith, Marguerite McNeil, Ellen Page, Hollis McLaren, Emmy Alcorn, Joseph Rutten, Nicola Lipman, Jackie Torrens, Kevin Curran, Ashley MacIsaac, Heather Rankin, Linda Busby, Stephen Manuel
Written by: Daniel MacIvor, based on his play
Directed by: Wiebke von Carolsfeld
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
Running Time: 90
Date: 09/07/2002

Marion Bridge (2002)

3 Stars (out of 4)

Damp Classic

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

Marion Bridge dishes out one tired old plot point after another, but somehow manages to pull them all together for a surprisingly coherent and effective picture.

This three-hankie weepie has Agnes (Molly Parker, stripping Parker Posey of her "indie queen" throne?) returning home to Nova Scotia when her sick mother (Marguerite McNeil) is hospitalized. Her two sisters Theresa (Rebecca Jenkins) and Louise (Stacy Smith) have stayed behind to care for mom and harbor the expected resentment toward their footloose and fancy-free younger sister.

The gray, lazy atmosphere helps a great deal. The girls don't seem to have jobs to go to, but all the better to lay around the house, looking at hockey games and sniping at each other; the cold and fog permeate the film indoors as well as out.

The film tries to lay a few emotional landmines in the hopes of blowing them up later; Agnes is an alcoholic on the wagon for just over two months. She also drives to a local gift shop and spies on the young teenage girl (Ellen Page) working there. It's fairly obvious how things will turn out, but Marion Bridge manages the twists with deft control.

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