Reviews & Previews - Calgary International Film Festval Mini-Reviews Part 3

Posted on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 at 05:00 PM

Calgary International Film Festival Mini - Reviews Part III

By: S. Tran

Six Figures
Director: David Christensen
Cast: JR Bourne, Caroline Cave, Deborah Grover, Frank Adamson, Joyce Gordon, Brooklynn Proulx

This was the first movie I saw at the CIFF earlier this year. I chose it in part because it was made by a Calgarian and shot in Calgary (in my neighbourhood as it turns out). While I really wanted to like the film I felt like I was watching a CBC special on TV more than a feature film.

The story revolves around Warner (Bourne) a good guy who is a little down on his luck and is starting to feel pressures at home and at work to provide a better life for his family. Warner gets into an argument with his wife just before she is attacked by an unknown assailant and suspicion is cast on him.

The story itself was interesting and manages to keep you guessing even after the movie is over. There are no easy answers provided. The acting in the film was also quite good. All the leads give good performances and Brooklynn Proulx as the young daughter shows that she has a promising career ahead of her. I also enjoyed the performances by Adamson and Gordon as Warner's parents.

For me though the film lacked the ability to pull the audience into the movie and make us care about these characters. A big part of the problem was that the director chose to shoot a lot of the scenes without close ups choosing instead to arrange the shots further back than we're used to. I think by doing this he didn't take advantage of the greatest advantages that movies have. The effect was that I almost felt I was watching a play rather than a movie.

Another weakness was the overall blandness of the look in the film. Everything felt a little washed out due to the colours used. Its hard to explain but the film was sort of a dull beige throughout. This, combined with the lack of a powerful score left me feeling that there was something missing in the movie. Overall though it's a good, though not great, debut for Christensen as a director.


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