katrinaolson.ca - An Insignificant Harvey

Posted on Monday, December 12, 2011 at 12:00 AM

Movie: An Insignificant Harvey

An Insignificant Harvey, (2011 Jeff Kopas, Canada) is a small Budget Independent Canadian Film about Harvey played by Jordan Prentice (known for many roles including Jimmy, In Bruges) who struggles with life, relationships and at the end of the day, like all of us, just wants to be loved. An Insignificant Harvey is director/writer/co-producer Jeff Kopas’ first feature length film. That being said, the story was beautiful, humorous at times, and had enough “F” bombs to make it not so after-school-special-ish.

The main character Harvey, a lonely resort caretaker, adopts a Husky dog, named Inca, who follows him home. Inca helps Harvey with his confidence and introduces him to the very lovely Dakota (Kristin Adams), an exotic dancer, who luckily is very knowledgeable about Husky’s.  Dakota and Harvey spend time together, she is enchanted by his hobby of film making in an American Beauty sort of way, and ends up taking his virginity. Harvey’s best friend Lucas (Steven McCarthy) questions Dakota’s motives with Harvey. Harvey’s life spins out of control when he quits his job with his verbally abusive boss at the resort and Inca get’s badly injured due to his best friends stupidity. Harvey learns through these challenges that love changes him and restores order in his life.

An Insignificant Harvey is a very feel good movie. It was well written, however the opening  dream sequence involving a raccoon seemed ambiguous. Harvey’s character was well fleshed out, and felt familiar. Dakota’s character wasn’t as well digested. The Actress who played Dakota, Kristin Adam’s seemed very sweet and too girl-next- door to be a stripper. In the heightened reality of the film world, her characters boundaries seemed too soft and easy going to be charming patrons on the pole of the Fox & Fur (the Strip Bar she worked at). Adam’s as an actor embodies the likeness and character of a cross between Elisha Cuthbert and Greta Gerwig, but leaning more toward Gerwig.

There was a technical simplicity to this film that was just experimental enough to not distract from the solid story. The camera seemed handheld and was more expressive in scenes where alcohol was involved. The lighting was mood driven by the story. There was a scene where Dakota, Harvey and his jovial friend Lucas were at Dakota’s house partying,  in the scene there is a dialogue between Harvey and Dakota where the focus is racked back and fourth between the two, the lighting is a little over exposed, but very subtle and creates a loving tension between the two characters. The soundtrack accompanying the film was acoustic and soulful with delicate vocals that do not add any extra drama.

For a first feature length film, director Jeff Kopas played it safe in just about every aspect of this film, except for the most important and obvious fact, that Harvey was anything but “insignificant”, the lead character in his feature is a little person. It should be noted and applauded that Kopas, a fellow Canadian, developed a strong and independent Protagonist for his film. Especially considering the film industry often portrays little people as stereotypes.

Something about this film kept making me think of a quote from the film Examined Life (2008 Astra Taylor, Canada) where Judith Butler was discussing the social implications of disability with her sister Sunaura “Sunny” Taylor (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k0HZaPkF6qE ).  “Physical access leads to social access and acceptance”.

Photo courtesy of http://www.aninsignificantharvey.com/

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