Today I am proud to be Canadian. More proud than usual, that is.
Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau carries a young Justin into 24 Sussex, where he will soon end up again as our Prime Minister. How cool is that?
The Canadian electorate has resoundingly chosen a new government led by the Liberal party but more pointedly by a vigorous, young, positive and somewhat idealistic leader in Justin Trudeau.
This government will, no doubt, make mistakes along the way and it will take a lot of time and effort and trial and error to get all those jobs done to bring Canada back to who we fundamentally believe we are deep in our hearts.
I am excited to see many capable men and women elected to parliament and particularly pleased to turn the reins over to the generation that will have to deal with the policy decisions made in the next four years. It seemed like my Liberal vote was giving control over to my kids and that felt very good.
Canada’s House of Commons, Ottawa.
In addition, we have basically overthrown the sitting government in a peaceful, orderly way. Do you know how significant that is? I have worked in Bosnia and Kenya and Uganda where voters feel this is impossible. The despair I have seen from young, frustrated citizens is indeed sad. In so many countries in the world, where a democratic process is ostensibly in place, the electorate still feels powerless. Governments are corrupt and cling to power with money and threats and manipulation. As our Canadian election campaign began it appeared that the the Conservatives had much more funding available to them to promote their candidates. But money did not make the difference. The groundswell of ABC – Anything But Conservative – and social media posts to encourage people to vote for change proved more powerful than money and scare tactics. World, take note. It can be done.
I am not so naive to believe there will not be snags and scandals and missteps by this government but I am eager to give them a chance. One of my friends posted a list of things that this government will need to do to keep all their promises and it ended with “walk on water”. At least we are starting out with a leader who appears to be honestly transparent, inclusive and progressive. You have four plus years, Justin. We have given you a chance to make us even prouder than we feel today.
Unfortunately, Julianne Moore stood me up. As Moore’s go, I had to settle for Michael. I had hoped she would at least show up and smile at the showing of Freeheld today. Maybe we would have a moment of eye contact. But no, she didn’t. Nor did Ellen Page or the director of the movie. I know they are in town as the were photos in the papers of them at the premiere of the film last night. Maybe they were too hung over today. But really, a few moments at two in the afternoon to acknowledge the enthusiasm of their movie fans? Not too much to ask in my opinion.
This film was the last of seven I have seen over the past few days. A touching but somewhat melodramatic documentary about Laurel Hester’s struggle to get her pension benefits transferred to her partner when she inevitably dies of lung cancer. Based on a true story, the film chronicles a significant piece of LGBT history in the U.S. to achieve equality for same sex couples.
Ms. Moore (we are no longer on a first name basis) walked her way through the role as a maltreated lesbian detective dying of cancer. I did not feel that her heart was in it. I actually wondered if she and Ellen Page got along when the camera was not rolling. I found the dialogue a bit trite and mechanical and there was nothing special about the cinematography. Steve Carrell brightens the film up as a self-described “very gay Jew” who leads the protests and public outcry to reverse the decision of the Freeholders.
This film felt more like a made for TV movie than one for the big screen. It also dawned on me why I have found Ms. Moore so attractive in the past. If she had brown eyes instead of blue, she would bear some resemblance to my late wife. Watching her dying of cancer, losing her hair, becoming pale, losing control of her life…well maybe it was just a bit too close for comfort.
The bottom line is that I didn’t find anything special about this movie other than the historical content. It was kind of a love story, sort of a documentary, partly a celebration of movement toward equal rights for same sex partners, partly about a woman dying of cancer. Lots of parts but for me it missed the whole. Wait for it on Netflix. Won’t be long. 3 out of 5
I am on the train on my way home. TIFF shows over 300 movies. I only saw 7 so my sample size is pretty small. Of those I saw, I would recommend seeing Youth and The Danish Girl. And please see both of them in the theatre to appreciate them best. I will likely go to them again when they are released.
After 5 or 6 years of TIFF, I think I have the hang of it now. It would be fun to have company at movies and in line but when I go alone there is always someone to chat with. (I had a great conversation with a woman from Texas this morning in line, touching on politics, film, travel and in the theatre beside me was a fellow from New York City and originally from China.) TIFF recharges my extravert batteries. Lots of vitality in the city, people around, enjoying a movie in a packed theatre in the dark with others who are doing the same thing. Join me next year?
For the past few days I have been wandering around New York City. April is a great time to visit. Spring flowers and trees in blossom. Perfect temperature for walking from one end of Manhattan to the other.
Since a picture is worth 1000 words I will stick to photos instead of exposition. It will be a trilogy. Spring Flowers – Icons – People