One story, three directors. “Ordinary Days” is a crime drama told from a trio of perspectives that proves the mystery is more interesting than the resolution.
College student Cara Cook (Jacqueline Byers) has disappeared without a trace leaving behind her grieving parents Marie (Torri Higginson) and Rich (Richard Clarkin).
The film’s first third, directed by Jordan Canning, shows us the emotional turmoil her parents endure as they grapple with their daughter’s fate. Was she assaulted? Kidnapped? Left for dead? As the uncertainty eats away at them, panic sets in.
Kris Booth directs the middle segment, the story of Jonathan Brightbill, a troubled cop played by Michael Xavier. Under pressure to resolve the case he pushes his own personal boundaries.
Part three is the resolution directed by Renuka Jeyapalan. No spoilers but it’s here we learn more about Cara, her disappearance and inner strength.
“Ordinary Days” is an interesting twist on a crime story. Essentially three short films, with different casts, based around one theme, it never feels disjointed. Tension builds in the first two segments, along with some nice character work, leading to a satisfying if not exactly riveting conclusion. The seamlessness of the overall vision begs the question, “Why use three directors?” but there is no denying the emotional power of the underlying story.
A weekly feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at “The Disaster Artist,” the neo-noir “Sweet Virginia” and the buddy flick “Suck It Up.”
“Suck it Up” is a buddy flick where the main characters aren’t exactly buddies.
When we first meet Ronnie (Grace Glowicki) she’s a drunk rebounding from the death of her brother Garrett. Constantly on the tipple, she almost winds up in the hospital after a lawn mowing accident. Concerned and looking for help for her out of control daughter, mother Dina (Nancy Kerr) calls Faye (Erin Carter), Ronnie’s former best buttoned-down friend and Garrett’s ex-girlfriend. Faye responded differently to Garrett’s death. Although they broke up a year before his passing, she is troubled that she didn’t pick up a phone call from her ex just days before his death. Cue intimacy issues.
When an intervention of sorts fails Faye kidnaps Ronnie—ie: puts her passed out body in the front seat of Garrett’s Mustang convertible—and heads for Garrett’s family cottage in Invermere, British Columbia. What was planned as a time of introspection and sobriety becomes something else as the women’s differences take center stage. Each processes their grief in a different way as they try and find some common ground other than their relationships with Garrett. The longer they spend in the country the more insight into each other and into the nature of their time with Garrett, for better and for worse.
“Suck it Up” is anchored by two great performances from Glowicki and Carter. As Ronnie and Faye they are polar opposites bound by a single factor, Garrett. Thrown together, they are an odd couple, damaged and not so sure of their resilience. As surprising revelations about Garrett (who we never see) emerge the leads shift and change in believable ways. At the risk of making this bouncy little film seem heavier than it actually is, I’ll say that it understands and conveys how grief and perspective are two entirely different things and does so with heartfelt humour. It’s a not exactly a startlingly new observation, but it is earnest and well portrayed.
I could have done without the climatic and cathartic mud fight scene but the movie sparkles in enough ways to make up for one grubby misstep.