Posts Tagged ‘One Week’


one_week01One Week tells the story of Ben Tyler (Joshua Jackson), a frustrated writer turned elementary school teacher. He’s on autopilot until he learns that he has stage four cancer but rather than go straight to the hospital and the inevitable, he buys a motorcycle and heads west from Toronto on a road trip that takes him to the western most parts of our country.

It’s a jam packed trip that sees him encounter everything from The Tragically Hip’s Gord Downey as a pot-smoking cancer survivor to the Stanley Cup. On his trip when he isn’t doing such distinctly Canadian things as “rolling up the rim to win” he embarks on a personal journey that leads to a greater understanding of not only where he came from but also, where he is going.

Over top of it all is a clever voiceover supplied by actor Campbell Scott. It’s a voice of God narration that adds some perspective and depth to Ben’s on-camera antics.

One Week features a fine performance from Lianne Balaban, as Ben’s level headed fiancée Samantha, and some interesting cameos from Canadian rockers Gord Downey and Emm Gryner, but it is Jackson who surprises.

The former Dawson’s Creek star—and ex of Katie Holmes—hands in an unexpectedly interesting performance. As Ben he’s a conflicted guy, pulled between taking the safe route—giving up his dream of being a writer, settling down to a quiet suburban life with Samantha and accepting his fate—or pushing the envelope by breaking free and embarking on a physical and personal journey, if only until his illness forces him to return home.

It’s that push and pull that either makes Ben the most selfish guy in the movies this year or someone determined to go out in a blaze of glory. Jackson’s performance and the film leaves that determination up to the viewer, but it is the actor’s work that gives the movie steam and purpose. He’s likeable but there’s more to the performance than charm. Jackson gets under Ben’s skin, bringing realism to a character that sometimes does unreal things. This grounding keeps the film from going off the rails in some of its stranger moments.

One Week has been called a “love letter to Canada,” and it is from its unabashedly Canadian setting to its strictly CanCon references—I doubt “roll up the rim to win” has much resonance for anyone outside the purview of Stats Canada—but its heartfelt story is universal and timeless enough to appeal to anyone whether they have the Queen on their money or not.

How about watching Canada play itself onscreen? In Focus by Richard Crouse METRO CANADA Published: June 29, 2011

downtheroadThis Canada Day, it’s possible to sight-see without leaving the comfort of your home.

Many American films use Canada as a substitute for international locations — look for Casa Loma in the X-Men films, or Simon Fraser University in The Day the Earth Stood Still, for example —but our homegrown cinema highlights our landmarks as our own.

So why not reheat some tourtière (with a side of poutine, of course!), or crack open a bag of ketchup chips, then wash it down with a glass of Niagara Peninsula ice wine and see the country through the eyes of our filmmakers.

Goin’ Down the Road (1970)

The story of Pete (Doug McGrath) and his pal Joey (Paul Bradley), two Maritimers who set out in a Chevy to find a better life in Toronto, (SCTV joked they were looking for “lawyerin’ and doctorin’ jobs”) is a Canadian time capsule circa 1970.

One Week (2008)

The story of a dying man on a road trip is a love letter to Canada, showcasing landmarks — like the world’s biggest hockey stick — but its heartfelt story should appeal to everyone, whether they have the Queen on their money or someone else’s mug.

Jesus of Montreal (1989)

Not only does Saint Joseph’s Oratory represent Montreal in Monopoly: Here and New – The World Edition, it also provides a beautiful backdrop for this classic Canadian film from acclaimed director, Denys Arcand.

waydowntown (2000)

This satire of office life and urban living showcases Calgary’s web of connecting tunnels. You don’t see much of the outdoor life, but it gives you a glimpse of a little-seen aspect of Albertan big city life.

The Snow Walker (2003)

Shot partially in Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, the story of a bush pilot and a sick Inuit woman who must survive after a plane crash features a breathtaking look at Canada’s North, including some beautiful time lapse photography of that natural wonder known as the Northern Lights.