Making one of his final screen performances, the late Cory Monteith leads a superb Canadian ensemble in this sharply nuanced comic drama from debut Canadian director Gia Milani.
All the Wrong Reasons
This debut feature from New Brunswick filmmaker Gia Milani is a captivating and nuanced comic drama about the entangled fates of four big-box department store employees, starring the late Cory Monteith in one of his final performances. (He also stars in McCanick at the Festival.) Related with wit, compassion, and gratifying psychological complexity, All the Wrong Reasons explores the different ways we cope with trauma.
Kate (Karine Vanasse) supervises the surveillance feeds in a department store, a position that affords her the isolation she is desperate to maintain after witnessing her sister's suicide. Still struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder a year after the event, she pathologically shrinks from physical contact — including the embrace of her husband, James (Monteith), the store's manager.
With his wife's fragile state a serious impediment to marital intimacy, James finds himself drawn to Nicole (Emily Hampshire), a free-spirited cashier and frustrated single mother. Meanwhile, Kate is slowly warming to new security guard Simon (Kevin Zegers), a kindred wounded spirit. The remarkable ensemble cast delivers striking performances; Monteith, in particular, makes an accomplished transition from Glee to this more mature material.
Employing security monitors as a recurrent
visual motif, Milani invites us into the
busy store's private spaces and the lives of
her richly realized characters. With a confidence
belying her newcomer status, she
deftly balances the increasingly dramatic
developments with a welcome lightness of
touch, delivering a winning combination of
comedy and emotional candour.
AGATA SMOLUCH DEL SORBO