Actually, Passchendaele is pretty good
Rolling out the red carpet Thursday evening is Paul Gross’s Passchendaele, a sincere attempt at box-office success with the unofficial tagline “It was really expensive!” But fear not, traditional Canadian cinema lovers; this film hasn’t completely outgrown its Weird Sex and Snowshoes roots.
With glowing, panoramic landscape shots, plot twists that include drug addiction and the inner turmoil of immigrants, and sex scenes spliced with very unsexy content (a medical speech about shrapnel wounds, say), Paul Gross’s brainchild is not just another slick war movie; it’s our slick war movie.
We’re not sure if Passchendaele will be a commercial hit, but it will undoubtedly inspire some flag waving by showcasing our talent both in film and on the battlefield.
Speaking of homegrown talent, we developed a bit of a crush on cutie Joe Dinicol, the 24-year-old who plays the hot-headed brother of Gross’s love interest, when he told us, “Learning about the history of that battle and our soldiers in that war is hugely inspiring to the patriotic side of a person.”
While Gross’s character stops short of dispensing any coherent advice to his young friend, on the set, Dinicol (who we think looks like a young, fresh-faced James Franco) said he felt safe in the director’s hands, learning from his wisdom.
“To be part of such a big, detailed movie, and I guess at the end of the day expensive…the thrill outweighs any problems you might have,” said Dinicol of shooting the cold, wet and occasionally grotesque trench warfare scenes.
We’re hoping that at the very least the film will shine some wattage on up-and-coming Canadian stars. No pressure, Passchendaele. No pressure.—Melita Kuburas
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