Wilby Wonderful Daniel Macivor

BY Erin OkePublished Nov 17, 2016

With Wilby Wonderful, writer/director Daniel MacIvor (Past Perfect) continues his speciality of crafting quiet character studies full of meaningful silences and mangled attempts at communication. This film takes place over the course of a single day in Wilby, a quaint, insular island community where everyone knows each others' business. As a scandal looms over the island, the plot follows several residents' efforts to make it through a day of suicide attempts, ambitious social climbing, adultery, first loves, town gossip and political corruption. MacIvor is gifted at capturing the awkward, intimate moments in every interaction, making every story within the film bittersweet and painfully real. The characters are lovingly drawn, quirky and flawed, but endearing enough that you want them to succeed. The cast is uniformly strong, featuring almost every single working Canadian actor (Paul Gross, Maury Chaykin, Sandra Oh, Rebecca Jenkins, James Allodi, Callum Keith Rennie... I think it's only missing Don MacKellar and Sarah Polley to complete the set). Despite MacIvor's penchant for exploring the darkness and despair of everyday life, he manages to guide his characters toward finding some hope and hard-won redemption by the end of Wilby Wonderful, making the film a totally pleasurable experience. (Mongrel Media)

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