; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: VIFF: Sleeping Giant (Review # 1)

Sunday, 27 September 2015

VIFF: Sleeping Giant (Review # 1)

(reviewed by Meaghan Smith)

An Unexpected Delight

I will admit that I did not choose Sleeping Giant as part of my film festival schedule. I have spent enough years around smart-ass fifteen-year-old pot-smoking hooligans in my time while living with my brother.  I was pleasantly surprised however to find that I loved this film and it is my favourite of the festival so far (although it is the second day). This film had authentic writing mixed with amazing acting by the three lead teenage boys. I was happy to watch a teen movie that stars actual teenagers who sound like the kids you roll your eyes at on the bus. Teenage relationships and their sense of justice are the centre pieces of this film.

The always-beautiful lake superior was the backdrop of this film, but the social dynamic of the film could have placed it in quite a few different areas. I went back and forth between Northern Ontario and the Maritimes a few times before I was able to check the setting on my phone (the movie takes place outside of Thunder Bay, ON).    

The most impressive part of this film for me was the inclusion of a young queer character whose storyline was not centred on the fact that he is gay. The topic is not openly broached during the film and he is the first gay character that I’ve seen in film whose sexuality was not an active plot point.

I strongly suggest checking out this movie for a taste of what teenagers are actually like and well laid out drama that had our audience gasping.  

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