Grown Up Movie Star
Dad (Shawn Doyle) can’t cross the border into the United States. Years ago, he was caught smuggling pot from New York to Newfoundland to his best friend Uncle Stuart (Johnny Harris), whom he’d accidentally shot years before putting him in a wheelchair. The drug bust ended Dad’s hockey career, right when he could’ve been somebody. Mom has just sped away from their dreary little Canadian town to fulfill a childhood dream of becoming a Hollywood movie star. This leaves Dad free to pursue fantasies of his own, one of which 14-year-old Ruby (Tatiana Maslany) walks in on when she finds her gym teacher on his knees, giving Dad something he used to accuse other local guys of getting from other guys. Ruby soon starts donning Mom’s discarded getups, trying out for town tramp with the goal of having a Hollywood career herself someday. She gets Uncle Stuart, a photographer, to snap her headshots and does her best to work him up while she works the camera. Dad can’t control Ruby or her sister, so he calls in his own right-wing father for reinforcement, only to find his daughter exposing his exploits and nearly giving the old crank a coronary.
If drama was ever looking for a place to roost, it sure found it in writer-director Adriana Magg’s Newfoundland with "Grown-Up Movie Star." Stunning landscapes and stellar performances abound, especially from Tatiana Maslany as the brassy but naïve Ruby, but the stew is a little thick for this 92-minute pressure cooker to contain. Also, an early scene where Dad performs a thrill-kill on a lost little bird that the girls entrust to his care might not make you feel for him later, as much as wish him the fledgling’s fate.
"Grown-Up Movie Star"