Posted January 27, 2009 in
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Dirs: Ingrid Veninger and Simon Reynolds

This movie was one of the most honest pieces of cinema I have seen in a very, very long while. Due, almost entirely, to the main actors: two tween kids. They deliver completely honest performances in the way that only unaware children can. Daniel (Jacob Switzer) and Vera (Elena Hudgins Lyle) play two kids stranded together at a slow moving hotel in Canada that Daniel's parents run. They share only one day together but create a bond in their innocent, ready to burst into jaded maturity, lives that could last forever. This film does not play to the short attention spanned, it is one of solitude and the scenery of the great white north.

Snow crunching underneath the children's feet, their voices bouncing off trees and the hush of fresh snowfall create an atmosphere of anticipation and eagerness. They openly ask each other questions they will ask of future lovers, but ask for the first time here as curious children playing in the woods. Their questions range from ones on death, cancer, and what they desire out of life. And their reactions range from fully comprehending life's mysteries at a time when their brains are opening up to the larger world outside themselves, and the awed looks of those first figuring life out.

I can be a hard hearted sonofabitch, but this movie worked for me. It reminded me of more innocent times, like my first kiss: a moment captured truly and faithfully in this movie. I hope this flick gets major distribution to art houses for those who enjoy thoughtful and well paced films. If not, I highly recommend you find it on DVD.

4 out of 5* - Jon Paxton