I really watched this movie because I am a mammoth Nicholas Campbell fan and it is vaguely depressing that somebody of his talent is still grinding it out in under publicized indie films. I guess you hit a certain age as an actor/actress and you get relegated to mom/dad/crazy aunt/crazy uncle roles.
Campbell's presence and choices as a father and writer drive the film, he plays an aging writer who is charming but clearly faded from prominence who contacts his adult son to essentially write the book he always wanted to write with him a ham handed gesture at healing old wounds. The adult son presents as a disheveled and lost semi-man child with resentments about the past and no real sense of who he is. The premise is a book about Algonquin Park. The two men connect awkwardly because Campbell's character exited his family years before.
However, a shift occurs and there are plenty of hints it is coming in some seemingly minor details and our main character Jake discovers things about his father that are unsettling but compel him to try and finish the project and grapple with bonding with the other important people in his father's life, a life he never got to have.
Along the way Algonquin with its scenery serves as a source of healing, self discovery and a degree of acceptance. There are a few clunky moments and the natural setting often speaks for itself. Some of the symbolism is a bit obvious but it shows up in fleeting moments. Jake achieves a greater sense of who he is and sheds some of the internal anger and turmoil, he grows up. One other thing I do like about this movie, it is typically Canadian in that everything does not simply become resolved, the ending is very suitable for the life his father led. It is in many ways a "quiet" movie but not insubstantial. I hope more people see it but it seems to me that Canadians are often guilty of not appreciating their homegrown talent and I don't know much about how films get distributed but my guess is it did not hit many theaters either.
Jake, an unhappy school teacher, has his life upended when his shifty, travel writing father insists that they write a book on Algonquin Park together. Their trek to a long neglected family cabin is cut short by tragedy. Laying his father to rest, Jake decides to tribute the man by finishing the book. Returning to the cabin, he's interrupted by unexpected visitors: a mother and son who are his Dad's secret family. This deception is the final straw. However, something stops him. The young boy has an uncanny amount of information about a pivotal event from his childhood. Can these two brothers, having just met, come together on an unlikely quest that may help them find what they're looking for and so badly need?
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