When we think of movies, we immediately think of Hollywood. It is, after all, where the most well-known films are made. From Breakfast at Tiffany’s to Pirates of the Caribbean, there’s nothing that big Hollywood film producers can’t do to create cinematic masterpieces. Though there are movies being made across the border that are worth checking out, here are ten Canadian-made movies that you should definitely take the time to see.
1. Goon: Last of the Enforcers
This sports-comedy, sequel to Goon, is directed by and stars Ottawa native Jay Baruchel (known for his days on the 1997 educational series for children Popular Mechanics for Kids). Doug “The Thug” Glatts, a professional hockey player, hangs up his skates after taking one too many hits on the ice. He settles into domestic life as a husband and father-to-be working as an insurance salesman. His peaceful life then takes a dramatic turn when he finds out that his long-time nemesis, Anders Cain, is being named the new captain of his former team, the Halifax Highlanders. It’s a story of figuring out what one wants in life and the people that support them.
2. Barney’s Version
Based on a Mordecai Richler novel of the same name, this comedy-drama, directed by former CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Person of Interest director Richard J. Lewis, centres around a man named Barney (portrayed by award-winning actor Paul Giamatti) as he looks back on his life before it comes to an end. It’s a film that offers comedy and insight into the complexities of modern-day romance.
Getting into a car accident is not something that can make one want to engage in fulfilling their carnal desires. In this Toronto-filmed psychological thriller starring James Spader, directed and written by Toronto native David Cronenberg, Crash dives into the world of paraphilia. A word of warning, it contains scenes of violence and sexuality that’s not suitable for younger viewers. Viewer discretion is strongly advised.
Two Holocaust survivors join together to find the Nazi guard responsible for the deaths of their family members. The great Christopher Plummer, known for his many roles including The Lake House and the classic The Sound of Music, stars in this Canadian-made film directed by Atom Egoyan.
We live in a culture where comic books are the epitome of our existence. From the cinematic adaptations of every Marvel and DC superhero movies like The Avengers and the Batman franchise to the animated film from Pixar’s The Incredibles. Defendor, directed by British Columbia native Peter Stebbings and stars Woody Harrelson, offers a bittersweet and emotionally effective take on this comic book-obsessed society of ours.
6. The Red Violin
Nicolo Bussotti, a legendary violin maker in Cremona, Italy in 1681, creates a violin that he painted red with his deceased wife’s blood to keep her memory alive. The instrument is then sold at an auction in modern-day Montreal, catching the attention of an appraiser played by Samuel L. Jackson. It’s a film that explores the yearning people have to achieve perfection. The film is directed by French-Canadian director François Girard, The Red Violin takes a look at the lives of the people that owned the instrument and how it will impact their lives.
7. The Saddest Music in the World
In this experimental musical film set in 1930s Winnipeg, amputee baroness Lady Port-Huntley (played by Isabella Rossellini) organizes a music competition offering $25,000 to the person who can compose the saddest music in the world. Directed by Canadian screenwriter Guy Maddin, The Saddest Music in the World tells the story of conveying grief and tragedy through music.
8. I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing
An absent-minded photographer lands a job at a local art gallery in Toronto. Told from the point of view of Polly, this film, directed by Canadian director and screenwriter Patricia Rozema, explores the crossing between reality and fantasy as Polly develops her photos.
9. Ginger Snaps
Two death-obsessed sisters, Ginger and Brigitte, are outcasts in their suburban neighbourhood of Bailey Downs. They must deal with the tragic consequences when one of them is bitten by a deadly werewolf. Directed by Canadian director John Fawcett, known for his recent work Orphan Black, Ginger Snaps takes a look into the supernatural and how the modern world deals with the aftermath when someone is attacked by a creature that only existed in books and fictional movies.
10. Stories We Tell
Based on true events, Stories We Tell depicts the family history of Canadian actress, writer, and director Sarah Polley. Through a series of interviews, Polley tells the story of her parent’s relationship and how she became the person that she is today.