The Grand Seduction

Take a small Canadian fishing village that is no longer allowed to catch enough fish to support its families (shades of "Local Hero" in 1983); add a petrochemical company looking to locate a new recycling plant; include their stipulation that any town where they build MUST have a doctor; NOW the plot begins to thicken...

The residents are on the dole and they feel humiliated and demeaned. As we watched this delightful Canadian entry to the 2014 Seattle Inter- national Film Festival we knew that this would have a happy ending, we would get to know these quirky folks and we would have a whole armload of people to root for. We just didn't know exactly how we would arrive at this happy ending.

Director Don McKellar brings us:
  • Brendan Gleeson ("The Guard") is the lead conniver. Watch him call his first town meeting! He talks the entire population into his charade as they blackmail a young doctor into a temporary gig during which they hope to seduce him into staying. He also sets up an illegal telephone monitor so they know what sort of impression they are making on the doctor.
  • Taylor Kitsch ("Lone Survivor") is that young doctor, caught with a bit of cocaine at an airport and blackmailed by the former mayor of Tickle Cove to go there for awhile. Gleeson's character reassures him, to his dismay, that the town is "cocaine friendly."
  • Gordon Pinsent ("Due South") is our conniver's best friend. He is game for anything...even trying to pretend he can play cricket! His wife is one of the women who listens in on our doctor's phone calls.
  • Liane Balaban ("Saving Hope") is a lovely young woman our conniver would like to throw into the mix as bait for our studly young doctor. She has heard he is engaged so will have nothing to do with it.
  • Mark Critch (Lots of TV) is the lowly banker in this hamlet, afraid he will be replaced by an ATM.
It's so much fun to watch the two older gals whose job it is to listen in on the doctor's phone calls. Of course, anything he says becomes common knowledge by morning, but he never tumbles.

Other than Mr. Gleeson, who is from Dublin, the director, writers and cast are all Canadian. I love it! This PG-13 film has no gunshots, fisticuffs, vehicular mayhem or blowie uppie stuff. Just lots of resourceful people trying to fool a fairly gullible young man and a good time is had by all.
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