Wow, my 2014 Sundance experience is off to a rough start. I had hoped to see Mitt as my first movie but unfortunately, my locals only pass (which cost me an extra $100 this year) does not get me into any SLC screening as promised. Read the fine print and you can't get into the first screening. So I had to rush to find another movie. The only possibility was My Prairie Life directed and written by Chelsea McMullan. I hate to embrace stereotypes and clichés, but this movie absolutely confirms the idea that Canadians are boring.
Don’t get me wrong; I love a good movie about troubled gay twenty-somethings. But I’ve seen this movie tens of times at Sundance. And I’ve seen it done much better at Sundance. I’m starting to feel like Sundance needs a reset; a rethinking of the movie themes they should showcase.
But before I get too critical, let me embrace the things I liked about the movie. The cinematography was spectacular. There was more than one moment that had me marveling at the beauty of the Canadian plains; the small town weirdness; the epic beauty. I also liked some of the “music video” sequences performed by the star of the show, Rae Spoon. In fact, they were the only musical moments in the film that truly spoke to me. And there were a lot of musical moments that weren't great.
What didn’t work was the direction and the editing. I frequently found myself embarrassed at the fact that I was giggling out loud at the absurd length of some cuts. Or the fact that we were forced to endure the monotonous narrations of the central Canadian lesbian character. Actually she'd probably not like me referring to her as a lesbian because I think she considers herself more gender ambiguous. Oh, how can you tell these days. She'd really hate that I'm referring to Canadian lesbians as Canesbians.
All in all, this is a tedious, yawner of a movie.