Victoria Day

2009

Drama

0
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 53%
IMDb Rating 6.5 10 134

1980s summer toronto, canada fireworks long weekend

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Plot summary


Uploaded by: FREEMAN
May 23, 2022 at 06:47 PM

Top cast

720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
812.13 MB
1280*544
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 28 min
P/S 8 / 27
1.47 GB
1920*816
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 28 min
P/S ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by howard.schumann 9 / 10

An emotionally affecting slice of life

Films geared to teenagers that authentically mirror their experience are very rare indeed but Victoria Day is definitely one of the few. Shot in North York, Ontario and set during Victoria Day weekend in 1988, Canadian author David Bezmozgis' first feature is the sensitive story of a very private young man learning to cope with problems of the adult world that have been thrust upon him much too soon. The film opens at the hockey rink where Ben Spektor (Mark Rendell), a 16-year-old hockey player, is dodging verbal bullets from teammate Jordan Chapman, a notorious bully. It is the time of the Stanley Cup finals between the Edmonton Oilers (read Wayne Gretzky) and the Boston Bruins, and hockey is the main topic of conversation.

With Bob Dylan song "Dark Eyes" playing in the background, the scene shifts to Exhibition Stadium where Ben and his friends are attending a Bob Dylan concert. Ben is stopped by Jordan outside of the concert who demands that he give him five dollars to buy drugs and Ben reluctantly complies. When Jordan does not show up at school or hockey practice the next day, however, Ben fears the worst. As the days pass and family, friends, and police search for Jordan, Ben's budding relationship with the missing youth's sister Cayla (Holly Deveaux) is strained by his feelings of guilt over Jordan's disappearance.

Although the ongoing search for Jordan hangs heavily, Bezmozgis does not allow its mood to dominate, showing lighter incidents from Ben's experience that define the feeling of time and place, including friends Sammy (John Mavro) and Noah (Scott Beaudin) shooting fireworks at each other at a party, an awkward relationships with the very giving Melanie (Melanie Leishman), Ben's very tentative outreach to Cayla, and his Russian parents (Nataliya Alyexeyenko and Sergiy Kotelenets) gruff over reaction when his broken arm suffered after clowning around prevents him from participating in the hockey playoffs.

Bezmozgis says that the film was inspired by the director's own experience as the son of Russian immigrant parents and also by his recollection of the death of 14-year-old Benji Hayward who drowned in Lake Ontario after ingesting LSD at a Pink Floyd concert in 1988. While Victoria Day is a fictional story, Bezmozgis says that he was happy to find out that Hayward's parents attended a screening at the Toronto Jewish Film Festival and liked the film. Victoria Day may lack the professional polish and dramatic arc of some higher budget films, yet it offers an emotionally affecting slice of life that captures that painful time of transition in a young man's life when, in Bob Dylan's words, "time is short and the days are sweet and passion rules the arrow that flies, a million faces at my feet but all I see are dark eyes."

Reviewed by gdump 5 / 10

Did I miss something?

I don't get it. I understand the concept of a "slice of life" movie, but this is only half a slice. The two major threads of the movie are both left hanging and completely unresolved.

The result is something that leaves me with no feeling of closure and a doubt that anything meaningful happened. If that was the intent, I have to say, "Why bother?" If it wasn't, then this is an epic fail.

The acting by the young actors is good and the side theme of the lead's home life is reasonably fleshed out and raise the score a couple of stars, but these don't solve the overall problem. This movie definitely needed another 15 minutes to wrap at least one of the threads up.

Reviewed by MrHagarty 9 / 10

It warms the theatre, like a nostalgic Canadian blanket.

Victoria Day is a beautiful film, thoughtfully written and directed, with a fine performance from its young star.

Its backdrop is very specifically late '80's Toronto: Victoria day weekend; Bob Dylan concert at Ontario Place; the nation glued to Gretzky in a playoff run. It's themes, however, remain easily universal.

It's a coming of age story, like so many, yet this one succeeds where they often fail. It delivers a honest teenage experience that is simple, unglamorous and true.

Victoria Day is an emotional slow-burn with many solid laughs, endearingly received by the Sundance crowds.

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