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'The Event' reviews ~ NOW Toronto and eye.net

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  • maestroshelly98
    THE EVENT (Thom Fitzgerald) has Don McKellar as a gay New York Jewish cellist who appears to die from AIDS complications. But assistant DA Parker Posey
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 2, 2003
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      (Thom Fitzgerald) has Don McKellar as a gay New York Jewish cellist
      who appears to die from AIDS complications. But assistant DA Parker
      Posey suspects an intervention from his cabal of fabulous friends and
      family, which launches galloping flashbacks. The Event was meant to be
      filmed in Canada, but it became a New York story when local financing
      fell through. That dislocation hobbles the film, and the funhouse
      casting doesn't help – Sarah Polley and Olympia Dukakis as McKellar's
      family! McKellar looks out of his emotional depth, but then this whole
      film suffers from a painful air of fakery. 114 min. NN (CB) Opens Oct
      3 at Bayview, Varsity.


      * * * * *

      THE EVENT (**)

      Starring Don McKellar, Brent Carver. Written by Tim Marback, Steven
      Hillyer, Thom Fitzgerald. Directed by Thom Fitzgerald. (STC) 114 min.
      Opens Oct 3.

      The point at the heart of Thom Fitzgerald's new drama -- that the AIDS
      crisis is not over -- is a valuable one. Health Canada estimates that
      as of June of this year, there are 50,000 people living with HIV/AIDS
      in Canada, 30 per cent of whom do not know they're infected. Drug
      therapies may be more effective but the disease has no cure, people
      still die and to be complacent about it is reckless. By presenting the
      story of a man who wants to determine how his life will end, the
      Halifax-based director (The Hanging Garden, The Wild Dogs) also aims
      to make some provocative points about euthanasia.

      But good intentions and a nickel won't get you a Twizzler -- The Event
      is hobbled by a shoddily written script, inconsistent direction and
      piss-poor performances by a series of usually dependable indie-film
      favourites. Though it tries to assume the contours of a mystery --
      with a badly miscast Parker Posey in the role of the intrepid sleuth
      -- the story is instead a graceless melodrama about an ailing
      HIV-positive musician who's exhausted conventional treatments. With
      heavy hearts, Matt (Don McKellar) and his loved ones -- including his
      doctor Brian (Brent Carver), saintly mom Lila (Olympia Dukakis) and
      snarky sister Dana (Sarah Polley) -- get ready for one last shindig.
      In the weeks after Matt's "event," Parker's stern-faced assistant DA
      searches for the truth.

      But there is no mystery here and Fitzgerald's laborious attempts to
      suggest otherwise is baffling. No wonder the actors look so confused
      -- poor Posey acts as if she has a terrible headache and just wants to
      lie down for a bit. With its unpleasant cocktail of saccharine
      flashbacks, unsaucy banter, implausible interrogation-room
      confrontations and ham-fisted AIDS polemics, The Event plays like a
      cross between Longtime Companion and the worst-ever episode of Law &

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