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VIFF2006: Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont


Dan Ireland is a homegrown boy, a producer and filmmaker of some renown (more in the United States — where he has resided for more than a quarter century — than in Canada), the person who "discovered" Renée Zellweger when he cast her in his award-winning directorial début, The Whole Wide World, and the director of the accomplished and very lovely Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont, which will make its auspicious, if somewhat unheralded (as you might expect, we're attempting to change that with this posting), Canadian début this coming Friday at 7 p.m. at the Granville 7, Cinema 7.

Now, whether Mr. Ireland makes it to these shores from Arizona — where he is filming his latest, with Dermot Mulroney and Donald Sutherland, among others (but try to find mention of either Mr. Sutherland's or Mulroney's participation in the film on the Internet Movie Database) — seems a bit iffy at this writing. (Update: in fact, Mr. Ireland will arrive in town very late Friday night, in time for a 7 p.m., invitation only, screening of Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont, to be shown at the VanCity Theatre on Saturday night). But whether you meet Dan at a screening, or not (at least he'll make it to Vancouver to visit his mother, who lives just down the street from where VanRamblings resides, twice this year), VanRamblings whole-heartedly recommends that you catch a screening of the film.

VanRamblings believes that Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont (starring Joan Plowright) will likely emerge as one of your favourites at this year's Fest, and perhaps one of your favourite films of the year, as it is ours.

And, if you don't catch Dan Ireland's charming and completely satisfying film at one of its two screenings at the Festival, you are very likely indeed to miss Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont entirely. And that would be a pity.

Ty Burr, formerly of Entertainment Weekly and now a film critic with the Boston Globe (sister paper to the New York Times) enthuses in a quiet and measured way about the film, and says of Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont ...

Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont is a very small film that sets out to do a very small thing: paint a portrait of a friendship between an old lady and a young man. It succeeds so well at this modest goal that it touches on vaster mysteries of human connection and lives well lived. It's an altogether satisfying drama -- the sort of movie some people complain they don't make anymore. So here it is; what's your excuse?

And lest we forget, here's the film's movie trailer (Quicktime required).

Meanwhile, this is what Seattle Post-Intelligencer film critic William Arnold has to say about the film ...

Dan Ireland's exquisitely touching and skillfully underplayed relationship drama, Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont, is a true gem: perhaps the most thoroughly charming, and completely satisfying, independent film I've seen in the past two or three years.

Winner of the Audience Award at this year's Palm Springs International Film Festival, and nominated for an International Press Academy Satellite Award and a Young Artist Award, Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont is a must-see at the 25th annual Vancouver International Film Festival.

Tell your friends, tell your neighbours, and bring your family — to the Granville 7 this Friday. Be sure to arrive early to purchase a ticket ($9.50, plus $2 for a VIFF membership, if you haven't already got one), although the film is screening in Cinema 7, which holds a great many people.

Here's your chance to discover a great film. Remember: if you don't catch a screening of Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont at the Film Festival this week, you're likely to miss it entirely. And we wouldn't want that. Let's pack the theatre, and have a rousing good time. See you there!

And, oh yeah, bring tissues. Hankies. Kleenex. You'll need them.


Posted by Raymond Tomlin at October 3, 2006 11:39 AM in VIFF 2006


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