For the first time in a long time, I have seen four of the feature films nominated for Leo Awards on the big screen, thanks to a Vancouver International Film Festival pass from Vancouver is Awesome dot com.
As expected, Carl Bessai’s Sisters & Brothers, the third in his trilogy about dysfunctional Vancouver families, leads the feature film nominations with twelve in total. How could it not with local talent like Corner Gas’s Gabrielle Miller and Benjaman Ratner as sister and brother; Intelligence’s Camille Sullivan and Amanda Crew as half-sisters on a road trip to L.A. with a sleezy hustler played by Tom Scholte; and The Killing’s Kacey Rohl and Leena Manro as another pair of half-sisters, whose mother is none other than local acting legend Gabrielle Rose? All eight of these B.C. actors are nominated either for lead or supporting performances in the film.
Sisters & Brothers also picked up a nomination for Carl Bessai’s directing,
Hamlet, a film I don’t know much about, garnered eight nominations as did Marilyn, which premiered at the Whistler Film Festival and picked up a leading performance nomination for Ryan Robbins (whose castmates from the upcoming second season of Falling Skies travelled up to see the screening with him).
Next in the nominations ranking is the wicked puppet and porn mockumentary Sunflower Hour, which got seven nominations but not one for best feature. I don’t understand that but there has always been a preference for serious drama when it comes to awards. Hopefully all the funny won’t hurt the chances of Patrick Gilmore, nominated for his lead performance as Leslie Handover, a performance which made me laugh from the poster below to the end credits.
Peter New picked up a supporting performance nomination for Sunflower Hour and director Aaron Houston one for writing such a filthy-funny script.
But for me, nothing beats the script of Donovan’s Echo, written by director Jim Cliffe and his wife Melodie Krieger. It’s the reason this film got made about a series of deja vu events which force Danny Glover’s physicist to re-examine his life. Donovan’s Echo also deserved to be nominated for best feature film
As did Everything & Everyone, the other B.C. film I saw at the Vancouver International Film Festival. Of course it picked up two lead performance nominations for its incredibly busy actors Ryan Robbins and Gabrielle Rose as a failing-at-life-actor and his mother. I’d also hoped to see Lane Edwards and Chad Willett get supporting nominations for their warm and brittle performances as a gay couple.
Those complaints aside, this year’s Leo Awards are rich in great B.C. films and talent. It seems Ryan Robbins and Gabrielle Rose have become our Vancouver equivalents of Meryl Streep with multiple performance nominations in one year.