Girl, directed by Dominique Cardona and Laurie Colbert,
played to positive reviews at the
2007 Montreal World Film Festival . Gilbert
Seah, who reviews films for Cinema
Eye, gave the film 3.5 out of 5 stars.
team Dominique Cardona and Laurie Colbert’s (Thank
God I’m a Lesbian) first fictional feature is a
surprisingly upbeat, anti-Hollywood family movie. The kids
smoke dope and the children know that having two mothers is
cool. No doubt the centre of the piece is 11-year old Zelly
(Maya Ritter) a.k.a. Finn’s (Brooke Johnson)
Girl. The difference here is that Finn is a 40-ish
old lesbian who also happens to run the Toronto abortion clinic.
Finn ‘fathered’ the girl with her lover (Gail
Maurice), who passed away from breast cancer.
actual film mostly deals with Finn and Zelly coming to terms
and accepting one another as mother and daughter. What occurred
earlier -- the loss of Zelly’s mother and Finn’s
partner; Zelly’s relationship with her sperm donor father;
the taking over of the clinic; the clinical experiments --
all take place off screen. The audience is updated through
the characters’ conversations.
what distinguishes this film from others in the lesbian genre
are the events and serious issues surrounding the story. Finn,
a strong, vulnerable and sometimes too caring dike on a bike,
is being stalked by aggressive anti-abortionist. The kids
are portrayed as brash yet smart and of course non-judgmental.
Though the film could benefited from editing out the sometimes
confusing subplots -- Finn’s new romance; abortion and
experimental rights; custody; coming-of-age -- the film is
kept on a fairly tight leash by the directors despite some
daring, albeit credible, twists in plot. Nonetheless, while
the film is to be commended for avoiding the melodramatic,
it could have been helped by a more confrontational ending.
Also, although the characters are generally interesting, one
wonders to where all the normal boring people have disappeared.
the plus side is the filmmaker’s decision to shoot the
film in Toronto, with its familiar landmarks, and not try
to turn the back drop into yet another unnamed American city.
film doesn’t shy away from the directors background
in documentary. Finn’s Girl is shot at The
Morgentaler Clinic – an actual abortion facility. The
rooms, security measures and protest staging all have an authentic
male roles are well written in. It is good to see a female
film not falling into the common trap of having all the males
depicted as idiots or a-holes. There are also moments of revealing
humour as it concerns gender.
its oversweet ending and predictable pacing from start to
finish, Finn’s Girl still holds the audience’s
interest and will no doubt make the rounds in gay and lesbian
film festivals this year. It got a first screening at Toronto’s
own Inside Out fest, and now, deservedly, it receiving positive
notice in commercial theaters.
the ratings of all the films from the 2007 Montreal World
Film Festival, click HERE.