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Friday, August 26, 2011

Margaret's Museum (1995)

Set in a mining town in 1940's Nova Scotia, a young girl (Helena Bonham Carter, who carries the film on her acting shoulders) falls in love with a gangly miner (Clive Russell) against her mother's (Kate Nelligan) wishes. Having lost both her husband and a son to the mines, she wants something better for her daughter. This critically acclaimed film won six Genie (the Canadian Oscars) awards including acting awards for Bonham Carter for actress, Nelligan for supporting actress and Kenneth Welsh (he plays an uncle) for supporting actor but its reputation seems to not have traveled much farther than its Canadian borders. It's too bad because although it's a grim film, it's not depressing and one can't help but be reminded of John Ford's HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY. It's realistic without any of the usual Hollywood cliches and filler material and has a feeling for its simple but fierce mining community without being condescending. The windswept Nova Scotia locations are lovingly shot by Vic Sarin and the muted score is by Milan Kymlicka. Directed by Mort Ransen and based on the novel by Sheldon Currie.

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