Perhaps at times a little too cute for its own good, Jonas Chernick and Sean Garrity’s likeable follow-up to My Awkward Sexual Adventure is definitely worth shining a light upon.
Writer Chernick plays Jonah, a struggling burnout of a father, who nevertheless wants to do something kind for his daughter Aurora, who is struggling with her vision. They decide to go, of all places, to Churchill, Manitoba to see the Northern Lights, (Aurora Borealis, which explains the title and the daughter’s name).
All the while during their strange road trip, there is some business with Kevin Pollak as a gangster named Tubby, who is chasing after Jonah in order to bring money back “to the Rabbi”, which seems like it’s come from another movie, (The Usual Suspects, perhaps?) but the movie succeeds mainly for one reason: Joey King’s performance as Aurora. She’s sensational. The young actress, perhaps best known for her work in The Conjuring, brings light to the tricky role, never overplaying it but bring a nice balance to what could have been a stagy part.
By the end, Borealis might not exactly light up the sky, but provides a steady hand and comfort during a storm. There is a strong beauty in King’s final actions and she helps carry Chernick (and Garrity) to a fitting conclusion. Definitely make sure to look out for this film at the Carlton and the Kingsway.