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Review: Cinemanovels

Life imitates art in Terry Miles’ new film Cinemanovels. In the film, Grace (Lauren Lee Smith) is happily married to Ben (Ben Cotton); though when her father dies, she begins to look at life differently. Grace’s father was a famous filmmaker. In the film it is said that he is among the ranks of Bergman and Antonioni, so that gives you an idea of the following he had. Grace never really knew her father, but she begins to learn more about the man when she takes on the job of organizing a memorial retrospective of his films. As Grace watches more and more of her father’s films, she begins to imitate their characters, leading to surprising realizations about her own life.

Cinemanovels begins as a pretty standard drama, but as Grace begins to imitate her father’s work, it becomes much more interesting. The problem is that this doesn’t start to happen until the last forty minutes of the film. It seems as if Miles had this great idea for a film, but didn’t know how to execute it. The film is carried by its star, Lauren Lee Smith. Smith does her best to add depth to a character that is pretty shallow. Her motivations never really become clear during the film, but Smith is such a great actress that viewers may not even think to question her choices.

Well the film is not as deep as it would like us to think, it is certainly quite entertaining. Clocking in at just under ninety minutes, the film goes by in a flash. It’s entirely Smith’s film; most of the supporting actors can barley keep up with her. Rounding out the cast are Smith’s The L Word costar Jennifer Beals and the criminally underused Katherine Isabelle. Isabelle doesn’t really have much of a part in the film, and she definitely could’ve been used more.

Cinemanovels is shallow little film disguised as one of great profundity. While there isn’t much too it, is it very entertaining at times and serves as a great showcase for the talent of Lauren Lee Smith.

[star v=3]

Matt Hoffman

Matthew Hoffman is a Toronto-based cinephile who especially enjoys French films and actresses over the age of 50; including but not limited to: Isabelle Huppert, Meryl Streep, and Jacki Weaver.