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TIFF 2015 Review: Sleeping Giant

Sleeping Giant captures the adolescent coming-of-age narrative in a way that is at once new and familiar.

Set over the course of one summer in Thunder Bay, Ontario, the story tracks the friendship between Adam (Jackson Martin), a shy, good-natured boy from an affluent family, and cousins Riley (Reece Moffett) and Nate (Nick Serino), who spend their days getting into trouble and frequenting a ‘devil-may-care’ lifestyle. As the three start to bond and increase their levels of misbehavior, a series of events involving family and friends close to Adam transforms their relationship, resulting in a growing sense of animosity that devolves into serious life-altering consequences.

Based on the 2014 short film by director Andrew Cividino, the expansion of the narrative format helps to tell a stronger, more deeply felt meditation of personal growth and responsibility, as well as the crises that emerge from within. As far as first features go, its absolutely striking and adept in conveying a youthful sensibility, strengthened by striking visuals and original score. In addition, the young actors at the forefront of the film are amazing in their own right, producing a chemistry that seems organic and true-to-life.

Within the spectrum of Canadian features at TIFF this year, Sleeping Giant is not to be missed, as it presents an intense depiction of a turbulent time for many, shows the mark of an exceptionally talented filmmaker, and stands to be one of the most talked about national titles for the entire festival.

[star v=4]