January 2014 Issue

January 2014

Canada’s Call Sheet

By Judith Klassen

Midlife and Britcoms and Bears – Oh my!
Sensitive and the City

January 2014Sex and the City’s comedic diva Kim Cattrall is back in Canada and starring with Toronto’s answer to Woody Allen, Don McKellar, in a new TMN series, Sensitive Skin.

Based on the BBC/Joanna Lumley (Ab Fab sweetie!) vehicle of the same name, Sensitive Skin follows a married couple of a “certain age” from the soft comfort of the suburbs to a slick downtown condo, where they strive to remain relevant, engaged, and poised to take a fresh swing at reality. Sadly, they succeed.

January 2014From All in the Family to The Office—USA adaptations of absolutely fabulous British series have provided decades of success stories. Now it’s Canada’s turn! With this blend of Brit-wit and Canadian intellectual star power, Sensitive Skin is ramped to give us laughs, sass, and sweet heaps of drama. Besides boasting Golden Globe-winning Cattrall and the Genie and Tony-award-winning McKellar (Blindness, Slings & Arrows), the Canadian adaptation is written by Bob Martin (Michael Tuesdays & Thursdays), who is the other half of the team behind Tony Award-winning The Drowsy Chaperone and the long-running, critically adored Slings & Arrows.

January 2014Add to that a raft of Gemini Award-winners: Colm Feore (The Borgias), Mary Walsh (22 Minutes), and Cle Bennett (Flashpoint)—plus Nicolas Wright (White House Down) Tony Award-winner Joanna Gleason (Last Vegas), Jutra Award-winner Marc Andre-Grodin (C.R.A.Z.Y), and Oscar contender and Ray Donovan star, Elliott Gould—and this will definitely be a show to set your PVR to.

Test That Relationship! (Or, Bear Market)

January 2014The only thing scarier than moving from the burbs to the big bad city is leaving civilization for a wilderness adventure—especially if your boyfriend suffers from M.A.S. (Male Answer Syndrome): “I totally know the Blackfoot Trail, honey!” Or—maybe he doesn’t.

For the bear thriller Backcountry, writer and director Adam MacDonald (Rookie Blue) was inspired by movies like Dead Calm and Open Water—as well as a dark-night-of-the-soul he endured while deep woods-camping with his wife.

Says MacDonald, “Like Open Water, Backcountry is based on real events, but stylistically it’s more like Blue Valentine.”

As the relationship-challenged couple lost in the woods, the Stanislavsky Method-trained Jeff Roop (Saving Hope, Heartland) and the unstoppable Missy Peregrym (Cybergeddon, Reaper) traverse extreme psychological terrain. For Roop, the most difficult aspect of the shoot was diving into an ice-cold beaver pond and mixing it up with Eric Balfour’s (Haven) character. Missy cites having to “hurl” on camera as her most challenging moment. Roop finds that hard to believe, “The places Missy goes emotionally in this film, I think throwing up should be number 1000 on the list. She gives an incredible performance.”

More frightening to MacDonald than sharks, bears, or Hannibal Lector is a Fatal Attraction scenario, “Unlike a big black bear—that bunny boiler doesn’t go away after it feeds!”

Judith Klassen is a Toronto-based writer, comedian, filmmaker, and host of the celeb talk show Judecast.

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