|Brendon Gleeson and Taylor Kitsch in The Grand Seduction|
Considering his myriad credits as actor, screenwriter, playwright and director, a true Renaissance man, it comes as something of a surprise when you realize that The Grand Seduction (2013) is only Don McKellar’s third film as a director. That’s all the more shocking when you take into account that his debut feature, the quietly powerful and moving apocalyptic science fiction movie Last Night (1998), was simply stunning. (I chose it as one of the best Canadian films of all time when polled by the Toronto International Film Festival.) But perhaps it’s due to the vagaries of a local film industry that has become more fixated on box office of late that when McKellar’s second movie Childstar (2004), an uneven but smart comedy about a spoiled American child actor on the loose in Toronto, did very badly commercially (I heard five figures in total box office) that it took nearly a decade for McKellar to get another cinematic shot behind the camera. Fortunately, if he needed an impressive calling card to remind people out there of how good he is then The Grand Seduction fits the bill nicely.