Reviews of "The Narrows"
, currently screening at The Toronto Film Festival. Photo: Kevin Zegers, Sophia Bush, Francois Velle
Thank you NLfan and Ammiratore for sharing your experience with us!
Screening on 9.8.08 --
"I LOVED IT". Those three words best describe my reaction to "The Narrows". It is a wonderful movie. I was totally engrossed from beginning to end. I have not read the book so I was not at all expecting the "twist" from Vincent's character near the end. I wasn't the only one surprised because the audience broke into laughter and applause. LOCI/Bobby Goren fans will be happy to know that there is a scene where Vincent even does a little dance.
Vincent delivers his usual great performance but I was also very impressed with Kevin Zegers who played Vincent's son. I thought he did a fabulous job. I didn't know that he is a Canadian who lives right here in Toronto. I predict big things for him. There was prolonged applause from the audience at the end of the movie. IMHO this movie has big box office appeal. I hope they get a good distributor for it.
Bottom line: Two thumbs way up from me. I'm actually really looking forward to seeing it again tomorrow night (now tonight actually). There was so much going on in every scene that I know I didn't catch everything the first time around.
The Director Francois Velle was there tonight as was Kevin Zegers, Sophia Bush, screenwriter Tatiana Blackington and other members of the cast and crew. Mr. Velle was introduced and said a few words before the screening and again at the end at which time Kevin, Sophia, Tatiana and several others (whom I unfortunately can't recall) were also introduced and said a few words. It was heartbreaking to think that Vincent might also have been there. They then spent quite a while answering questions from the audience. The director read out an e-mail message from Vincent. He said he was sorry he couldn't be there and also explained why the did the role. He said there were three reasons: it was shot in Brooklyn where he grew up; the character he played was very much like the men he knew when he was growing up there; the quality of the others attached to the film. He didn't address his reason for not coming to Toronto.
Dulcineadonna and I were a bit late leaving the theatre and found the Director and the screenwriter both in the lobby with very few others around. We approached them, congratulated them both, got our tickets autographed and then said we were both big fans of Vincent and asked him to pass on a message of "Congratulations" to Vincent for an excellent performance, a sentiment which both Mr. Velle and Ms. Blackington said they totally agreed with. Dulcineadonna then asked Mr. Velle what it was like to work with Vincent. Mr. Velle said that at first he was a bit anxious because he had heard that working with Vincent could be challenging. He said that nothing could be further from the truth. He said they worked together "with love and respect" (exact words). He said Vincent was a big help to him and others because of his knowledge of the area and its culture. He also said that he wished he could take credit, but how the "reveal" scene was done (where everybody laughed and applauded) was totally Vincent's idea. He said that at the end of filming Vincent gave him a big hug, told him he loved him and said to give him a call if he ever needed anything. Mr Velle said "Vincent is a great guy with a big heart" (exact quote). Dulcineadonna and I both agreed that speaking about Vincent with someone who actually knows him was the highlight of our night. Hopefully tomorrow night (tonight now)we will get a chance to talk to some of the other cast about working with Vincent.
In other news, Dulcineadonna and I actually met for the first time today. We have a lot in common and really got along great together. It was wonderful to share the experience with another Vincent fan.
Phillipo, with respect to your question, my home is 2987 kilometers (1851 miles) from Toronto. I flew here on Sunday and despite my disappointment in not seeing Vincent, I'm not sorry I came. I'll be leaving again on Wednesday. Dulcineadonna lives on the outskirts of Toronto, approximately one hour driving time from the area where the Film Festival events are taking place.
I'll post again with another update tomorrow night.
Tonight's presentation at TIFF was the world premiere for this movie.
The very first scene opens with a still shot of Vinnie Manadoro, aka VDO. This movie was harder, graphic and softer in places than I expected. The role of Vinnie, Mike Manadoro's(the main character) father is far more extensive in the movie than in the book, upon which this movie is based. He is also 'softer' as in not so rough and gruff. All the cast do well, especially Kevin Zegers as Mike and Vincent as Vinnie. And for the die hard LOCI fans, you will recognize a number of other NY actors in supporting roles. This is definately a tale for mature audiences, and I don't wanty to get into the story line for those who are yet to see it, but a lot of the language is colourful and hard and there are 3 very graphic (violent) scenes, one of which in particular my friend and I discussed should be seriously toned down for general release, but that's only our opinion based on our own sensibilities. We were pleasently surprised with the extended development of Vincent's character, and he 'plays' it beautifully...and considering he went into this just 2 weeks after the rap of Season 6, he looks/looked absolutely fabulous...lol. The main story is that of Mike, his struggles and his choices, but the other, strong undercurrent is the story of his and his father's relationship.....and this is where Vincent truely shines, he manages to portray the love and devotion to his son and his welfare without compromising the understanding of the harsh world in which they live and operate.......their last scene together is priceless and received bursts of applause and cheers from the audience......to be honest it was the character of Vinnie that garnered the most response from the audience.
There was a nice surprise at the end of the movie when the director, François A. Velle, Sophia Bush, Kevin Zegers and 2 of the producers came out from the audience for a Q&A on the stage. François acknowledged that he had received an email from Vincent and read it to the audience a little while later. No reason for not showing up just a shout out an Hi to his castmatres and an "eh" to everyone attending...( that's the canadian equivalent)
So that's my little report, hope you enjoyed it and YES I would definately recommend seeing this movie as and when you can, keeping in mind what I said earlier about it being a mature theme.
This is a movie all contributors can be proud of,especially Kevin, and with no bias I can honestly say a genuine BRAVA to Vincent as yet again, he really stole the show.