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Depression Gives Way To Laughter At Windsor International Film Festival

Monday November 8th, 2010, 4:35pm


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The Sixth Windsor International Film Festival was in full force from Nov. 4-7 at the Capitol Theatre (Photo by Jeannette Catherine)

Although depression isn’t funny, it spawned many laughs at the sixth Windsor International Film Festival.

Excitement was in the air as conversation buzzed at the Capitol Theatre on Saturday night. Movie-goers gathered for It’s Kind Of A Funny Story, a dramedy based on the Ned Vizzini novel and starring Zack Galifianakis (most notably of The Hangover.) While covering serious subjects, the movie’s title was very fitting in the end.

Before the show, surrounding discussion informed me of a couple of interesting things: While the cast is made-up of mostly unknowns, the film’s two love interests are played by musician Lenny Kravitz’s daughter Zoe, starring as Nia and Julia Roberts’ niece, Emma, who tries her hand as 16-year-old mental patient Noelle.

Shortly after 7:25, lights dimmed and the show began. The movie is about Craig Gilner (Keir Gilchrist), a 16-year-old who admits himself into a mental hospital out of fear he’ll commit suicide. Due to renovations, teens are grouped with adults – putting Gilner in some unusual situations.

At first our protagonist feels he doesn’t belong but quickly forms friendships with others. Bobby (Galifianakis) provides humour and becomes a mentor of sorts but, as Gilner begins dealing with his problems, the audience learns Bobby’s flaws as well.

Although the story takes place over five days, it brings viewers through a compelling journey of acceptance. While the weighty subject matter threatens to drag people down, the movie has enough charm to make it work: As credits rolled, the film received a resounding round of applause.

Gilchrist pushes the story forward as its narrator and Galifianakis brings great depth to his portrayal of Bobby. Those looking for a redo of his character from The Hangover may be disappointed  but this crowd wasn’t.

While the Capitol Theatre’s future  is in limbo, it was full of life on Saturday. If great movies like It’s Kind Of A Funny Story can be hosted there, hopefully the tradition continues.

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