Hailey Rose a made-in-Nova Scotia tale of family, inheritance and forgiveness | Arts & Culture | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST
Halifax's Riley Reign (left) and Em Haine (right) star as partners Syd and Hailey in "Hailey Rose."

Hailey Rose a made-in-Nova Scotia tale of family, inheritance and forgiveness

Cape Breton-born director Sandi Somers brings Hubbards and Chester to the big screen in her latest picture, now out in theatres.

Sandi Somers knows how to bring a character to the screen. Consider the opening scene in her latest feature film, the family-centred dramedy Hailey Rose: “Some people come into your life as blessings; some come in as lessons,” the family’s tough-nut matriarch, Olga, deadpans to the camera. “Blessings are worth shit all when it comes to getting through life.”

Set in rural Nova Scotia—and shot in Hubbards and Chester—the film follows an estranged family, brought back together by a derelict boat. It was bequeathed to the film’s protagonist, Hailey, by her father, Roger, after he passed away in a freak fishing incident. Roger’s death is what drove the family apart: Olga blames Hailey for not going along on the fishing trip and saving his life. Hailey, meanwhile, resents her mother’s tough-love, the-world-doesn’t-owe-you-shit approach to parenting—a marked difference from the bond she felt with her father. She flees to Calgary and cuts off any ties to her family. Until a phone call from her sister, Rose, brings her back. And suddenly, two sisters and their mother are left to figure out how to live with each other and make amends.

It’s a coming-of-age story that Somers—born and raised in Cape Breton—has been waiting to tell for the past decade.

“It was … in essence, what happens in families when you just don’t have those conversations about deep things,” she says, speaking from her home in Calgary with The Coast. “And when there are things that are excluded in the family line, how that affects people. Instead of talking about it, you just carry the burden of what you think is going on.”

Actors Em Haine (Reginald the Vampire, Deadpool) and Kari Matchett (Maudie, Fargo, 24) bring both heart and humour to their roles as Hailey and Olga. The film also enlists the talent of Halifax actors Riley Reign and Josh Cruddas, who play Hailey’s current partner, Syd (Reign) and former flame, Cole (Cruddas).

The film is screening at the Park Lane Cineplex from Apr. 5-11.

Watch the trailer below:

Martin Bauman

Martin Bauman, The Coast's News & Business Reporter, is an award-winning journalist and interviewer, whose work has appeared in the Globe and Mail, Calgary Herald, Capital Daily, and Waterloo Region Record, among other places. In 2020, he was named one of five “emergent” nonfiction writers by the RBC Taylor Prize...
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