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Directed by Charles Officer (Mongrel Media)

Just as the film's title suggests, there's three main characters in Canada-filmed indie flick Nurse.Fighter.Boy: beautiful Jude (Karen LeBlanc), a dying nurse who believes "the people you love never go away"; her son, Ciel (Daniel J. Gordon), who makes magic and music, worries about mom and dreams of Jamaica; and a stoic, lonely fighter (The Wire's Clark Johnson) struggling to come to terms with the death of the "only person" he "ever trusted." They all connect with each other through art and dance; the boxer's name is Silence. Yep: co-writer/director Charles Officer has assembled all the fixings needed to make an overwrought, self-important, overly precious drama. But Nurse.Fighter.Boy is much better than it sounds. That's partly due to some smart casting---all three leads turn in strong, subtle performances---and an effective soundtrack that's been lovingly assembled. You can also thank Officer's directing (which is much better than his screenwriting) and beautiful work by Steve Cosens (The Tracey Fragments), my new favourite Canadian cinematographer. Almost every shot---nighttime bike rides, spinning records, bathroom conversations, tastefully lit sex---is carefully composed and stunning. Just think what Officer and Cosens could do with a better script.

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