Last night's laughs turn to tears (ok, bordering on right-out bawling) during the screening of Snow Cake, starring Alan Rickman, Signourney Weaver and Carrie-Anne Moss, about a troubled Brit who, through tragic circumstances, ends up in Wawa, Ontario, with Linda (Weaver), a highly functional autistic woman. Directed by Marc Evans as a Canada-UK co-production, it's fascinating to see northern Ontario shot in such desolate, raw glory--I think it can be approached as an exotic locale by an outsider (afterwards, Evans referred to Wawa as a character in the film). The interior landscapes reminded me a lot of Douglas Coupland's iconic Souvenir of Canada photos but without the imbedded irony.I can't tell you much due to restrictions I can fill you in a few things: The script was written by Angela Pell, a woman who has an autistic son, which eliminates Rain Man-schlock sentimentality. It has a great soundtrack, including Super Furry Animals, Tori Amos and Stereophonics, scored by Broken Social Scene (this appears to be the new film must-have accessory--look for more BSS in Half-Nelson--I hope Wes Anderson keeps clean). Although I'm as tired as the next hipster of BSS hype, I will admit they did a fantastic job, and Evans commended them for bringing humanity to the job, so there you go. Steve Coogan is an executive producer, and that's fine by me. I can tell you that Evans and one of his producers were totally freaked out by their lucky casting--to have Ridley (Weaver in Alien), Trinity (Moss in The Matrix and Professor Snape (Rickman in Harry Potter) hanging out in a motel in Wawa. Now that's cool.

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