Delightful…The Grand Seduction

O Canada BannerIt has been ages since I’ve watched such a feel-good, yet not soppy/sappy, movie. One that makes you smile and feel positive! The Grand Seduction (2013) is just such one…

This is a “remake” of fellow Canadian production, the 2003 La grande séduction which also looks lovely (I’ll have to give it a watch). It all takes place in the harbour (don’t call it a village) of Tickle Head, Newfoundland where all residents, bar a few, are unemployed. With fishing no longer an option, the only alternative is to apply for a “Petrochemical Byproduct Re-purposing Facility” i.e.a petrochemical factory. However, the catch is this…they need a resident doctor in order to be considered and, well…they don’t have one. In addition, the local residents need some convincing that they should care and hope for something more than the monthly welfare payouts.

thegrandseductionposterLuckily, former-Tickle-Head-mayor-now-airport-security Tom (Lawrence Barry) finds cocaine stashed away in Dr Lewis’ (Taylor Kitsch) bag as he is returning from a cricket tour. And so it starts…Dr Lewis goes to Tickle Head for a month as the doctor and no charges of possession will be pressed. That gives the harbor just enough time to convince him to stay on permanently thus giving them the much needed factory.

Headed by Murray (the wonderful Brendan Gleeson) residents give the harbour a clean and revamp to make a good first impression. Being big hockey fans, they even learn to play cricket (which they though was an animal) and pretend that is their passion, all because Dr Lewis is a cricket fanatic. Ah, it is absolutely lovely how they go about kitting out their “team”. I don’t want to mention much more because you absolutely have to see this for yourself. Together with all the other “little” gestures to make the place enticing. Naturally, all with an ulterior motive.

The other scene that has always stuck with me is their method of “inflating” the number of residents to the required amount. It brings a big smile to my face just thinking about it. In fact, the whole movie is special. What adds to the charm is the various characters, each one so endearing, full of charm which gives that authentic small village/harbour feel. Brendan Gleeson always impresses – he is great in everything he does. After having watched Canadian Taylor Kitsch in only one previous role (and movie) I didn’t think much of, I was thoroughly impressed by him in The Grand Seduction. I guess it is a case of never judge an actor by the only role you’ve seen him in.

Canadian Gordon Pinset is Simon, Murray’s “sidekick”, for which he won the Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role at the Canadian Screen Awards. Well deserved!

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The scenery is beautiful. It tempts me to go see it for myself. I love visiting small towns and villages – there is always something special about these places away from the hectic city life.

So…give this one a go. I’m almost certain you’ll find yourself grinning from ear to ear. And I promise to give the “original” a watch too.

Thanks to Speakeasy and Silver Screenings for hosting this O Canada Blogathon. Here’s my entry from last year on Donald Sutherland.

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25 comments

  1. My first thought while reading your glowing review was how much this sounded like ‘Local Hero’…and it seems a lot of other commenters feel the same way! And it was also mentioned that this was available on Netflix, so I’ll definitely add it to my list…besides the story, I’d love to check out the scenery.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome review and thank you for covering this film 🙂 As you know, I am from Newfoundland and Labrador, and this film is very dear to my heart. Brendan Gleeson did a stellar job, and HE GOT THE ACCENT RIGHT!!!! I love seeing local favourites such as Mary Walsh, Mark Critch, and Pete Soucy in there as well, and we can’t forget Gordon Pinsent!

    A lot of the issues discussed are quite pertinent to rural Canada I would think. Leaving due to poor local economy to find work elsewhere in the larger centres, and physician recruitment and retention in rural areas continue to be a problem. This film and the original addresses these deep issues in a very respectful and whimsical manner. And now I need to rewatch this again!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the awesome compliment. And you know what? While writing up this post I was actually thinking about you and hoping you’d like it after we “chatted” when I did the In A Nutshell mini review. I’m afraid I don’t know the local favourites very well (beyond this) but I’ll definitely keep my eye out for them. And…one day, one day, I’ll make it to Canada. It looks so stunning!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Awesome! There is actually going to be a new Gordon Pinsent documentary released in theatre here in March called “The River of My Dreams” that has already been released in Toronto. I can definitely give you the scoop on what I know of the NL film and TV world. And I would not visit here in the winter – it is so cold here today haha. I would also like to make it to South Africa someday, and I would love to learn more about the film industry there 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never really watched South African movies because until recently, I didn’t feel they matched up to the rest of the world, or, where they did, they portrayed the violent aspects of our beautiful country. A few weeks ago, I watched a 2016 rom-com and it was delightful, so, I’m going to give South African film a chance and see where it takes me. I’ll keep you posted.
          He he, here’s a little sunshine ☀ for you. It is nice and warm and hopefully we’ll get a bit of much needed rain today!

          Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m so glad you chose this film for the blogathon. It’s a witty and delightful film, and – like you said – it’s a feel-good we-can-do-this kind of story. I’m also glad you mentioned Gordon Pinsent, who is always fab and is a legend here in Canada. And don’t get me started on that gorgeous scenery…!

    Thanks so much for joining the blogathon, and for bringing The Grand Seduction with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. If this movie makes me smile as much as your review of it made me grin, then it will become a favorite. Through your words, I can feel the love and fun the film inspires in you. We need that kind of good-old-we-can-do-this sort of feeling these days.

    Liked by 1 person

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