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Foreign Film - Canada - Whole New Thing

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Whole New Thing
Aaron Webber, Daniel MacIvor, Rebecca Jenkins
Directed by Amnon Buchbinder
Canada 2005
Picture This! Home Video
92 minutes

Whole New Thing is a whole new thing when it comes to cinema, even independent small budget cinema.

This is an original, sometimes funny, well-written, believable coming of age movie. Whole New Thing is for the liberal minded more for its story than because of the very mild (a couple of breasts) nudity.

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It is the first film I have seen where ecologically conscious home schooling hippie parents are believable characters and not just types. That this is also a good Canadian film is amazing.

Emerson Thorsen is being home schooled by Rog and Kaya who are open about everything. They even openly discuss their son's first wet dream: it is bad for the environment if he is going to wash the sheets each time he has one.

Emerson (Aaron Webber) is a bright young boy who has just finished writing and illustrating a 1,000 page epic novel. Unfortunately, he failed an equivalency math test so his parents send him to the village public school for a taste of the real world and a more complete education.

His adaptation to the system is not easy and he develops a crush on his teacher, Mr. Grant.

I am not quite sure what Whole New Thing is really about. It could be about what is love considering the Thorsens and Grant have their own relationship issues. It could also be just a story about a young thirteen year old boy growing up in a realistic, modern world.

Picture This! specializes in gay and different films. This is not really a gay film even if the synopsis and the DVD cover suggest Whole New Thing is in that genre.

This is an offbeat, quite likeable film that avoids all the usual story lines and clichés. It does have a secondary story too many and this is why there is a certain feeling of something unresolved here but I am not quite sure what that would be.

Whole New Thing won the Grand Jury award at the Los Angeles Outfest, the Best Narative Feature prize at the Seattle Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, and was an official selection at the Toronto Film Festival and Best Feature Film at the Paris Festival du Cinema Independant.

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