Save an extra 10% on any order. Use coupon code "TODAY10" at checkout.

WILBY WONDERFUL

Directed by Daniel MacIvor
  • YEAR 3 - FILM 2 / 
  • Canada / 
  • 2004 / 
  • English / 
  • 99 min
TRAILER
WILBY WONDERFUL DVD & Online Streaming
Member Pricing
DVD $9.95
Stream $2.99
Non-Member Pricing
DVD $14.95
Stream $3.99

Synopsis

Wilby Wonderful is a bittersweet comedy about the difference a day makes. Over the course of twenty-four hours, the residents of the tiny island town of Wilby try to maintain business as usual in the face of an emerging sex scandal. Featuring a stellar ensemble of Canada's most talented performers: Ellen Page, Sandra Oh, James Allodi, Maury Chaykin, Paul Gross, Rebecca Jenkins and Callum Keith Rennie.

Editorial Reviews

March 18, 2005

By Wesley Morris

For fans of the well-made eccentric Canadian ensemble comedy, today is a good day at the Brattle Theatre, where Daniel MacIvor's ''Wilby Wonderful" begins a weekend run. For those unacquainted with the genre, this movie, set in the course of a day in small-town Nova Scotia, is a worthy introduction, landing somewhere between Don McKellar's underrated Y2K romance ''Last Night" and the over-preciousness of Jeremy Podeswa's ''The Five Senses."

MacIvor, who wrote, directed, and acts in ''Wilby," introduces us to about a dozen characters, each of whom is caught in momentary distress about life on the eponymous little island.

Since his wife left him, Dan Jarvis (James Allodi) has been feeling suicidal. His attempts are consistently, amusingly interrupted by fellow islanders, like Duck (Callum Keith Rennie), the friendly local handyman, and Carol (Sandra Oh), the uptight real estate agent who's trying to sell Dan's house. Ssshh: The mayor (Maury Chaykin) might be a buyer.

Carol's husband, Buddy (Paul Gross), a Wilby cop, is having an affair with Sandra (Rebecca Jenkins). She left town years ago and is back with her teenage daughter Emily (Ellen Page), who in the jaunty opening sequence runs across town for a make-out session with a boy.

Wilby is one of those traditional-seeming towns that is actually more socially progressive than it appears. You get the sense from the punks and the gays and the lone woman of color that anyone could live here if only they knew it existed. The place is also so dull that the mayor might have to manufacture a little scandal over at the local park so he can benefit for his own selfish reasons.

But not even municipal corruption seems all that terrible in Wilby. Nothing extraordinary happens here. But nothing especially ordinary does either. MacIvor, who plays Stan, Buddy's dim partner, is quite good at not crowding the characters with all kinds of plot. The film is more behavior-driven than anything else, and most of the cast has worked with each other before, so the film has a chummy atmosphere.

Admirers of Mina Shum's 1994 romantic comedy ''Double Happiness" might be pleased to see the reunion of Rennie and Oh (the ''pour girl" from ''Sideways"). And anyone desperate to see what happened to Gross since CBS's Mountie-in-Chicago show, ''Due South," went off the air need look no further.

Despite its hipster-coffeehouse soundtrack, foul mouth, randy characters, and violent patches, ''Wilby" is wholesome and ultimately remarkable for its optimism. The film's title stems from a mishap with a banner, but it's also a prediction that sums up the local state of mind: We'll Be Wonderful. This may not seem like anything special, but you can see where the movie might have taken a dark detour and chose instead to accentuate the positive. There's room for everyone in Wilby except cynics.

--Wesley Morris/ The Boston Globe - Review

By David Nusair

Wilby Wonderful follows in the footsteps of films like Short Cuts and Magnolia - particularly the latter - as it features a wide cast of lonely, miserable people. Writer/director Daniel MacIvor does a wonderful job of establishing this small town - called, coincidentally enough, Wilby - to the extent that we feel like we know the place by the time the movie's over. The cast is uniformly superb, but Paul Gross especially deserves kudos for playing way against type as a scruffy and nondescript cop who's just trying to do the right thing. And as expected with a movie of this ilk, there are certain characters that are far more intriguing than others (ie Sandra Oh's Carol never quite becomes much more than an twitchy annoyance, despite Oh's surprisingly effective performance). MacIvor proves to be a much more effective screenwriter than director, though his low-key style quickly proves to be an ideal match for the material. In the end, Wilby Wonderful is an engaging - though not entirely memorable - look at small town life.

--David Nusair/ Reel Film Reviews - Review

Write a review »

Customer Reviews


Jeff in Seattle - Customer Review

Photos

Click photo to enlarge. Then copy as you would any online image.
WILBY WONDERFUL Movie Photo
James Allodi in Wilby Wonderful
WILBY WONDERFUL Movie Photo
Maury Chaykin, Paul Gross, Sandra Oh, and Susannah Hoffman in Wilby Wonderful
WILBY WONDERFUL Movie Photo
Rebecca Jenkins and Ellen Page in Wilby Wonderful
WILBY WONDERFUL Movie Photo
Ellen Page and Caleb Langille in Wilby Wonderful
WILBY WONDERFUL Movie Photo
Callum Keith Rennie in Wilby Wonderful
WILBY WONDERFUL Movie Photo
James Allodi in Wilby Wonderful
WILBY WONDERFUL Movie Photo
Wilby Wonderful poster (hi res)
FALLING ANGELS
Directed by Scott Smith
YEAR 2 FILM 10
Set in the late ླྀs and filmed on-location in Saskatchewan, this dark family comedy focuses on the three teenaged daughters of the Field household. Callum Keith Rennie plays Jim Field, the loud-mouthed, domineering patriarch who has intimidated his wife Mary into a catatonic state of alcoholism and depression. Norma is the oldest, most responsible daughter; she is overburdened and preoccupied by events from the past. Middle child Lou chooses the rebellious path in order to escape her father's unreasonable demands. Youngest daughter Sandy aspires to maximum femininity, engaging in an affair with an older, married man in the process.
MORE INFO »
HAWAII, OSLO
Directed by Erik Poppe
YEAR 4 FILM 1
Hawaii, Oslo is the story of a handful of desperate people whose paths cross on the hottest day of the year in Oslo. Frode and Milla have their first child, but learn he will not live long without an expensive operation they cannot afford. Bobbie-Pop is a faded singer who tries to commit suicide. Leon is an institutionalized mental patient, who hopes to keep a 10-year-old date on his birthday with his teenage sweetheart. Leon's brother, Trygve, gets a weekend leave from prison to be with Leon on his birthday, but plans on using the furlough to escape. Overseeing Leon and protecting him is his guardian angel Vidar, Leon's best buddy at the institution, who sees things no one else can see, and who may be able to save everyone - except himself.
MORE INFO »
SOMETHING LIKE HAPPINESS
Directed by Bohdan Sláma
YEAR 4 FILM 11
Monika, Tonik and Dasha grew up together in the same housing project on the outskirts of a small industrial city. Now the childhood friends are adults, each struggling with feelings of desire and loneliness, longing and failure. Though none would admit it, each craves something the other has and it's these unspoken longings which bind them in difficult, complex, passionate friendships. Vibrant and deeply affecting, Something Like Happiness is a funny, tender and very human drama of passions and lives half-understood and veering out of control, shadowed by tragedy, shot through with hope.
MORE INFO »
XXY
Directed by Lucia Puenzo
YEAR 6 FILM 5
For just about everybody, adolescence means having to confront a number of choices and life decisions, but rarely any as monumental as the one facing 15 year-old Alex (Ines Efron,) who was born an intersex child.  As Alex begins to explore her sexuality, her mother invites friends from Buenos Aires to come for a visit at their house on the gorgeous Uruguayan shore, along with their 16-year-old son Álvaro (Martin Piroyanski.) Alex is immediately attracted to the young man, which adds yet another level of complexity to her personal search for identity, and forces both families to face their worst fears.
MORE INFO »
THE COUNTRY TEACHER
Directed by Bohdan Sláma
YEAR 7 FILM 4
A gifted young teacher takes a job teaching natural sciences at a grammar school in the country. Here he makes the acquaintance of a woman and her troubled 17-year old son. The teacher has no romantic interest in the woman but they quickly form a strong friendship, each recognizing the other's uncertainties, hopes and longing for love. When the teacher's ex-boyfriend comes to visit from the city, he quickly realizes that nobody in the village knows that the teacher is gay and harbors a secret affection for the teenage boy. His jealous actions set in motion a series of events that will test the inner strength and compassion of the teacher, the woman and her son to a breaking point.
MORE INFO »