Never Steady, Never Still
Sea to Sky | BC Spotlight
Set against a spectacular northern BC backdrop, Kathleen Hepburn’s much-anticipated debut is the intimate story of Judy, a devoted mother wrestling with Parkinson’s (Shirley Henderson, astonishing in a demanding role), and Jamie (Théodore Pellerin), a son saddled with unwanted adult responsibilities while attempting to come to grips with his slippery sexual identity. While Jamie’s hardship sees him weathering the unrelenting abuse of his oilfield co-worker (Hello Destroyer’s Jared Abrahamson), Judy’s obstacles take more mundane forms: as her health deteriorates, even meal preparation represents a Herculean effort. Left listing by a devastating loss, mother and son find their lives slowly steered back on course with the friendship they each forge with a pregnant teenager (Mary Galloway).
Winner of Most Promising Director of a Canadian Short Film at VIFF 15 for her short film of the same name, Hepburn excels with this expanded version, wedding striking 35mm cinematography by Norm Li with intimate exchanges and whispered declarations that linger hauntingly like song lyrics. ("If you’re better than this place, why is this place so hard?") Eloquently scripted, and directed with both tenderness and assurance, the film uses its note-perfect, naturalistic performances and intricately calibrated revelations to create powerful, cathartic drama.
"The small, exquisite moments hit hard in Hepburn’s feature debut… Each character, and their every exchange, feels lived-in, rich and poetic."—Radheyan Simonpillai, NOW Magazine