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Possible Worlds

Year: 2000
Language: English
Format: 35mm Colour
Runtime: 93 min
Director: Robert Lepage
Producer: Sandra Cunningham, Bruno Jobin
Executive Producer: Victor Loewy, Charlotte Mickie, Ted East
Writer: John Mighton
Cinematographer: Jonathan Freeman
Editor: Susan Shipton
Sound: Daniel Hamood, John Hazen
Music: Ron Proulx
Cast: Tom McCamus, Sean McCann, Tilda Swinton, Rick Miller, Gabriel Gascon, Griffith Brewer, Daniel Brooks
Production Company: The East Side Film Company, In Extremis Images

Two police detectives are called to a grisly scene; George Barber (Tom McCamus) has been murdered and his brain neatly removed. On the quest for clues, we are transported into the many lives of George Barber, a seemingly ordinary man with the extraordinary ability to exist in an infinite number of possible worlds at once. As he searches for Joyce (Tilda Swinton), the love of his life, he meets her again and again, each time in a different reality. She assumes various guises – in one world she is a reclusive neurology professor, in another an aggressive business woman. As the events of George’s various realities become increasingly tangled and surreal, the details of his true fate begin to surface.

Possible Worlds, Robert Lepage’s first English-language film – and the first not based on his own material – is difficult to describe but impossible to forget. Part love story, part thriller and wholly intriguing, the film is often reminiscent of the work of Andrei Tarkovsky – a fascinating, dreamlike exploration of the boundaries of consciousness and the perception of our own existence. Provocative, haunting and beautifully shot, the film features finely nuanced performances from Tilda Swinton and Tom McCamus.

Based on the Governor General’s Award-winning play by John Mighton, Possible Worlds was nominated for six Genie Awards and won prizes for Film Editing (Susan Shipton) and Art Direction/Production Design (François Séguin, Daniéle Rouleau); a Special Jutra was also presented to Lepage at the 2001 Jutra Awards.

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