Return to tiff.’s home page

Canadian Film Encyclopedia

Shopping Cart

Wilby Wonderful

Year: 2004
Language: English
Format: 35mm Colour
Runtime: 99 min
Director: Daniel MacIvor
Producer: Sherrie Johnson, Camelia Frieberg
Executive Producer: Joe Frieberg
Writer: Daniel MacIvor
Cinematographer: Rudolf Blahacek
Editor: Michael Munn
Sound: Jim Rillie
Music: Michael Timmins
Cast: Maury Chaykin, Sandra Oh, Callum Rennie, Paul Gross, Rebecca Jenkins, Jim Allodi, Ellen Page
Production Company: da da kamera pictures Inc., Palpable Productions Inc.

The small island community of Wilby is about to launch its annual town festival. As the celebration grows near it becomes apparent that, for all its quaintness and small-town charm, everything in Wilby is not as it appears. Over the course of a single day, dramas both large and small unfold in this tight-knit community.

At the forefront of Wilby’s troubles is a scandal that threatens to shake the town to its foundations. Few seem to know the details, but they promise to be sordid and will soon be published in the local newspaper. As gossip spreads, the town begins to unravel. Dan (James Allodi), a lone figure, makes repeated, interrupted attempts to end his life. Carol (Sandra Oh), a social-climbing business woman, stops at little to advance her ambitions and sets her sights on currying favour with the mayor (Maury Chaykin). Meanwhile, Carol’s husband Buddy (Paul Gross) is the do-right cop who does wrong with sexy diner proprietress Sandra (Rebecca Jenkins), while Sandra’s daughter Emily (Ellen Page) looks for love in what might be the wrong place. To top it off, a dyslexic sign painter (Callum Keith Rennie) dots the town with signs that invert “Wonderful Wilby” to read “Wilby Wonderful.”

In his second feature, acclaimed actor, director and writer Daniel MacIvor underscores the familiarity of life’s everyday dramas to create a charming, bittersweet film with a light comic touch. Wilby Wonderful had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival® and drew mixed reviews upon its modest commercial release.

By: Andrew McIntosh