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Uncles, The

Year: 2000
Language: English
Format: 35mm Colour
Runtime: 94 min
Director: James Allodi
Producer: Nick de Pencier
Executive Producer: Dezso Magyar
Writer: James Allodi
Cinematographer: Steve Cosens
Editor: David Wharnsby
Sound: John Elliott
Music: Stephen Skratt, Orest Hrynewich
Cast: Chris Owens, Tara Rosling, Kelly Harms, Veronika Hurnik, Dino Tavarone
Production Company: Runaway Goat Productions, Inc.

Since the day their father walked out and never came back, the Toma family hasn’t been the same. John (Chris Owens), a Toronto restaurant manager, tries to keep the family together, taking on the roles of father, brother and dutiful son. His mentally damaged, childlike sister Celia (Tara Rosling) has taken to stealing other people’s babies; John has to remedy these situations and assuage her reputation as a crazy woman and kidnapper. He also has to contend with his slacker brother Marco (Kelly Harms), who is more interested in soccer than studying and has stopped attending classes.

Above and beyond his concerns regarding his family, John is having an affair with Rochelle (Veronika Hurnik), the daughter-in-law of his boss, Lino (Dino Tavarone). Just as the fatherly Lino offers John the chance to oversee a new project, Rochelle announces her desire to have a baby. John, however, is frozen by indecision. Choosing Rochelle would mean leaving his job and turning his back on one family in order to start another. Battling family expectations, a guilty conscience and angry neighbours whose children are being abducted, John finds that his life is spiralling out of control.

The Uncles is a compelling tale of one man trapped between his personal desires and the responsibilities he feels towards his family. A product of the Canadian Film Centre’s Feature Film Project, Jim Allodi’s impressive debut feature is an acutely observed, extremely well-acted comedy-drama about love, family and responsibility that takes place in an unabashedly Canadian milieu.

A smartly written film populated by honest characters and engaging performances, The Uncles is filled with humour and insight. At its core, it is a love story about all the unlikely places in which one can find happiness and fulfillment. The film enjoyed uniformly positive reviews upon its release and was named one of Canada’s Top Ten of 2001 by an independent panel of filmmakers, programmers, journalists and industry professionals.

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