Monday, June 9, 2008

Finn's Girl

My review of Finn's Girl appears in the current Westender.

Finn’s Girl
2 stars
By Andrea Warner
269 words

Finn’s Girl, the clunky Canadian drama, peels away its layers with all the subtlety of a flasher in a trench coat. Though there are many good elements (strong female characters, great actors, a 21st century take on sexuality and family), there are also lots of unnecessary plot twists, melodrama, and miles of back-story that all but drown Finn’s Girl in a bloated sea of good intentions.

Finn is silver-haired, no-nonsense doctor who rides a motorcycle, walks with a sexy swagger, and is on the rebound after her wife, Nancy’s, death. She’s also raising their daughter, Zelly, a precocious pre-pubescent with a penchant for shoplifting, smoking dope, and telling the babysitter to “fuck off.”

Finn’s sinking under her parental obligations, and desperately trying to keep Nancy’s abortion clinic afloat amidst violent threats and sniper attacks. Two cops keep her under 24-hour surveillance, and become enmeshed in Finn and Zelly’s lives as the threats escalate.

Brooke Johnson infuses Finn with a realistic combination of tough-talking helplessness, and Maya Ritter is fantastic as Zelly, a brilliant but lonely kid who is just trying to figure out who she is. Yanna McIntosh is a lovely and stoic addition to this duo as Diana, the cop who becomes so central to their lives. If this had been the extent of the story, Finn’s Girl would be a better film. But, there’s an entire subplot regarding Zelly’s conception, Finn’s previous work as part of a fertility drug-trial, and Zelly’s father, all of which feels like a year’s worth of television programming on the CBC condensed into 88 minutes, making Finn’s Girl impossible to fully embrace.

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