April 19, 2017
7:15 p.m. • FREE!
To celebrate Canada’s 150th Birthday, TIFF Film Circuit’s project Canada on Screen will be presenting Canadian films across the country for FREE. We’re excited to host a screening of the 1985 classic My American Cousin as this month’s Big Film Fest feature on National Canadian Film Day.
Loosely autobiographical, Sandy Wilson’s charming feature debut and winner of six Genie Awards follows bored preteen Sandy, who lives with her close-knit family on a farm in the beautiful but sleepy Okanagan Valley.
“Nothing ever happens,” she complains to her diary in the film’s celebrated opening line. Then, something finally does: her cousin, Butch, a James Dean lookalike with a know-it-all attitude, arrives from California in a flashy red convertible. Everything about Butch is slicker, louder, sexier, and better than anything Sandy has ever encountered at home. He also isn’t quite all that he seems.
More than an affectionate, bittersweet coming-of-age tale, My American Cousin is a meditation on the differences between us and our neighbours to the south, and it ended up a key film in industrial terms, proving that an English-Canadian film could reach a popular audience and gain commercial success.