Strangers in Good Company

Strangers in Good Company

3.0 1
Director: Cynthia Scott, Alice Diabo, Constance Garneau, Mary Meigs

Cast: Cynthia Scott, Alice Diabo, Constance Garneau, Mary Meigs

     
 
Strangers in Good Company is the gentle story of a group of elderly women whose bus breaks down as they are driving through the Canadian wilderness. As they wait for a rescue team, they talk and explore the woods, getting in touch with themselves and nature.

Overview

Strangers in Good Company is the gentle story of a group of elderly women whose bus breaks down as they are driving through the Canadian wilderness. As they wait for a rescue team, they talk and explore the woods, getting in touch with themselves and nature.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Nathan Southern
Taking as its subject a group of elderly women stranded at a rural Canadian farmhouse when their bus breaks down, Canadian filmmaker Cynthia Scott's ensemble seriocomedy Strangers in Good Company makes a hefty push toward realism. This suggests untold directorial wisdom; given her story's compressed, two-day span, Scott realizes that she must all but eliminate character arcs to build onscreen credibility. We thus see only the faintest traces of these characters evolving, as subtly as they would evolve during an actual weekend in the country with these octogenarians -- hence the realism. And ultimately, instead of a typical Western comedy drama, the film begins to resemble something close to a series of Chekhovian character sketches, echoed by the recurring onscreen motif of lesbian artist Mary (Mary Meigs) illustrating, in a notebook, the environmental scenes that surround her. We correspondingly meet these women, one at a time, and Scott gradually fills in a few character and backstory details (in a paint-by-the-numbers sense) for each lady. The film becomes a giant life-quilt of individual stories, with countless minute implications -- and dozens of questions left unanswered -- for each individual. It's a minimalist comedy, in the tradition of John Irvin's Turtle Diary and Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation, from the "blink and you might miss it" school of character development. And one wonders how klutzily the same material would be handled in the mitts of an American director known for melodramatic ensemble pieces, such as Lawrence Kasdan. Overall, Strangers works gloriously as an exuberant celebration of life, and pulls much of its poignancy from Scott's fascinating, Jaglom-like decision to cast the women "as themselves" (revealed by Scott's cuts to still photographs from each woman's actual life, which echo, in their visual details, the self-revealing bits of dialogue that the woman-at-hand has just delivered). The picture's emotional texture is wonderfully varied -- by turns funny, sad, haunting, and joyous. But Strangers demands much of the audience, depending on our complicity when Scott asks us to revel in the tiny, mundane, "beautiful life details" that emerge during the weekend that the film covers, such as American Indian Alice's (Alice Diabo) creation of a poultice for Michelle's (Michelle Sweeney) leg, or the wistful yearning that fills Constance's (Constance Garneau) eyes when she finally happens on her childhood vacation home. Minimalists will be hooked; others will be bewildered by the understatement, but may find the movie a deeply rewarding and enriching experience if they go back for a second round, with downsized expectations and a narrower gaze.

Product Details

Release Date:
12/07/1999
UPC:
0720229909167
Original Release:
1991
Rating:
PG
Source:
First Run Features
Region Code:
1
Time:
1:45:00
Sales rank:
32,021

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alice Diabo Alice
Constance Garneau Constance
Mary Meigs Mary
Winifred Holden Winnie
Cissy Meddings Cissy
Catherine Roche Catherine
Michelle Sweeney Michelle
Beth Webber Beth

Technical Credits
Cynthia Scott Director,Screenwriter
Marie Bernard Score Composer
Sally Bochner Producer,Screenwriter
Gloria Demers Screenwriter
David DeVolpi Cinematographer
Rina Fraticelli Producer
Peter Katadotis Producer
Elaine Langlais Costumes/Costume Designer
Colin Neale Producer
David Wilson Editor,Producer,Screenwriter

Scene Index

Side #1
0. Index Des Scene
0. Scene Index

Customer Reviews

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Strangers in Good Company 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
''Strangers in Good Company'' explores the fears, the joys, and the regrets that surface among a group of older women who find themselves stranded together. Their openness, fueled by their situation, allows them to touch each other's lives in meaningful, touching ways. The movie makes you sad for them, happy for them, and afraid for them. In the end, it is a celebration of perspective, comfort with paradox, and living well while aging.