Strangers in Good Company

( 1 )


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.
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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.
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Special Features

[None specified]
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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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/7/1999
  • UPC: 720229909167
  • Original Release: 1991
  • Rating:

  • Source: First Run Features
  • Region Code: 1
  • Language: English, Français
  • Time: 1:45:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 35,021

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Alice Diabo Alice
Constance Garneau Constance
Mary Meigs Mary
Alice Diablo Alice
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
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Scene Index

Side #1
0. Index Des Scene
0. Scene Index
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Side #1
   Play Movie
            Le Décour
            Le Panne
            Le reméde De grand-mare
            Les rations
            Les talents
            Les Précratifs pour le nuit
            Le Solitude
            Les peur des grenouilles
            Le Feu de Camp
            Le Silence de la nuit
            L'observation d'oiseaux
            Le réparation
            Le travail
            Les douleurs
            La déconverte accidentelle
            Lecherche de Constance
            Les cris d'oiseaux
            Surmant e' L'advertisé
            Le frustration
            Les signaux de fumée
            Les Faux espoirs
            La pluie d été
            Le festin
            Grandir par l' épreuve
            La danse dé salon
            Tomber en amour
            Les appels á L'aide
            La guerre
            En quête d'aide
            Du peisson frais
            La partie de cartes
            Contempler les 'etoiles
            Les secours
            Les adieux
         Fiche Artistique
            Mary Meigs
               Galerie De Photos
            Alice Diabo
               Galerie De Photos
            Cissy Meddings
               Galerie De Photos
            Catherine Roche
               Galerie De Photos
            Beth Webber
               Galerie De Photos
            Michelle Sweeney
            Winnie Holden
               Galerie De Photos
            Constance Garneau
               Galerie De Photos
         Fiche Technique
            Cynthia Scott (réalistrice)
            David Wilson(producteur)
            Sally Bochner(producteur déléguée)
            David De Volpi(directeur Photo)
            Gloria Dewers (Scéneriste)
         Notes De Production
   Play Movie
      Cast & Crew
            Mary Meigs
               Photo Gallery
            Alice Diabo
               Photo Gallery
            Cissy Meddings
               Photo Gallery
            Catherine Roche
               Photo Gallery
            Beth Webber
               Photo Gallery
            Michelle Sweeney
            Winnie Holden
               Photo Gallery
            Constane Garneau
               Photo Gallery
            Cynthia Scott(Director)
            David Wilson(producer)
            Sally Bochner(Asc. producer)
            David De Volpi(D.O.P.)
            Gloria Demers(Scenarist)
      Film Synopsis
         Old Remedies
         Sleeping Arrangements
         Afraid of frogs
         Still of the night
         Bird Watching
         Aches & Pains
         Surprise Discovery
         Bird Calls
         Overcoming Adversity
         Smoke Signals
         False Hope
         Summer Rain
         Frog Feast
         Thriving On Ordeals
         Dance Hall Days
         Falling In Love
         Cries For Help
         The War
         Going For Help
         Fresh Fish
         Playing Cards
         Star Gazing
         The Rescue
      Awards Received
      Director's Commentary
      Production Notes
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    quiet little movie

    ''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.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews