A Few of Canada's Best Films

20 Jul 2013 10:57 PM | Deleted user

A while back someone on IMDb compiled a list of what they felt were Canada's best films. As this is a "movie mad month" for the CAC, we thought we'd list 10 of those 60. To see the complete list, please click here.

1. Last Night (1998)

Director: Don McKellar
Stars: Don McKellar, Sandra Oh, Roberta Maxwell, Robin Gammell

Don McKellar's directorial debut, and an absolute masterpiece. Toronto like you've never seen it (that toppled streetcar will haunt your dreams, I promise you). Definitely an early point in the careers of faces that are familiar to us now: among many others, Sandra Oh, Sarah Polley, Callum Keith Rennie, Geneviève Bujold, the late great Tracy Wright, and even Don himself in the starring role. 

2. The Sweet Hereafter (1997)

Director: Atom Egoyan
Stars: Ian Holm, Sarah Polley, Caerthan Banks, Tom McCamus

Rightfully nominated for an Oscar; in a different year, Atom Egoyan would've won! Bruce Greenwood and Sarah Polley are standouts, as usual, and the frozen north is beautiful and forbidding at the same time. This film deserves all of the international acclaim it's gotten.

3. Hard Core Logo (1996)

You know it's gotta be badass if A) Hugh Dillon is in it and B) Quentin Tarantino put his name on the reissue of the DVD! Director Bruce McDonald takes the source novel and propels it well out of "Spinal Tap" territory; a lot of people are still pretty sure HCL are a real band. And, hey, the actual Canadian group Billy Talent named their band after Callum Keith Rennie's character.

4. Bon Cop Bad Cop (2006)

Director: Erik Canuel
Stars: Michel Beaudry, Patrick Huard, Colm Feore, Pierre Boudreau

This captures perfectly the divide between English- and French-speaking Canada, and does so by being surprisingly hilarious. Watching two officers having to split jurisdiction when a dead body is found slung over the sign that separates Ontario and Québec is funnier than you might imagine; Colm Feore is always wonderful, and there are some great Canadian cameos throughout (Rick Mercer is but one!).

5. One Week (2008)

Director: Michael McGowan
Stars: Joshua Jackson, Peter Spence, Marc Strange, Gage Munroe

Our hometown hero, Joshua Jackson, singlehandedly carries this tragic yet uplifting movie on his leather-clad back. His cross-country journey affords a breathtaking view of nearly every corner of this beautiful country, which should have gotten top billing alongside Joshua! Look for some great Canuck cameos as the trip moves forward, too.

6. Juno (2007)

Director: Jason Reitman
Stars: Ellen Page, Michael Cera, Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman

Aside from being a critical darling and a huge box office hit, this film is very Canadian. Ellen Page and Michael Cera represent the home-country crowd, and filming took place in B.C. under the watchful eye of great Canadian director Jason Reitman. Chances are you've already seen this one - who hasn't?? - but on the off chance that I'm wrong, go rent it. Or buy it. Like, right now, home-skillet.

7. Double Hapiness (1994)

Director: Mina Shum
Stars: Sandra Oh, Stephen Chang, Alannah Ong, Donald Fong

Sandra Oh made her mark on cinema with this film, and once again it shows how tight the Canadian acting community has remained over the years. Oh's character, Jade, is a Chinese-Canadian young woman whose family disapproves of her romance with a thoroughly Caucasian man, played by Callum Keith Rennie (brilliantly, as usual). It is a wonderfully touching story, funny and sweet, and - like so many others on my list - provides a glimpse into the careers these fantastic actors would develop

8. Dance Me Outside (1994)

Director: Bruce McDonald
Stars: Ryan Rajendra Black, Adam Beach, Jennifer Podemski, Michael Greyeyes

Beach and Hugh Dillon are but two standouts in this movie set on a First Nations reserve in Northern Ontario; listen for Dillon's band, The Headstones, who provide some of the music for the film as well.

9. Jesus de Montreal (1998)

Director: Denys Arcand
Stars: Lothaire Bluteau, Catherine Wilkening, Johanne-Marie Tremblay, Rémy Girard

10. Monsieur Lazhar (2011)

Director: Philippe Falardeau
Stars: Mohamed Fellag, Sophie Nélisse, Émilien Néron, Danielle Proulx

While Fellag isn't Canadian (he is, in fact, Algerian), some who've seen the film argue that one of the Quebecois students is the "star" of the film. Any which way you look at it, the Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Film was well deserved.

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