Canadian in Hollywood: 2007 Good Year

December 20, 2007–Canadian actors and directors were among the most interesting in American cinema during 2007, with movies like “Away From Her,” “Eastern Promises” and “Juno” some of the year’s most lauded and actors Ellen Page, Michael Cera and Seth Rogen becoming household names.

“Away From Her,” the directorial debut of actress Sarah Polley, was the No. 2 best-reviewed movie of the year, according to the website Rotten Tomatoes, which compiles film reviews from across North America. Only the animated movie “Ratatouille” was better-reviewed than Polley’s poignant Alzheimer’s drama.

The Golden Globes, considered a harbinger of the Oscars, have also recognized the Canadians: “Juno,” from Montreal-born director Jason Reitman, was nominated for best film in the comedy/musical category, while David Cronenberg’s “Eastern Promises” was nominated for best dramatic film. Viggo Mortensen, who starred in the Cronenberg film, received an acting nomination.

Page, who lives in Halifax, has been nominated for best actress in a comedy/musical for her portrayal of a feisty pregnant teen in “Juno,” while Julie Christie is up for best actress in a dramatic film for her role in “Away From Her.” Both are widely considered to be frontrunners for Oscar nominations.

Some promising Canadian films are in the works, and actors currently in the glare of Hollywood spotlight are going to remain there.

Paul Gross’s “Passchendaele,” a WWI drama, arrives in theatres in 2008, as does Atom Egoyan new film, “Adoration.”

Deepa Mehta’s “The Exclusion,” about the plight of 375 asylum-seekers from India who fled Britain and arrived in Vancouver in 1914, will be released in the coming year, as will the latest from Jean-Marc Vallee of “C.R.A.Z.Y.” fame. Vallee’s film “The Young Victoria” is a dramatization of the turbulent first years of Queen Victoria’s rule and her enduring romance with Prince Albert.

The Egoyan film, starring Canadian actor Scott Speedman, of “Felicity” fame, sounds intriguing, and Egoyan has not made a good or commercial film in a decade.