TIFF 2017: ‘Porcupine Lake’

It’s not healthy to compare movies, but I have a feeling I would’ve had greater appreciation for Ingrid Veninger’s Porcupine Lake if I hadn’t already seen Andrew Cividino’s Sleeping Giant.  Both are of Canadian origin, they take place over the course of a Summer away from home, and they follow a coming-of-age narrative with kids.

Sleeping Giant, however, had raw revelations of adolescence.  Veninger’s delicate representation of youth in Porcupine Lake exposes her film’s rounder edges.  Young stars Charlotte Salisbury and Lucinda Armstrong Hall are breakouts, but the story they’re wrapped up in is a soft, contrived display of personal tragedy.  Porcupine Lake, however, does excel in its portrayal of sexual experimentation.  Even when the feelings are impulsive, Veninger does a good job establishing young curiosity, discomfort, and excitement.

Porcupine Lake, a film that also benefits from a cozying score and Benjamin Lichty’s warm cinematography, is a surface-scraping indie that’s A-OK.

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Porcupine Lake screens at TIFF on:

Sunday, September 10 at 7:30 p.m. @ Scotiabank Theatre

Wednesday, September 13 at 2:30 p.m. @ Scotiabank Theatre (press and industry)
Thursday, September 14 at 7:30 p.m. @ TIFF Bell Lightbox
Friday, September 15 at 8:45 p.m. @ Scotiabank Theatre

Rating: PG
Language: English
Runtime: 85 minutes

For more information on the festival, visit the official TIFF webpage here.

Buy tickets here.

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TIFF: @TIFF_NET
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