Films & Schedules

  • The Narrows

  • François A.Velle

106 minutes

Production Company:
Serenade Films/Mr. Nice/Olympus Pictures
Executive Producer:
Michael Nozik, Todd James, Dean Vanech, Daniel Revers, Nicolas Velle, Michael Hoffman
Leslie Urdang, Ami Armstrong, Tatiana Blackington
Tatiana Blackington, based on the novel The Heart of the Old Country by Tim McLoughlin
Production Designer:
Aleta Shaffer
Seamus Tierney
Patrick Gallagher
Zach Seivers
Richard Marvin
Principal Cast: Kevin Zegers, Vincent D'Onofrio, Sophia Bush, Eddie Cahill, Titus Welliver, Monica Keena

International Sales Agent:
Eastgate Pictures

TIFF Tags: Crime/Thriller  Identity  Violence 

Monday September 0806:15PM AMC 6 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Tuesday September 0907:45PM VARSITY 8 Best Bet Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist
Saturday September 1303:00PM AMC 6 Add Film to MyTIFF Filmlist

Mike Manadoro (Kevin Zegers) has come to a crossroads in his life. Only twenty years old, he is torn between two paths, two women and two worlds. The choices he makes in a few short weeks will dictate his future.

Mike lives in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, with his father Vinny (Vincent D'Onofrio), who has retired on disability from the Department of Sanitation. Vinny has a sideline, however, and it is Mike's job to drive him on his “rounds” as Bay Ridge's main numbers runner. While waiting for his father, Mike begins taking pictures of the neighbourhood locals. After an influential professor sees his portfolio, Mike is offered a partial scholarship to a top university in Manhattan. He immediately understands that this is the chance to change his life – but the opportunity comes with strings attached.

Out of pride, Vinny will not allow Mike to seek financial aid. So, unbeknownst to his father, Mike takes a job delivering “packages” for Tony (Titus Welliver), a local mobster. Soon, he is living a double life. Things grow more complicated when he meets Kathy (Sophia Bush), an urbane and beautiful fellow student who sees in him the man he hopes to become. This is unwelcome news to his longtime girlfriend Gina (Monica Keena). Almost immediately, Mike's worlds start colliding.

What makes The Narrows such an engrossing film is the texture of its tightly woven relationships: son and father; Tony and the neighbourhood; Kathy and photography. These characters are caught between the lives they live and the lives they want, and it is never obvious who will get their wish.

The Narrows was shot on location, and the authentic spaces echo the affecting and focused performances of its remarkable ensemble cast. Director François A. Velle shows us a Brooklyn that is noisy, crowded and exploding with life – as opposed to the cool, more linear world of Manhattan – making Mike's ultimate choices all the more heart-wrenching and understandable.

Jane Schoettle

François A. Velle was born in Paris. He worked as a child actor in France before becoming a writer and director for television. His first feature was Comme des rois (97), and he made his American debut in 1999 with the feature New Suit. The Narrows (08) is his latest film.

Cadillac People's Choice Award