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Good Neighbours

Good Neighbours

Jacob Tierney

  • Country: Canada
  • Year: 2010
  • Language: English
  • Producer: Kevin Tierney
  • Executive Producer: Krik D'Amico, Joe Iacono
  • Screenplay: Jacob Tierney
  • Runtime: 98
  • Programmes:

Director Jacob Tierney (The Trotsky) returns with an innovative and unsettling thriller about some very strange people living in the same apartment building in Montreal's Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighbourhood. The film stars Scott Speedman, Emily Hampshire and Jay Baruchel.

screening times

    • Tuesday September 14
    • 9:30:00 PM
    • VARSITY 8
    • Saturday September 18
    • 12:45:00 PM
    • AMC 6

Note: indicates Premium Screening.

official description

Set in 1995 in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, a decidedly rundown Montreal neighbourhood with some very unusual inhabitants, Good Neighbours is Jacob Tierney’s witty and twisted follow-up to last year’s Festival hit The Trotsky.

Louise (Emily Hampshire), a waitress in an always empty Chinese restaurant, has a rather unhealthy attachment to her cats. Her relationships with her apartment mates aren’t much better. Her only friend, Spencer (Scott Speedman), is a caustic widower with a supercilious smirk who’s confined to a wheelchair. Meanwhile, newly arrived Victor (Jay Baruchel) is an overly friendly elementary school teacher who’s desperate for human contact. Victor’s painfully obvious interest in Louise upsets the routine that Louise and Spencer have developed – as does a string of unsolved homicides in the area, a subject that Louise takes an unseemly interest in.

Good Neighbors may sound like a thriller, but its relationship to the genre is quite complicated. While the conventional hero of a thriller typically wants to re-establish order and re-affirm his or her status in the eyes of society, Tierney focuses instead on characters that have, at best, only a nominal interest in other people. This raises troubling (and often hilarious) questions about just how connected we actually are. (The film is also related to the cool, grimy thrillers of the late eighties and early nineties, and shares obvious affinities with Danny Boyle’s Shallow Grave.)

Despite having only three features under his belt, Tierney has already mapped-out strong thematic territory as a director. Twist and The Trotsky concentrated on protagonists with tenuous connections to society and their attempts to integrate themselves. But here he ups the ante. Both Louise and Spencer seem willfully self-obsessed, while Victor is strangely needy. The narrative is cleverly set against the backdrop of the 1995 sovereignty referendum, an event which only underscores the characters’ sense of disconnect.

Featuring fine performances from the principals as well as smart turns from Micheline Lanctot, Anne Marie Cadieux, Gary Farmer and Xavier Dolan, Good Neighbors is a sharp, acerbically funny work by one or our finest young filmmakers.

Steve Gravestock

director bio

Jacob Tierney was born in Montreal. He began acting professionally at age six and has appeared in numerous film and television productions. He has written and directed the short film Dad (02) and the features Twist (03), The Trotsky (09) – both of which screened at the Festival – and Good Neighbours (Notre-Dame-de-Grace) (10).

full credits

Principal Cast: Jay Baruchel, Scott Speedman, Emily Hampshire
Kevin Tierney
Executive Producer:
Krik D'Amico, Joe Iacono
Guy Dufaux
Arthur Tarnowski
Claude Hazanavicius, Thierry Morlaas-Lurbe, Pierre-Jules Audet, Gavin Fernandes
Production Designer:
Anne Pritchard

Canadian Distributor:
 Alliance Films  
International Sales Agent:
 WME Global
Production Company:
Park Ex Pictures
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