"Picture Day", an all-Canadian effort filmed in Ontario, follows "Claire" (Tatiana Maslany), a young woman straddling the line between childhood and adulthood, and "Henry" (Spencer Van Wyck), a precocious first-year high school student. "Picture Day" has received it's share of acclaim on the international film fest circuit, scooping up awards at Whistler (Philip Borsos Award, "Best New Canadian Feature Film"), as well as RiverRun (Audience Choice Award). Long-time writer, first-time feature film director Kate Melville deftly manages a tight production budget, casts extremely capable leads, and gifts the aforementioned leads with sufficient artistic freedom to excel in their roles.
Versatile industry veteran Maslany (Orphan Black, Grown Up Movie Star, Toilet) provides her typical standout performance, imbuing her character with appropriate levels of insolence, promiscuity, and vulnerability. The technically-proficient and well-pedigreed (Gemini Award (2009), Critics' Choice Award (2013)) Maslany frequently taps into her extensive improv experience, to hilarious effect. Maslany-as-Claire is at her best when sarcastically challenging authority, expressing wonderment at ball asymmetry, and engaging in helium-infused, postcoitus riffing.
Van Wyck (Degrassi: The Next Generation) skillfully plays Claire's geektacular sidekick, capturing Henry's intelligence (and youthful ignorance). Van Wyck, oft-underutilized as "Wesley" on Degrassi, is much more memorable as Henry- feel free to add the up-and-coming Van Wyck to your radar. Real-life Canadian rock star Steven McCarthy (Elastocitizens) stars as Canadian rock star "Jim", and comedian Mark Debonis ("Best Stand-up Newcomer", 11th Annual Canadian Comedy Awards (2010)) contributes well-timed deadpan humor as bingo maven "Lewis", without resorting to the boilerplate bingo hall humor so prevalent in modern cinema.
"Picture Day" trailers and clips are sprinkled throughout the internets, and this film is definitely worth a watch (or ten).