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Film Reviews Borealis: A gently lovely film that Sean Garrity directs with real heart

In Borealis, which opens in an underworld Winnipeg gambling den, Jonah (Jonas Chernick, who wrote the screenplay) has been dealt his share of hard hands.

GAT

2 out of 4 stars

Title
Borealis
Written by
Jonas Chernick
Directed by
Sean Garrity
Starring
Jonas Chernick, Joey King, Emily Hampshire, Kevin Pollak
Classification
14A
Country
USA
Language
English

Life is a gamble; you never know what card you're going to draw. In Borealis, which opens in an underworld Winnipeg gambling den, Jonah (Jonas Chernick, who wrote the screenplay) has been dealt his share of hard hands. His wife died, his teenage daughter Aurora (Joey King) is going blind and his gambling addiction has landed him in deep debt. Unable to pay off the tens of thousands he owes, Jonah loads Aurora into his old beater and they head for Churchill, Man. – ostensibly for some impromptu viewing of the Northern Lights, which had so enraptured him and Aurora's mother on their honeymoon. But really it's to escape his pursuers – and ensure his daughter sees the aurora borealis before she loses her sight completely in a few weeks – a timeline dad has kept from her. The film is rife with tropes: the bonding road trip, the blindness that allows for true vision and a ruthless money-lender called "the Rabbi." But it is also gently lovely. Sean Garrity directs with real heart and King aces her role right down to the final, illuminating scene.

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