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Review: Joyce Wong’s promising Wexford Plaza is subtle, clever and sobering

Reid Asselstine stars in Joyce Wong’s film Wexford Plaza.

Courtesy of LevelFilm

3 out of 4 stars

Title
Wexford Plaza
Written by
Joyce Wong
Directed by
Joyce Wong
Starring
Reid Asselstine, Darrel Gamotin
Genre
Comedy
Classification
14A
Country
Canada
Language
English
Year
2016

Betty is a single woman at the turn of 20, lonely and vulnerable but perky enough, working as a security guard at a dying Scarborough strip mall. Danny is a charismatic bartender in the same mall, $12,000 in debt but still upbeat. And while they hit it off, their intentions with each other don't match up. Signals are misunderstood; a simple miscommunication has sad, unfortunate repercussions.

Wexford Plaza, the promising first feature from Toronto's Joyce Wong, is a subtly grim meditation on suburban isolation – a lot of the action happens in a deserted parking lot – and youthful despair. The story is told cleverly with two overlapping parts. The acting by newcomer Reid Asselstine and theatre player Darrel Gamotin is easy and natural. A melancholic slice of life, Wexford Plaza's evenly wrought depiction of unhappiness suggests the situation is not uncommon, making the film all the more sobering.

Greta Gerwig remembers her 'theatre nerd' days (The Associated Press)
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About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More

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