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In Porcupine Lake, Bea (Charlotte Salisbury) and Kate (Lucinda Armstrong Hall), turn to each other, becoming instant best friends – and maybe more. Tension hovers even as the girls delight in each other; nothing seems certain anymore.

GAT

3 out of 4 stars

Title
Porcupine Lake
Written by
Ingrid Veninger
Directed by
Ingrid Veninger
Starring
Charlotte Salisbury and Lucinda Armstrong Hall
Genre
Drama
Classification
14A
Country
Canada
Language
English
Year
2017

Remarkable performances by the two young actors at the centre of the film – along with assured, subtle storytelling by director/screenwriter Ingrid Veninger – propel this cottage-country coming-of-age drama.

Bea (Charlotte Salisbury) and her mother, Ally (Delphine Roussel), travel up to Northern Ontario to reunite with dad/husband, Scotty (Christopher Bolton), who has inherited his family's gas bar/diner. Scotty wants to stay and turn the place around; Ally wants to sell and get back to Toronto. Bea, quiet and lonely, makes a friend.

Kate (Lucinda Armstrong Hall), bold and outgoing, is a townie living with her dysfunctional family on the wrong side of the tracks – and she could be trouble. But there's trouble for Bea at home, too; her parents are fighting. The girls turn to each other, becoming instant best friends – and maybe more. Tension hovers even as the girls delight in each other; nothing seems certain anymore. The film captures that fleeting moment when childhood becomes adolescence; when grown-up feelings and experiences beckon, but familiar comforts remain a refuge.

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Porcupine Lake opens Feb. 23 in Toronto

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