Bruce McDonald describes his lovely new film Weirdos as a running-away-from-home movie, as a "to be 15" movie, as a blossoming sexuality movie, as a "remember the seventies" movie, as a road movie, as a love-story movie. It is all of those things, and it is none of those of those things.
Written by playwright Daniel MacIvor, shot handsomely in black and white and set in the breezy summer of 1976, Weirdos follows teenagers Kit (Dylan Authors) and Alice (Julia Sara Stone) from small-town Nova Scotia to Sydney, where notions of glamorous freedom, a high-school beach party and Kit's elegantly manic mother (a sublime Molly Parker) await. Kit's "spirit animal" Andy Warhol muses that Canadians are weirdos – a good thing.
The soundtrack is early Cancon – not Neil or Joni, but Lightfoot, McLauchlan and other artists who stayed home. And when a television murmurs with American bicentennial hoopla, a Cambodian refugee tells New York-dreaming Kit that it's "not your parade." Weirdos is a coming-of-age story, for a country. McDonald waves a freak flag. It has a leaf.