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Sophie Nélisse and Heather Graham star in The Rest of Us.

Courtesy of LevelFilm

  • The Rest of Us
  • Directed by Aisling Chin-Yee
  • Written by Alanna Francis
  • Starring Heather Graham, Sophie Nélisse and Jodi Balfour
  • Classification PG; 80 minutes

rating

3 out of 4 stars


I believe that people behaving well can be every bit as dramatic as people behaving badly. Here’s a movie that proves me right, softly. Cami (Heather Graham), a children’s book illustrator and divorced mother of teenage Aster (Sophie Nélisse), seems to have landed on her feet: successful career, beautiful home, reasonable relationship with her daughter. But when her ex dies, she begins a complicated friendship with Rachel (Jodi Balfour), the woman he left her for, and with Rachel’s tween daughter Tallulah (Abigail Pniowsky).

All four characters are rendered as layered, believable humans, and I especially love how each resulting relationship – Cami and Rachel, Rachel and Aster, Cami and Tallulah – has its own arc and rhythm. Both director Aisling Chin-Yee and screenwriter Alanna Francis are making their feature debuts here, and they have a real sense of the ways women talk to each other and how quickly anger can melt into empathy. Graham acquits herself well as a flawed grownup, a chance she doesn’t get often from Hollywood. At 80 minutes, it feels a bit spare. But I got involved with these women and wanted more of them.

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The Rest of Us is available digitally on-demand starting June 16

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