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Levels off into a standard-issue kitchen-sink drama with little emotional pull.

With: Mary Walsh, Meghan Greeley, Cheryl Wells, Joel Thomas Hynes, Kristin Booth, Jane Maggs.

The impressively original opening of “Crackie,” with a daydreaming teen caught in closeup, is sadly not a foretaste of things to come. Set in a working-class Newfoundland wasteland, writer-director Sherry White’s feature debut about a young woman and her foul-mouthed prostitute grandmother soon levels off into a standard-issue kitchen-sink drama with little emotional pull. Thesping is appropriately gritty, in a showy way, but it’s the lack of buildup that stymies lasting involvement. A special jury nod from the Turin Film Festival is unlikely to herald a theatrical life outside Canada.

Hardened granny Bride (Mary Walsh) raised Mitsy (Meghan Greeley) as best she could, though the awkward teenager dreams of being reunited with her absentee mom, Gwennie (Cheryl Wells). Immaturely yearning for something to love of her own, Mitsy doesn’t think twice about sleeping with sleazy hash slinger Duffy (Joel Thomas Hynes) to get him to give her his puppy. Then Gwennie turns up, even more of a tramp than Bride, and shacks up with Duffy. Film’s lack of originality extends to a montage of everyday scenes, accompanied by a song, that’s now become almost de rigueur for indie mellers.



Production: A Streely Maid Films, Kickham East Prods. production. (International sales: Kickham East, St. John's, Newfoundland.) Produced by Jennice Ripley, Rhonda Buckley, Sherry White. Directed, written by Sherry White.

Crew: Camera (color), Stephen Reizes; editor, Chris Darlington; music, Duane Andrews; production designer, Shelley Cornick; costume designer, Charlotte Reid. Reviewed at Turin Film Festival (competing), Nov. 18, 2009. (Also in Karlovy Vary Film Festival -- Another View; Toronto Film Festival -- Canada First; Vancouver Film Festival -- Canadian Images.) Running time: 90 MIN.

With: With: Mary Walsh, Meghan Greeley, Cheryl Wells, Joel Thomas Hynes, Kristin Booth, Jane Maggs.With: Mary Walsh, Meghan Greeley, Cheryl Wells, Joel Thomas Hynes, Kristin Booth, Jane Maggs.

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