×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Blackbird

With dialogue, performances and visual style reminiscent of a subpar After School Special, this bird won't migrate far from home.

With:
With: Connor Jessup, Michael Buie, Alex Ozerov, Alexia Fast.

A sensitive but rebellious teen from a dysfunctional family pays a heavy price for his willfulness in the sluggish drama “Blackbird,” the feature debut of Canadian helmer-writer Jason Buxton. Mixing the genre cliches of the coming-of-ager and juvenile prison pic to queasy effect, the narrative centers on a bullied Goth in rural Nova Scotia accused of plotting a Columbine-style massacre when he follows the school social worker’s advice to work out his revenge fantasies by writing them down. With dialogue, performances and visual style reminiscent of a subpar Afterschool Special, this bird won’t migrate far from home.

Sent to live with his hunting-and-hockey-loving father (Michael Buie), in a burg where being different is not appreciated, 16-year-old Sean (Connor Jessup) stands out, with his black nail polish and piercings. When he dares to think he has a chance with preppy princess Deanna (Alexia Fast), her jock boyfriend beats him up, but ultimately it is Sean who is deemed a danger to the community. Bundled off to a juvenile prison, he falls prey to mini-psychopath Trevor (Alex Ozerov). The undernourished craft package accentuates the film’s overall lack of flair.

Popular on Variety

Blackbird

Canada

Production: An A71 Prods., Story Engine Pictures, Festina Lente Prods. production with support from Telefilm Canada, Shaw Rocket Fund, Film Nova Scotia, Super Channel. (International sales: Film Boutique, Berlin.) Produced by David Miller, Marc Almon, Jason Buxton. Executive producers, Thom Fitzgerald, Chad Maker. Directed, written by Jason Buxton.

Crew: Camera (color), Stephanie Weber-Biron; editor, Kimberlee McTaggart; music, Asif Illyas, Shehab Illyas; production designer, Bill Fleming; costume designer, Kate Rose; sound (Dolby Digital), Zan Rosborough. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Discovery), Sept. 7, 2012. Running time: 103 MIN.

With: With: Connor Jessup, Michael Buie, Alex Ozerov, Alexia Fast.

More Film

  • Reese Witherspoon Kerry Washington Ryan Reynolds

    Market for Package Deals and Original Ideas Heats Up Ahead of Platform Launches

    Practically every studio in town wanted it, but in the end it was Apple that swept in to nab the reinterpretation of “A Christmas Carol” with Will Ferrell and Ryan Reynolds. To buy the highly coveted package, the tech giant was willing to shell out more than $60 million to the stars and the film’s [...]

  • Ruben Fleischer

    Ruben Fleischer Returns to His Roots for 'Zombieland: Double Tap'

    Recapturing the personality of a successful film for its follow-up can be a challenging task for a filmmaker, given the story told, characters involved and especially the time passed between installments. But even after 10 years, “Zombieland: Double Tap” director Ruben Fleischer knew exactly what to focus on to ensure that his sequel lived up [...]

  • Maleficent

    How 'Maleficent' Sequel's Characters Drove Costumes and Special Effects Makeup

    The art of making sequels demands a fine balance between revisiting an existing world and giving the audience something new to chew on. For Disney’s “Maleficent: Mistress of Evil,” costume designer Ellen Mirojnick and special effects makeup designer David White started with the familiar and built things out from there. “This movie is a fantastic [...]

  • Michael Caine poses for a portrait

    Michael Caine, Lena Headey to Star in Modern-Day Version of 'Oliver Twist'

    Michael Caine, Lena Headey and pop star Rita Ora are to star in “Twist,” a modern-day, gender-bending film interpretation of Charles Dickens’ classic novel “Oliver Twist” for Sky, which will release the film day and date in theaters and on its pay-TV platform. The title role of Oliver is played by Jude Law’s son Raff [...]

  • Lucia Milazzotto

    Rome MIA Director Lucia Milazzotto Talks Linear TV and Theatrical Comeback

    MIA market director Lucia Milazzotto is the main architect of Rome’s new format post-Mipcom, pre-AFM confab launched five years ago to serve as a driver for the Italian industry in the global arena. The MIA acronym stands for (Mercato Internazionale Audiovisivo, or International Audiovisual Market). Milazzotto spoke to Variety about how this unique event featuring [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content