Taylor Kitsch’s film career did not get off to the best of starts in 2012, when John Carter, Battleship and Savages all disappointed at the North American box office. However, the actor, who shot to fame with his role as Tim Riggins on Friday Night Lights, chose wisely to try his hand at some smaller projects with more refined stories. He has two films set for May, the HBO drama The Normal Heart with Julia Roberts and Mark Ruffalo, and the film festival favourite The Grand Seduction, a Canadian comedy from director Don McKellar (Last Night).
The Grand Seduction feels like a modest, charming crowd-pleaser that will hopefully not get trampled over by blockbuster behemoths when it comes out on May 30th. In the remake of a 2003 French-Canadian film, Kitsch plays Dr. Paul Lewis, employed by the small Newfoundland town of Tickle Bay. Since the tiny, beleaguered population wants to get back to work in a factory, they hope that the doctor will help revive the town to secure a contract for them.
Brendan Gleeson plays Murray French, one of the townspeople who is leading the charge to help seduce Dr. Lewis with the town’s quaint qualities, hoping Lewis becomes a permanent resident and saves the town from financial ruin. Joining Kitsch is fellow Canucks Gordon Pinset (Away From Her), Liane Balaban (The Trotsky) and Mary Walsh.
The trailer has been playing in front of Canadian audiences for a few months now and has received positive reactions. With great buzz from Toronto’s film festival and beyond, perhaps The Grand Seduction will be one of the nation’s efforts that manages to delight American audiences, too. With Canada landing three titles in the competition for the Palme D’Or at this May’s Cannes Film Festival, including new films from Atom Egoyan and David Cronenberg, perhaps the grandest seduction of all will be how the northern nation pleases U.S. audiences with several strong releases this year.