Sunday, June 7, 2009

Getting Married in Buffalo Jump (1990)

OK, so I'm having my own ongoing Paul Gross festival ever since I watched him in the Canadian TV series Slings and Arrows. (If you haven't seen that, stop reading and go watch it.) I'm waiting impatiently for his latest work, Passchendaele, to come to Netflix. Meanwhile, I've got Due South and most recently, this made-for-Canadian-TV movie, which I found quite charming.

Wendy Crewson plays Sophie, an Alberta ranch girl who's been singing in Toronto. When her father dies, leaving her the ranch, her mother wants her to sell up, take the money, and run back to Toronto to catch a "university man." But Sophie is tired of singing in smoky lounges and not enthralled with the men she's met, so she decides to stay and run the ranch. Paul Gross plays the ranch hand, Alex/Sasha, son of Ukrainian immigrants, whom she hires to help with the work. Alex eventually has a proposition/proposal for Sophie. She needs a ranch hand, he needs a ranch, and by his reckoning, they each (approaching 30) need a spouse. So they should get married. Of course, the relationship encounters a good many obstacles on the way to a happy ending. Wonderful scenery, fine performances by the whole cast, and a real sense of place add to this charming movie, as does the great soundtrack with k.d. lang and others. Highly recommended.

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