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One to See

  • Aug 9, 2007
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"Whole New Thing"

One to See

Amos Lassen and Cinema Pride

"Whole New Thing" (Picture This Entertainment) is a gem of a film. It has an intelligent screenplay, strong characters and good acting, and beautiful cinematography. Everything about the film is solid and Aaron Webber as Emerson in his first movie is just amazing.
Director Amnon Buchbinder has created an independent film that ranks with the best. Dealing with the vagaries of family, love and sexuality, Buchbinder treats everything with great sensitivity. Comedy and tragedy come together to give us a terrific film.
Thirteen year old Emerson is being forced out of home schooling and his nest at home by his mother so that he be more open to academics. He has to attend a public school where he becomes a target for bullies. Up until now he has been comfortable with his free-spirited, eco-friendly parents. This venture into the public school system serves as a catalyst for Emerson, his parents and his new teacher. Emerson has entered a new world and his is about to get wounded. His parents and teacher will be forced to reevaluate themselves especially after Emerson develops a crush on his teacher, Mr. Grant. This scares the teacher who has been living a closeted life and finding sex at a highway rest stop. What we get is a look at idealism which accommodates reality and we witness closely the very thin line between fraternal love and romantic love, romantic sex and sex with lust and friendship as opposed to fraternity. These topics come together beautifully in a coming-of-age story which pulls Emerson both out of the closet and to his senses as to who he is. The fact that the main character comes to terms with his gayness is not really what this is movie is all about. It is really about individuals and their needs, their histories and their futures.
"Whole New Thing" is a rare, almost perfect little movie that in some way seems to contain the whole world. The story is universal and has something that all of us can relate to.
The characters are very, very real and complex. They are witnessed with humor, love and acceptance.
Again Aaron Webber is amazing His performance is gutsy, whether he be naked n the sauna and showing innocence and calculation at the same time. And the script keeps the characters in check all the way. The way that the 13 year old main character grows is a revelation. The idea of the film is one that put a viewer off--watching a young boy making moves on an over 40 year old man. But it is a film fitted with constant surprises.
The freedom that Emerson attains when he comes out to himself is startling and very well handled by Buchbinder. It is a good story that is brimming with real life situations and twists and turns. Part gay coming of age, part love story and part character study, it is a delightful way to spend some time watching. It touches topics not usually handled in cinema and for just this reason this is one t see.

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More Whole New Thing (2007) reviews
review by . November 11, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
WHOLE NEW THING is another fine little film from Canada, utilizing an excellent cast of Canadian actors to present a modern day conundrum about identity in a manner more sensitive than most other films addressing the subject. Director/writer (with actor Daniel MacIvor) Amnon Buchbinder has created a series of characters, seemingly disparate in age and outlook, who each has a problem coping with who they actually are, and with great skill this story interweaves these fascinating people, isolated …
review by . August 24, 2007
Ah, I love a chance to do a little alliteration in my reviews.    This Canadian film is very entertaining and very well done. The story of a young boy coming to grips (often), with his sexuality is handled with good taste and intelligence. The acting, particularly by Aaron Webber, is subperb. If he's not actually gay, he certainly does a good job of conveying some of what it means to be thirteen and dealing with such issues.    The sub-plot involving Emmerson's …
About the reviewer
Amos Lassen ()
Ranked #210
I am an academic who reivews movies and books of interest to the GLBT and Jewish communities.   I came to Arkansas after having been relocated here due to Hurricane Katrina. I was living in … more
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About this movie


Emerson Thorsen, 13, lives with his parents in their eco-home in the wilds of Nova Scotia. The precocious teen has completed his first book, writing and illustrating all 1000 pages of it. Meanwhile, the home-schooled youth can barely add 2 + 2, so his mother enrolls him in the local junior high. Emerson isn t happy about the move, and has trouble fitting in at the new school.

One of Emerson s new teachers is Don Grant, a 42-year old closeted gay man. Emerson initially is scornful of his teacher, but when Emerson speaks up in class, Don treats his ideas seriously. Emerson's scorn changes to respect, but soon he develops his first crush on Don. Emerson throws himself into this awakening of the heart with dangerous abandon. Don, who isn t out to the students, reacts with alarm. Eventually, Don has to learn how to curb Emerson's feelings without crushing his spirit. In the process, both student and teacher learn valuable lessons about surviving growing pains.
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DVD Release Date: July 31, 2007
Runtime: 92 minutes

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"One to See"
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