VIFF 2017: Never Steady, Never Still an often riveting debut


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      It’s hard to know whether to laugh or cry at U.K. vet Shirley Henderson’s unsparing depiction of a middle-aged Canadian coping with Parkinson’s disease.

      Her gruff older husband (Nick Campbell) and ne’er-do-well son (Quebecer Théodore Pellerin, excellent here even if he looks nothing at all like his “parents”) have their own problems in the wintry oil country of northern B.C. (The Fort St. John and Fort St. James locations are often riveting.) While the boy is questioning his own sexuality and general place in the world, his loving mum finds her own world rapidly diminishing. Writer-director Kathleen Hepburn spun this off from a short film, and could have taken the time to go a little further into what these folks would be without their problems. But she’s a serious talent to watch.



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