Comedy Don't Talk to Irene

'Don't Talk to Irene' TIFF 2017 Review: Are you there Geena? It's me, Irene

September 25, 2017Siobhán Finn

Canadian movies often get lost in the shuffle of, “If it’s good it’ll play Canada’s Top Ten.” Or “I want to support Canadian features but this massive blockbuster needs my attention.” Well, stop all those negative thoughts, because Irene and her personal god, Geena Davis, have a movie you simply have to see.

Irene Willis (newcomer Michelle McLeod) isn’t just unpopular, she’s an outcast among her peers and even her own mother (Anastasia Phillips). Unwilling to let the negativity of others bring her down, Irene decides to try out for the cheerleading team. When she’s bullied for it, however, she and her bullies are forced to endure community service at a local retirement home. Encouraged by the voice of her only supporter, Geena Davis (awesomely played by Davis herself), Irene sets out to help the seniors enrich their lives, rather than watching TV all day.

Despite a schmaltzy final few minutes, Don’t Talk to Irene was an undisputed top pick at this year's Toronto International Film Festival. Writer/director Pat Mills has created a character whom we can all cheer for and a deity we can all admire, so when the film opens wide, do yourself a favor and support a movie in a league of its own.

Don't Talk to Irene is receiving its world premiere as part of TIFF 2017's Contemporary World Cinema programme. Its runtime is 1 hr. 22 min.

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