As I write this, I’m in Toronto visiting people and places I left behind when I moved to Kingston almost two years ago. I’m surprised to find I’ve adapted in many ways to living in a smaller city. I’m no longer a big city woman. Here’s a typical scene of what happens, now that I’m accustomed to Kingston’s ways.
The film I wanted to see was showing at the Canada Square movie theatre. I was fortunate to be in town for a special showing. Along with a cluster of other people, I was standing in front of the closed glass panels of the Canada Square movie theatre. It was not a usual time for films to start and so they were shutting out the public. A handful of us stood idly waiting to be let into the theatre.
Then I realized something was wrong. There was tension around me. People were avoiding eye contact with me. They looked nervous. Oh! Then I realized! I’d been chatting to the folks standing around me. That’s what people do in Kingston. Here in Toronto it makes people uneasy. If you’re strange enough to talk to strangers, goodness knows what you might do next.
I determined to keep to myself until at last the way to the box office was cleared.
Before I moved to Kingston, when I was just visiting, I remember sitting in Starbucks when a man said hello and sat down near me. My whole spine tensed. What did he want? What was he selling? Then I realized that in Kingston people don’t feel a need to guard their personal space the way big city folk shut out strangers. Seems we humans can handle only so much intrusion into our personal space.
At last we were let into the box office. And now – to the movie. What awaited me in the darkened theatre was a real treat. The screenplay is written and produced by Sherry Soules and Leon Marr. Sherry is a friend and former neighbour. For years, I’ve admired and respected her courage in wanting to tell the story of residents in a nursing home who find love and intimacy in their advanced years. And here it was, playing in major theatres!
The female lead, played by Linda Thorson, is an elegant woman with a passion for opera. Leaving a performance at the opera house, she falls, breaks a hip and ends up convalescing in the retirement home. She’s not happy about being there and assures fellow residents that she won’t be staying long.
Another resident, an elderly Jewish tailor (Stuart Margolian) proves to be her match. He too loves opera. He begins by mending her skirt and ends by falling in love with her. I won’t tell you how it ends, but it’s very satisfying.
The movie’s was shot in an actual retirement home and the characters are so true to life that they look like actual residents, although they’re played by professional actors.
It’s very satisfying to see older people portrayed as intelligent, attractive personalities. So often characters older serve for comic relief or are seen as pathetic, doddering old wrecks.
When the credits roll on – and on – and on – after the film, you’ll see some familiar names from the past if you’re old enough to remember these actors. They’re now aged enough to play the role of retirement home residents. You’ll also be made aware of the enormous amount of effort that went into making this film. Again, I appreciate and thank Sherry and her colleagues for this remarkable and hopeful story.
Make sure you see it. There’s more information on the internet.