Good Neighbors (film)

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Good Neighbours
Good Neighbors.jpg
Directed by Jacob Tierney
Produced by Kevin Tierney
Written by Jacob Tierney
Based on Chère Voisine 
by Chrystine Brouillet
Starring Jay Baruchel
Emily Hampshire
Scott Speedman
Xavier Dolan
Music by Claude Hazanavicius
Cinematography Guy Dufaux
Edited by Arthur Tarnowski
Production
company
Park Ex Pictures
Distributed by Alliance
Myriad Pictures
Release dates
  • 14 September 2010 (2010-09-14) (TIFF)
Running time
98 minutes
Country Canada
Language English
French
Box office $7,072 (US)[1]

Good Neighbours is a 2010 Canadian black comedy-thriller film which was written and directed by Jacob Tierney. It is based on the book by Chrystine Brouillet.

Plot[edit]

Louise works as a waitress in a Chinese restaurant in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighbourhood of Montreal where she lives. She has become obsessed with the story of a recent spate of serial murders committed in the area, and scours newspapers for stories about each victim. The latest victim is a co-worker who last spoke of a blond, muscular man she met at the bar, and with whom she had a drink after she got off work at midnight. Louise's wheelchair-bound neighbour, Spencer, shares her interest to a point but values his privacy and solitude. When Victor, an awkward and talkative elementary school teacher, moves in to their apartment complex, he ingratiates himself into their lives and attempts to strike up a friendship, which they reluctantly accept. Louise, who prefers the company of her cats to humans, warms to Victor when he reveals that he is also a cat owner. Spencer, fond of caustic sarcasm,

When their abusive Francophone neighbor Valérie poisons Louise's cats, Louise spends more time at Victor's apartment, though she requests alone time with his cat. Victor, who has developed a crush on Louise, invents an imaginary love life with her and tells his friends that they have become engaged, though Louise denies any romantic feelings for Victor when Spencer probes her. When Spencer dispassionately reveals to Victor that he was paralyzed in a car accident that killed his wife, Spencer rejects Victor's sympathy and later reacts angrily when Victor installs a wheelchair-accessible ramp in the building. During the cover of night, Spencer sneaks out his window and climbs the fire escape, secretly enjoying the city's nightlife. During one of his secretive outings, one of Victor's friends spots him, though Victor dismisses the possibility that it could be Spencer.

Louise uses sensationalist media reports to plan the murder of Valérie. After seducing Victor, she collects his sperm and uses it to give the impression that Valérie has been raped. On the way back to her apartment, holding evidence of her guilt, she runs into Spencer, who has gone out for a nighttime jog; caught in compromising positions, the two awkwardly acknowledge each other without asking any questions. Curious about the noise, Victor looks out his window and sees Spencer, whom he begins to suspect is the serial killer. Following a dinner party, where the three cautiously probe each other for information, Spencer outright suggests that Louise and he frame Victor for the deaths. At the same time, Victor proposes that Louise and he set a trap for Spencer. Louise agrees to both plans. As Spencer breaks into Victor's apartment, the police rush to his help, and Spencer flees to the fire escape toward Louise's apartment. Worried for her safety, Victor confronts Spencer, and Spencer falls to his death; Louise disinterestedly ignores the conflict as she feeds Victor's cat, whom she has adopted.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Tierney filmed it under the working title Notre Dame de Grâce in and around Montreal, Quebec, Canada.[2]

Release[edit]

The film had its world premiere as part of the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival on 15 September 2010.[3] Magnolia Pictures released it for the Whistler Film Festival.[4]

Reception[edit]

Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 69% of 26 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 6/10.[5] Metacritic rated it 60/100 based on twelve reviews.[6] Jim Slotek of the Toronto Sun rated it 3.5/5 stars and wrote, "A film short on conventional action, Good Neighbours nonetheless conveys a sense of imminent danger and tightly wound passions".[7] Stephen Cole of The Globe and Mail rated it 3/4 stars and called it "a wickedly funny noir" which satirises the 1995 Quebec referendum.[8] John Anderson of Variety wrote that it "never finds a comfortable groove, or a tone that would enable its convoluted yet predictable plotting to engage the viewer."[9] Kirk Honeycutt of The Hollywood Reporter called it "a kind of deconstruction of noir atmosphere and its tropes into a meditation on the treachery of the human heart."[10] Jeannete Catsoulis of The New York Times wrote, "We are never in any doubt as to the identity of the serial killer who haunts the news and the neighborhood’s shadowy corners, but suspense is not the point — alienation is."[11] Alison Willmore of The A.V. Club rated it B− and described it as "something of a rejection of urban communal sentiment, a cautionary tale against getting to know the locals."[12] Paul Schrodt of Slant Magazine rated it 1.5/4 stars and wrote, "Tierney's is the kind of post-post horror-thriller that puts all of its killings in clear air quotes, making you cringe at the same time you admire its assumed cleverness."[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Good Neighbors". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  2. ^ Jacob Tierney's unneighbourly conduct - The Globe and Mail
  3. ^ Magnolia Films Acquired Rights to ‘Good Neighbours’
  4. ^ Magnolia Thrills to "Good Neighbours"
  5. ^ "Good Neighbors (2011)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  6. ^ "Good Neighbors". Metacritic. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  7. ^ Slotek, Jim (2011-06-03). "'Good Neighbours' a creepy journey". Toronto Sun. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  8. ^ Cole, Stephen (2011-06-03). "Jacob Tierney's Good Neighbours mixes up psychos and politicos". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  9. ^ Anderson, John (2010-09-30). "Review: 'Good Neighbors'". Variety. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  10. ^ Honeycutt, Kirk (2011-07-27). "Good Neighbors: Film Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  11. ^ Catsoulis, Jeannette (2011-07-28). "The Local Serial Killer". The New York Times. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  12. ^ Willmore, Alison (2011-07-28). "Good Neighbors". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  13. ^ Schrodt, Paul (2011-07-28). "Good Neighbors". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2014-08-21. 

External links[edit]