Year of the Carnivore

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Year of the Carnivore
Directed by Sook-Yin Lee
Produced by Trish Dolman
Written by Sook-Yin Lee
Starring Cristin Milioti
Mark Rendall
Will Sasso
Ali Liebert
Luke Camilleri
Music by Sook-Yin Lee
Buck 65
Adam Litovitz
Cinematography Bruce Chun
Edited by James Blokland
Distributed by E1 Entertainment
Release date
  • September 10, 2009 (2009-09-10) (Toronto Film Festival)
  • June 18, 2010 (2010-06-18) (Canada)
Running time
88 minutes
Country Canada
Language English

Year of the Carnivore is a 2009 Canadian romantic comedy film about a grocery store detective with a crush on a man who rejects her because she has too little sexual experience.

Year of the Carnivore is Sook-Yin Lee's feature directorial debut and it premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival as a Canada First selection.[1]



Sammy Smalls, a 21-year-old tomboy, works as a grocery store detective at Big Apple Food Town. She tracks down shoplifters and transfers them to her boss Dirk, who beats up the shoplifters as punishment. Sammy dislikes her job, but she can't quit, as she would have to move back in with her overbearing parents. Sammy meets and becomes infatuated with Eugene Zaslavsky, an equally quirky musician who performs outside her grocery store. The two develop a friendship that culminates into a disastrous one-night stand. Eugene, unimpressed by Sammy’s immaturity and sexual inexperience, suggests they maintain an open relationship. Sammy concocts a plan to gain sexual experience to impress Eugene which leads her into many sexual misadventures.[2]


Upon its release in Canada, Year of the Carnivore has received polarized reviews.

In his review for The Globe and Mail, Rick Groen wrote that “[Year of the Carnivore is] as sketchy as a failed sitcom, yet with a plot that boasts more wayward tangents than a geometry text.[3]” Peter Howell of Toronto Star praised Milioti in his review: “Milioti is great as Sammy, a real find who brings humor and empathy to a character that might normally summon thoughts of a restraining order.[4]Jam! Movies' Jim Slotek rated Year of the Carnivore three out of five stars and wrote that “there’s a sweetness to The Year of the Carnivore that survives its flaws. It is not successful as a comedy in the sense of there being a lot of laughs. But it is an interesting and different character portrait.”[5]


  1. ^ "Canada First! Showcases The Best In New Homegrown Talent". Toronto International Film Festival Inc. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  2. ^ "Year of the Carnivore". Carnivore Films Inc. & 34 Seconds Productions Inc. Retrieved 3 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Groen, Rick (17 June 2010). "Year of the Carnivore: A sex comedy that is neither sexy nor funny". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  4. ^ Howell, Peter (17 June 2010). "Year of the Carnivore: Sex is nothing to giggle about". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 
  5. ^ Slotek, Jim. "'Carnivore' sweet despite flaws". Canoe Inc. Retrieved 2 April 2013. 

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