September 24, 2013
"Exactly how you proceed to judge these cheating hearts as you watch this solid screen drama will tell you something about yourself. See it. If you’re allergic to Canadian cinema, get over yourself…fine performances…moral ambiguity abounds. Watch especially for standout performances from Endicott-Douglas as young Rose and from Aviva Armour-Ostroff as Rex’s wife."
-- Mario Trono, CBC News
“A Canadian film that deserves to be seen...a picture with a vivid sense of place...an evocative lyricism that feels definitive and personal. And its drama is propelled by some incandescent acting—in particular a breathtaking performance by young Vivien Endicott-Douglas, who was nominated for an ACTRA award...a big-boned drama...see the movie.
-- Canadian film critic Brian D. Johnson’s MacLean’s blog
“The Shape of Rex takes a fresh and unflinching but ultimately tender look at love and marriage in our age of social networking. As such, it asks important questions about loyalty, forgiveness, truth-telling and self-preservation. Some marvelously seductive performances—especially Brett Donahue as young Rex—lift the film far above others of its kind.”
-- Barbara Gowdy, Man Booker nominee for "The Romantic," three-time nominee for the Governor General’s Literary Award for Fiction, and nominee for both The Giller Prize and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.
“The Shape of Rex is a charming, bittersweet film about the long arm of youthful love reaching into the future, nuanced, thoughtful, and clear-eyed in its examination of the delights and dangers of nostalgia colliding with reality.”
-- Guy Vanderhaeghe, winner of two Governor General’s Literary Awards for Fiction ("Man Descending" and "The Englishman’s Boy"), the United Kingdom’s Faber Prize, the Writers’ Trust of Canada Timothy Findley Award, Canadian Bookseller’s Libris Award for Fiction Book of the Year; nominee for the Giller Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award.
“When has Saskatchewan been so sexy? Maybe never and maybe always. The Shape of Rex is a passionate tribute to the western landscape as well as a story of love, sex and betrayal. The love story between Rose and Rex is one of the most beautiful ever filmed. Watching these young people swoop around on bicycles, hold hands, cover each other with clay and finally comfort each other, is an exalted experience for the audience. It takes you along, emotionally and narratively with a fabulous ease. The Shape of Rex is shocking in the way all good stories are shocking--it offers redemption without sucking up. We care about these characters. With a nod to French New Wave, Coleman and Hominuke have created an utterly modern film that is humorous, conflicted and profoundly sexual. An awesome debut.”
-- Playwright and actress Linda Griffiths ("Maggie & Pierre," "The Age of Arousal," "Jessica," "The Darling Family"), twice nominated for the Governor General’s Award for Drama, winner of five Dora Awards, two Chalmers Awards, and a Gemini.
“Based on an intelligent, sensitive, carefully-nuanced script, The Shape of Rex offers a beautifully realized picture of people carrying the baggage of a traumatic past. Haunted by memories of an intense, unresolved youthful relationship twenty years into the past, Rose and Rex seem unable to prevent that past from destroying their present lives. Strong acting, particularly in the youthful scenes, shrewd directing, and skillful editing, give the film an almost painful authenticity.”
-- Robert Calder, winner of the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction ("Willie: The Life of W. Somerset Maugham"), internationally-published author and Professor Emeritus of English (University of Saskatchewan).
“I was working out of town and missed the opening with all the excitement surrounding the presentation of The Shape of Rex at the lovely Royal Theatre in Toronto. I felt badly about not being there to share in the celebration of talent and really good work on display because producing a film of such quality and so distinctively our own is still too rare an achievement. As a result, I watched this terrifically accomplished piece of filmmaking alone, and I leave it for others to talk about the thrilling depth of emotions created by the actors and the excellent camera work, not to overlook the compellingly distinctive style of the production. And being alone, what did I see that might be overshadowed by the thrill of an opening night? Let me tell you.
I saw a film that was an unabashed love poem to the landscape of Saskatoon. I was seduced by its greenery and mesmerized by all too brief flirtations with the Saskatchewan River. Long before the climactic scene of a strangely sensual re-baptism for the young lovers in its waters, I knew that nature was leading the story. The rich vegetation had been reminding us that the time for young (or indeed any kind of) love is as brief as a prairie summer. There is an urgency in the beauty of all the foliage that seems to conspire with the urgency of the passions of the characters. You want both of them to last, but like some sort of Greek tragedy of the seasons, you know that it will end too quickly. Still there is the thrill of enjoying the vigour of the passing scene, the hopes, the exhilarations. And maybe in all this we find just a little bit of wisdom.
In some of my favourite Canadian films, the landscape is so alive, you want to live there. This is true of Don Shebib's Toronto in Goin’ Down the Road and in Gordon Pinsent's Newfoundland in The Rowdyman. Because of The Shape of Rex, I now want to move to Saskatoon.
-- Paul Thompson, former longtime Artistic Director and co-Founder of Toronto's Theatre Passe Muraille, former Director General of The National Theatre School of Canada, producer of more than 200 original theatre productions, creator of a form of collective theatre that has brought to life more than 30 new Canadian plays; award winning writer and artist, Officer of the Order of Canada.