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Review: ‘Two 4 One’

Gabrielle Rose and Gavin Crawford in “Two 4 One” Courtesy of Strut Entertainment

Maureen Bradley’s “Two 4 One” is centred around a transgender male who is in the final stages of transitioning. After a recent story in the news and on television that followed a high-profile gender reassignment, one might be tempted to describe Bradley’s feature film debut as “timely.” I would, but for the filmmaker’s sophisticated approach towards her characters. Bradley refuses to use a current, much talked-about topic as a gimmick to elicit knee-jerk responses.

“Two 4 One” is highly original with a cast full of great performers. At the core is actor Gavin Crawford, taking a break from semi-blue comedy to play the role of Adam – formally known as “Melanie.” The support Adam receives is positive, but his world feels interrupted when Miriam – a past flame – enters the picture.

Miriam (Naomi Snieckus) is a bit of a wild card, and she knows this. Her choice to become a mother has Adam raising an eyebrow. However, she’s dedicated and, after much reluctance, Adam agrees to assist with her artificial insemination. But the simple procedure takes a turn when proper precautions are tossed away during the heat of the moment, leaving Adam to be unexpectedly expecting.

“Two 4 One” has a plot with indirect people dodging the obvious answer to all of their problems: if everyone had honest conversations with each other, there would be hardly any complications. But then “Two 4 One” would also be a ten-minute short.

Bradley’s film gets away with these contrivances mostly because of the dedication of the cast and the sweetness of the story. But “Two 4 One” is honest in other ways, as we see Adam attempt to prove to himself that he’s more masculine than before – and Crawford’s performance is particularly strong during these scenes in which he appears alone and his body language convincingly relays his internal struggle.

“Two 4 One” is a good movie that isn’t light on beauty shots of Victoria, BC. However, Bradley deserves to be applauded for knowing where she wants to take her film and for understanding the level of intensity it would require to venture down those untravelled roads. She knows that providing deep focus to certain themes means having to make compromises and critical changes to the story’s atmosphere.

“Two 4 One’s” time-leaping, shortcutting final third could be compared to the neat wrap-up of an after-school special, but I understand Bradley’s sensibility. Moviegoers, too, should be able to recognize her skillful touch as a filmmaker who keeps her lovely film light-hearted, while also revealing the gravity of difficult issues.

Beginning July 17, “Two 4 One” will be in Toronto cinemas and available on iTunes everywhere.

“Two 4 One” is distributed by Hoggwild Films.

Interview: ‘Whatever, Linda’ creators talk about the Madoff scandal, 1978 and the making of the web series

Creators of the award-winning dramedy “Whatever, Linda” speak with CanScreen about the inspiration for their female-driven web series, filming in New York and their favourite scenes.

Julian De Zotti (THE MARKET), Hannah Cheesman (CHEESE), Matt Eastman (ALLEYS), Kevin Saffer (Touchpoint Films), Mackenzie Donaldson (ORPHAN BLACK, CHEESE)

 Watch episodes on the “Whatever, Linda” website.

Producer/videographer: Nicole Powell
Journalist: Charles Hutchings

Video editor: Stephen George
Special thanks to Matt Code


Interview: Ric Esther Bienstock on her ‘Rashomon’ documentary “Tales From the Organ Trade,” coffee and Cronenberg

Filmmaker Ric Esther Bienstock talks about her journey of tracking down and interviewing those involved in an organ trafficking ring for her lauded documentary “Tales From the Organ Trade” and how David Cronenberg came to narrate the film.

Producer/videographer/video editor: Nicole Powell
Journalist/videographer: Charles Hutchings
Sound recordist: Logan Scott


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Interview: Liz Marshall on ‘The Ghosts in Our Machine,’ ‘cognitive dissonance’ and the film’s impact

Filmmaker Liz Marshall discusses her award-winning, animal-rights documentary “The Ghosts in Our Machine,” “cognitive dissonance,” and the impact that the film has had on her and audiences.

“The Ghosts in Our Machine” is available on DVD and VOD.

Producer/videographer/video editor: Nicole Powell
Journalist/videographer: Charles Hutchings
Sound recordist: Logan Scott


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Interview: Albert Shin on his ‘female-driven’ film ‘In Her Place,’ multiculturalism and the power of characters

Albert Shin discusses the journey of his successful, small-budget feature “In Her Place,” the centrality of the film’s female characters, and how multiculturalism and world cinema speak to audiences.

Producer/videographer/video editor: Nicole Powell
Journalist/videographer: Charles Hutchings
Sound recordist: Logan Scott


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Interview: Joel Thomas Hynes on ‘Cast No Shadow’

“Cast No Shadow” writer-actor Joel Thomas Hynes talks about the inspiration for the film’s story, Newfoundland settings and working with his son Percy Hynes White.

Producer/Videographer/Video Editor: Nicole Powell
Journalist/Videographer: Charles Hutchings
Sound Recordist: Logan Scott


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Interview: Albert Shin discusses ‘In Her Place’

Filmmaker Albert Shin talks to CanScreen about his “quietly”-made feature film “In Her Place” and its seven Canadian Screen Awards nominations.

Journalist/Videographer: Zachary Zaza
Video Editor: Stephen George


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Interview: Producer Chris Agoston on ‘Cast No Shadow’

Producer Chris Agoston talks with CanScreen about “Cast No Shadow” and its multiple Canadian Screen Awards nominations.

Journalist/videographer: Zachary Zaza
Video editor: Stephen George


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Interview: Liz Marshall on her documentary ‘The Ghosts in Our Machine’

Filmmaker Liz Marshall talks about her “cinematic,” “character-driven” documentary film “The Ghosts in Our Machine” which asks, “Are animals property to be owned and used or are they sentient beings deserving of rights?”

Journalist/videographer: Zachary Zaza
Video editor: Stephen George


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