CFF 2023: Our Review of ‘Golden Delicious’

Posted in CFF 2023, Festival Coverage, Movies by - March 30, 2023
CFF 2023: Our Review of ‘Golden Delicious’

Screening simultaneously on Superchannel and in person at the Scotiabank Theater on Thursday, March 30th, 2023, Golden Delicious is a coming-of-age story of a young closeted teen discovering his sexuality while in the turmoil of watching his parent’s marriage crumble apart. First-time feature director Jason Karman goes the opposite way of his many shorts with a film that clocks in just a fraction under 2 hours and feels very bit as long as its runtime.

Jake (Cardi Wong) lives under the constant scrutiny of his basketball-loving father George (Ryan Mah) and only attempts to make his school’s basketball team in order to appease him. Childhood sweethearts with his best friend Valerie (Parmiss Sehat), who is more ready for sex than he is, Jake’s world shifts when Aleks (Chris Carson) moves in across the street, and Jake grows feelings towards him. Meanwhile, Jake’s parents are struggling with running the family-inherited restaurant as resentment grows between George and his wife Andrea (Leeah Wong). Further exasperating the drama is Jake’s sister Janet (Claudia Kai). She’s a culinary school student who desperately wants to opportunity to run the family restaurant despite the constant wishes that she do something else from her parents.

Golden Delicious struggles with finding a consistent acting tone as some scenes feel authentic and well-delivered while others feel over-staged and insincere. Leeah Wong does shine here though as the family’s long-suffering matriarch. The film really bears the brunt of its runtime as well as there are certainly and good 15-20 minutes that could have easily been excised without squandering any of the main stories, with a few side stories that never come to a satisfying conclusion. In the end, there is just enough here to give a mild recommendation, but there would have been a lot more to offer with less.

  • Release Date: 3/30/2023
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"Kirk Haviland is an entertainment industry veteran of over 20 years- starting very young in the exhibition/retail sector before moving into criticism, writing with many websites through the years and ultimately into festival work dealing in programming/presenting and acquisitions. He works tirelessly in the world of Canadian Independent Genre Film - but is also a keen viewer of cinema from all corners of the globe (with a big soft spot for Asian cinema!)
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