CUFF 2021: Our Review of ‘Range Roads’

CUFF 2021: Our Review of ‘Range Roads’

The thing about Alberta is that it’s like any other place in the world, only moreso. Small towns, which some can’t wait to get out of, and those who stay fiercely defend against “outsiders,” dot the landscape like tiny mistakes. Mistakes set adrift in endless seas of highlighter yellow canola. You’re in God’s country, if Texas loses the job. I would know, I’ve lived here almost my whole life.

I almost got out too! Two years in Toronto were a brief reprieve, before I wound up right back where I started. Luckily for television actress Frankie King (Alana Hawley Purvis) she did get out, permanently. She secured a job on a children’s daytime program that needs to be filmed out in B.C. For her brother Grayson (Joe Perry) this is akin to becoming the true evil in these lands—a liberal, and the resentment he feels for his estranged sister is palpable. He’s almost certainly projecting.

Frankie’s return following the death of their father sets in motion a series of family mysteries and conspiracies. And they center around a half-a-million-dollar life insurance policy. Tucker’s follow-up to The Valley Below uses this as a backdrop to be about two things. One, is the ways in which home remains a part of us, no matter how much we desperately wish it weren’t.

The other thing is an ode to Alberta, as Range Roads is deeply Alberta right down to the title. It refers to roads off the main highway that connect those small inky mistakes amidst the prairie grass. Cinematographer Mike McLaughlin’s work is truly impressive. It provides you with the feel of driving down those highways, trying to beat the storm and its wispy charcoal clouds. Paul Brandt would be in heaven.

  • Release Date: 4/23/2021
This post was written by
Thomas Wishloff is currently an MA student at York University. He is new to the Toronto Film Scene, but has periodically written and podcasted for several now defunct ventures, and has probably commented on a forum with you at some point. The ex-Edmontonian has been known to enjoy a good board game, and claims to know the secret to the best popcorn in the world.
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