Pendance 2022: Our Review of ‘Marvellous and the Black Hole’

Pendance 2022: Our Review of ‘Marvellous and the Black Hole’

Marvelous and the Black Hole tells the story of Sammy (Miya Cech), a teenage delinquent grieving the loss of her mother. Growling through her pain, Sammy lashes out at others with such frustration that her father threatens sending her to a reform school. However, Sammy’s life begins to change when she encounters Margot (Rhea Perlman), an elderly magician who begins to takes her under her wing and teaches her the wonders of sleight of hand.

Written and directed by Kate Tsang, Marvelous and the Black Hole is an utter joy from start to finish. Though the film deals with the trauma of loss from a child’s perspective, the affection and humour within the characters gives a warmth to the story that’s infectious. Young star Cech does a wonderful job portraying Sammy’s inner rage but never loses her innocence. What’s more, she has absolutely wonderful chemistry with veteran Perlman. As Margot, Perlman offers one of the liveliest performances that we’ve seen from her in years and their relationship sparks throughout the film.

Through its adoration of sleight of hand, Marvelous points out that the heart of magic is not merely to create wonder. Instead, the goal is to make the audience feel something. For Sammy, this seems unattainable. Attempting to quell her inner pain, Sammy has cut herself off emotionally from those around her and carries the burden of her mother’s death in silence. However, as Margot continues to share her love of magic with her, Sammy begins to experience a form of rebirth within her soul.

While it never ignores the depth of pain, Marvelous remains fueled by love. In this way, the true magic of Tsang’s story becomes the hope that Sammy discovers on the other side of hurt.

This post was written by
Born at a very early age, Steve is a Toronto-based writer and podcaster who loves to listen to what matters to our culture on screen. When he first saw Indiana Jones steal the cross of Coronado, he knew his world would never be the same and, since then, he’s found more and more excuses to digest what’s in front of him onscreen. Also, having worked as a youth and community minister for almost 20 years, he learned that stories help everyone engage the world around them. He’s a proud hubby, father (x2) and believes that Citizen Kane, Batman Forever (yes, the Kilmer one), and The Social Network belong in the same conversation. You can hear his ramblings on ScreenFish Radio wherever podcasts are gettable or at his website,
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