TIFF 2018: Our Review of ‘The Fireflies Are Gone’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies, Theatrical, TIFF '18 by - September 11, 2018
TIFF 2018: Our Review of ‘The Fireflies Are Gone’

Most coming-of-age tales focus on young people struggling to enter the adult world. But these stories resonate with viewers of all ages because they explore something we can all relate to: tough transitions. We’re always growing, always changing, but not always moving forward. Director Sébastien Pilote’s film The Fireflies Are Gone explores this phenomenon through the lens of a small-town teenager.

Léo (Karelle Tremblay) is a high-school senior who lives with her mother and step-dad in an industrial town in Nowhere-Ville Quebec. She is in a rut, yearning to move forward in life but unable to gain any traction – everything she tries she quits in a month! That is until she meets Steve (Pierre-Luc Brillant), a stone-faced rocker dude who teaches guitar in his mother’s basement. Léo is intrigued that Steve’s modest life could make him so content. She pursues a friendship with Steve that may give her the kick in the ass needed to get her life on track.

Midway through the film, Léo joins Steve as he plays an arcade game at a bar. Together they straddle a motorcycle, engines roaring, millions of pixels blasting light into their eyes. It’s a distraction creating the illusion of movement as they go nowhere. It’s a clever visual metaphor but the rest of the picture doesn’t feel as inspired. The listless story, abrasive characters, and slow pace will make the film a tough hang for most viewers. But Philippe Breault’s gorgeous score adds a whimsical spirit that livens things up.


  • Release Date: 9/06/2018
This post was written by
Victor Stiff is a Toronto-based freelance writer and pop culture curator. Victor currently contributes insights, criticisms, and reviews to several online publications where he has extended coverage to the Toronto International Film Festival, Hot Docs, Toronto After Dark, Toronto ComiCon, and Fan Expo Canada. Victor has a soft spot in his heart for Tim Burton movies and his two poorly behaved beagles (but not in that order).
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