A STONE'S THROW (Camelia Frieberg). 98 minutes. Opens Friday (August 10). Rating: NN
Jack ( Kris Holden-Reid ), a photojournalist and sometime ecological terrorist, returns home to a tiny Nova Scotia mining town where he shakes up his sister's ( Kathryn MacLellan ) family life and gets a bit of lovin' from local kindergarten teacher Lia ( Lisa Ray ). Things get personal when Jack's nephew ( Aaron Webber ) gets as obsessed about the evil mine as he is.
Co-writer/director Camelia Frieberg , better known as a producer, has called in favours from her design team. The film at least looks decent; you can't fake that east coast light.
But the dreadfully earnest script drips with portent. Beeswax candles, seed planting and degenerative eye disease are freighted with symbolic meaning, and children are corralled to be metaphoric lambs, most egregiously in an ongoing series of scenes about Bible stories.
The actors, especially MacLellan, seem not to know what they're doing, which is understandable given the ominous dialogue they're asked to deliver. Holden-Reid is too lightweight an actor to support the heavier parts of the film.
Frieberg has produced many fine films (Exotica, The Sweet Hereafter, Whole New Thing). She shouldn't quit her day job.