Isabelle Blais and Zach Braff try to deliver real performances – at a Cost
THE HIGH COST OF LIVING (Deborah Chow). See listing. Rating: NN
I'm still not sure how The High Cost Of Living made it onto Canada's Top Ten, let alone how it took the best Canadian first feature award at TIFF last year. It's just not very good.
Deborah Chow's stilted and increasingly scoff-worthy exercise in hand-wringing manipulation casts Zach Braff as a Montreal drug peddler who befriends a traumatized pregnant woman (Isabelle Blais) still carrying her stillborn fetus after a hit-and-run. What he's not telling her is that he was the guy driving the car.
Blais and Braff do their best to give real performances, but the mechanics of the movie make it an uphill battle: Chow's screenplay unfolds like a linear version of one of Guillermo Arriaga's misery-porn scripts, with characters making illogical decisions for no other reason than to keep the plot moving in ever-gloomier directions.