TIFF review: The Fireflies Are Gone (La disparition des lucioles)

Sebastién Pilote's comedy about a restless teen (played by the remarkable Karelle Tremblay) and an older musician is insightful, atmospheric and engaging

THE FIREFLIES ARE GONE (La disparition des lucioles) CWC D: Sebastién Pilote. Canada. 96 min. Sep 11, 6:30 pm, Scotiabank 13 Sep 12, 4:15 pm, Scotiabank 4. See listing. Rating: NNNN

After two features (The Salesman, The Auction) about lives of quiet desperation, writer/director Pilote shakes things up with this prickly comedy about a restless teenager (Karelle Tremblay) who forges an unexpected connection with an older musician (Pierre-Luc Brillant) in her small Quebec town.

It’s not a novel premise, but Pilote delivers the requisite insights and atmosphere in an engaging way, and his two leads are simply terrific: Tremblay, the remarkable co-star of Anne Émond’s Our Loved Ones and François Girard’s Hochelaga, Land Of Souls, holds the screen as confidently as Ellen Page in Juno or Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird, and Brillant (one of the five brothers in C.R.A.Z.Y.) is a fine, dry foil.

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