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Review: The Drawer Boy

November 23, 2018

By John Corrado

★★★ (out of 4)

Taking place in the 1970s, The Drawer Boy unfolds at the Huron County farm shared by old friends Morgan (Richard Clarkin) and Angus (Stuart Hughes), who have their lives changed and old tensions brought back to the surface when a young playwright named Miles (Jakob Ehman) arrives from Toronto.

Miles asks to stay with them in order to write a play about farming, but his presence has unexpected consequences. Angus suffered a brain injury while serving in World War II, and relies on Morgan’s stories to help jog his memory, but Miles being there and prying into their lives threatens his comfortable narrative.

Based on a 1999 play by Michael Healey, this film adaptation of The Drawer Boy retains an intimate, chamber piece feel to it, and is carried by a trio of excellent and nicely textured performances from Richard Clarkin, Stuart Hughes and Jakob Ehman. The story unfolds with some elements of mystery, as the film comes to be a moving look at the fragility of memory, and how the stories we tell can take on a truth of their own and become what we remember.

The Drawer Boy is now playing in limited release at the Carlton Cinema in Toronto.

A version of this review was originally published during the 2018 Canadian Film Fest.

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