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Review: We’re All in This Together

October 12, 2022

By John Corrado

★★½ (out of 4)

Billed as being “directed, produced, adapted by & starring Katie Boland,” We’re All in This Together is a somewhat ambitious Canadian dramedy that follows a young woman who has her life thrown into turmoil after her mother Kate (Martha Burns) goes viral on social media by attempting to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.

Finn Parker (Boland) finds out via a nosy reporter about her mother’s stunt, which has left her in a coma, forcing her to go back home to Thunder Bay to be with her twin sister Nicki (also played by Boland), who still lives at home with her son Berlin (Max Winter) and their teenage sister Paris (Alisha Newton).

Based on a novel by Amy Jones that Boland has adapted for the screen, Boland’s highly personal film (it’s dedicated to her mother and grandmother) follows the sisters as they are left picking up the pieces of their mother’s life, and coming to terms with the fact that she may have intentionally tried to end it. The absurdity of the film’s going-over-Niagara-Falls-in-a-barrel hook becomes almost secondary to a thornier story about sibling resentment and the emotional impact of growing up with a parent experiencing mental illness.

The film is anchored by an impressive dual performance from Boland, who manages to turn Finn and Nicki into distinct characters. Newton holds her own as the arrogant 17-year-old who thinks she is wiser than her years, and Burns really leaves an impression as the unstable mother. Shot in Hamilton, there is some interesting framing by director of photography Colin Hoult, including to help sell the illusion of Boland acting alongside herself.

If We’re All in This Together feels a bit tonally uneven in places, and a few aspects of the story including its deeper themes about the corrosive effects of social media are left underdeveloped, it’s a good debut film that allows Boland to showcase her potential in front of and behind the camera. At just 86 minutes long, this is a fairly engaging and mostly entertaining portrait of a uniquely broken family being forced back together again through extreme circumstances.

We’re All in This Together opens in limited release on October 14th in Toronto and Vancouver, with Cineplex Event Screenings on October 13th. It’s being distributed in Canada by Vortex Media.

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