Entertainment

Charming Canadian film Old Stock stands out in a season of summer blockbusters

Another summer of blockbuster films is upon us, delivering a new slate of larger than life, and largely infallible, heroes ready to save the world from whatever super villain/alien entity/folly-of-man currently plagues the earth.

Flying under the radar though are smaller-scale flicks like Old Stock.

The Canadian film follows Stock, played by Noah Reid, a troubled teen who’s chosen to withdraw from life’s rat race by hiding out in a retirement home with his grandfather.

“It’s beautifully absurd,” says Reid of the film’s premise.

“(The) writing is offbeat and wonderful.”

Reid describes Stock as “an intense guy,” and, “an old soul,” something the social-media averse actor can sympathize with.

But Stock takes it to a whole other level. “People have things in their lives that they have trouble moving past,” he says.

But Stock’s approach — to essentially drop out of life — might not be the best strategy.

Stock’s world is thrown into flux after an incident triggered by his past results in his eviction; at the same time he meets the home’s dance instructor Patti, played by Melanie Leishman.

“Patti is immediately drawn to Stock,” says Leishman. Reid agrees.

“I think there’s something about a troubled guy that appeals to a certain kind of woman.”

Patti can see herself in Stock’s situation.

While tent pole super hero and sci-fi epics certainly pack theatres, there’s a growing audience for films like Old Stock as well, says Leishman.

“It’s the size of the story,” she says, comparing the movie to Wes Anderson’s Rushmore, a film near and dear to Old Stock’s director James Genn.

Like Stock, that movie’s main character, Max Fischer, is flawed but ultimately filled with good intentions.

“It’s small, endearing and charming,” he says of the film.

Crowdfunding cult series

Leishman is probably best known for her role as Hannah on the cult series Todd and the Book of Pure Evil. Much to the chagrin of its loyal fans, the show was cancelled last year, but now an Indiegogo campaign is on to raise funds for a Todd animated feature, called the End of the End.  “The creators wanted to finish telling the story,” says Leishman. “It’s a cool way to wrap it up.” And it’s likely to work; the show’s creators are just $10,000 short of their $75,000 goal with three weeks to go. Not that that’s a surprise to Leishman. “The success of the show was based on dedicated people watching it.”

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