NORTH OF NORMAL
Starring: River Price-Maenpaa, Sarah Gadon, Amanda Fix, Robert Carlyle, Benedict Samuel, James D’Arcy, Janet Porter, Kelly Penner, and Riley O’Donnell
Director: Carly Stone
There’s nothing especially groundbreaking about North of Normal, from its structure to its fairly predictable story beats, but it nevertheless manages to enrapture open-hearted viewers through its carefully crafted character writing and excellent performances. The journey very much follows a traditional indie coming-of-age style, but it’s what informs that style that ultimately makes the journey worth taking, and there are plenty of small but sweet moments to go around. River Price-Maenpaa and Amanda Fix both turn in great work as the same character at different ages, but it’s Sarah Gadon who ultimately steals the show with a quietly heartbreaking turn.
WOW… While North of Normal is a simplistic film, it is such a pleasant surprise. I kinda adored this indie coming-of-age film. Yeah, it’s simple, but it has such a powerful journey within its story. This raw and beautiful hidden gem is elevated by its strong performances from Sarah Gadon (Michelle) and Amanda Fix (Cea), who have amazing chemistry as mother and daughter. North of Normal manages to be free-spirited while also being heartbreaking at the same time. With a great ‘70s soundtrack, this film will give you all the feels.