It wouldn’t be surprising if the makers of Kanadiana were utterly fed up that every admiring commentary to date on their highly individualistic criss-cross crime picture has pointed to the Coen Brothers, and Fargo in particular, as a reference point. Sure, they have the filmmaking wit and snow-crazy winteriness down pat, but there’s a skew to their tale and its idiosyncratic telling that’s somehow more . . . well, northerly. This Manitoba indie plots a collision course between two ill-assorted brothers-in-crime (opportunist diamond robbers, no less) and a blocked female screenwriter who’s isolating herself in the frozen badlands to regain her genre-movie muse; and it concentrates as much on tension and table-turning as on eccentric incidentals (seduction by a pool-playing lesbian cop included). A superb soundtrack adds to the bracingly chilly pleasures of a movie that gets away with murder (of sorts) . . . not once, but twice.
Canada, 2001. Colour. Dolby stereo SR. 85 mins.

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