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Directed by Thom Fitzgerald2011Canada/USA94 mins

As if watching Academy Award-winning Olympia Dukakis (Moonstruck) hysterically wield a vibrator isn’t enough reason to see this film, Cloudburst is one of the most funny, romantic and moving films around.

Stella (Dukakis) and Dot, played by Brenda Fricker (also an Oscar winner for My Left Foot) have been together for over thirty years, which is impressive for any couple — gay or straight. Stella is a drinking, swearing, cowboy hat-wearing, truck-driving spitfire with a ribald sense of humor, a fast temper, and a knack for offending even the most patient of people. Dot, previously married with children, is blind and serene with a soft Irish brogue, and knows Stella like the back of her hand.

When Dot’s meddling granddaughter (who is the only one in town who doesn’t quite catch on that Stella is not merely Dot’s “best friend”) puts Dot in a senior facility and demands that Stella move out of their home, Stella dons a disguise, breaks her true love out, and they run for the border to legally get married. Along the way, they pick up a young pseudo-hustler named Prentice who is hitchhiking to Nova Scotia to deal with his troubled home life. As they share past troubles — and create new ones—the three of them form an unlikely kind of kinship and redefine “road trip.”

Cloudburst manages to be tender without being cloying, and delivers an important message without being preachy. The wit and easy banter of these two old broads only scratches the surface of a deep and long-standing relationship that is skillfully conveyed on screen.

Expected Guests

Thom Fitzgerald
Quick links
Thom Fitzgerald
Canada, USA
Running Time
94 mins
Closing Night, World Cinema, Audience Award Winners
Program Note Writer
Angelique Smith
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