Sudbury, Ontario is home to one of Canada’s largest and most unique attractions – the Big Nickel. At 30 feet in diameter and weighing 13,000 kilograms (14.33 tons), the massive landmark is exactly what it sounds like – a giant replica of 1951 Canadian nickel. It’s a distinctive feature in the otherwise indistinct city at Northern Ontario, which has withstood the wear and tear of the harsh Canadian climate thanks to an inner steel core wrapped in an outer stainless steel core. Honey Bee (although deceptively light in the frame)Julia Sarah Stone) has a similarly flinty and impenetrable strength at the center of the filmmaker Rama RauFeature with their name. The Canadian drama traverses the difficult terrain of the sex trade, but skilfully navigates the stereotypes to deliver an authentically lived and hard-won survival story.
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If it wasn’t for the glow on her face that gave it away, the name tattooed on her wrist and the jeweled and personalized smartphone case would attest to how much Honey Bee loves Ryan (Steven Love). But Ryan is their pimp, and Honey Bee is just one of his collection of alarming underage girls who all live together in a roadside motel and do their business under the covers at a nearby truck stop at night. Ryan holds on to Honey Bee’s illusion of a future together, just the two of them, but only after moving his business to Sudbury, where he has more work to do for his girls. Honey Bee’s hope is dashed when she is caught on a police operation and sent to a remote farm to stay at Louise’s nursing home (Martha Plimpton) and Christian (Peter Outerbridge). Honey Bee arrives quite loudly in her high-heeled boots, fishnet stockings and an army jacket on the posh property and wraps herself in an even more inconsistent position. Desperate to return to Ryan, Honey Bee – Natalie – meets her match in Louise, who is also determined to care for the young woman and provide the structure she needs to regain the life from which she has not yet been knows that she is lost.
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On paper, the broad premise for “Honey Bee” – wayward youth conflict with a well-meaning guardian – feels like the spirit of countless familiar and quickly forgotten indies who came before. The special thing about “Honey Bee” is that the story does not rely on artificial conflicts to find the way to Pat resolutions. Co-written by Bonnie Fairweather and Kathleen Hepburn (which recently earned recognition for its own feature “The body remembers when the world broke open”) The filmmakers define Natalie not only through sex work. She is a young woman who also struggles against the same insecurities that every teenager encounters. Her constant need to fight the world around her is as much a product of her mother’s abandonment and jumping around between nursing homes as a teenager. Fairweather and Hepburn are also considerate in the characters they place around Natalie. Chant (Michelle McLeod) and Matt (Connor Price), Co-boroughs of the nursing home, are refreshingly decent children whose lives have for various reasons confronted them with the need for guardianship. The trio eventually work on a unit shared by their circumstances and an unexpectedly similar trace of rebellion. Meanwhile, the choices made on “Honey Bee” are slightly sensational and what unfolds a grounded drama that really cares about its characters who are on a difficult journey.
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The performances that Rau manages from their cast also help improve on what could have been a pretty routine drama. Stein who deserves it Toronto International Film Festival Rising Star Award 2014 for their appearance in “Wet bum“Gives another reason to keep her on the radar. She finds the place where Honey Bees’ vulnerability, dejection, and unwavering independence intersect, and easily walks a very challenging mix of moods. Stone holds its own against you, too.” great Plimpton, a steadfast enemy for Honey Bee who is not easily empty. Meanwhile, love plays an important role in Ryan’s role in a performance whose subtle physicality is palpably threatened every time he appears on screen.
With Natalie freed from a life of manipulation and exploitation, she must first understand that the agency she had with Ryan is something she now actually owns on the farm with Louise. What makes Natalie temptingly frank about this newfound freedom of choice and the ability to make decisions about who she will become, “honeybee”. The journey Natalie takes to gain confidence for an uncertain future has more than enough sting to make a movie. [B]
“Honey Bee” will be available on all digital platforms from November 10th.