Directed by the editor of Jeremy Podeswa's The Five Senses, this family drama may be a relatively low key affair, but that certainly doesn't mean it's short of insights, laughs or emotional punch. When Agnes (Parker) returns from Toronto to Sydney, her humdrum little hometown on Nova Scotia's coast, her two sisters, piously Catholic Theresa and listless couch-potato Louise, have little time for her claims that she's kicked booze and drugs. After all, their mother is facing imminent death, and besides, this is a family with dark secrets. If this makes Marion Bridge sound gloomy, fear not, for von Carolsfeld and writer Daniel MacIvor bring wry humour and unsentimental warmth to their perceptive study of dependency and denial, trust and betrayal, faith and forgiveness. They're well served by a clutch of marvellous performances, with Parker, in particular, excellent as the protagonist determined to clean up not only her own act, but her entire family's as well. Stefan Ivanov's camerawork, meanwhile, transforms the Cape Breton setting into a significant character in its own right.