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Passchendaele

  • Film
  • 3 out of 5 stars
Passchendaele.jpg
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Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars
British audiences will best remember Paul Gross as gentleman Mountie Benton Fraser in hokey ’90s TV serial ‘Due South’. Here, he writes, directs, produces and stars in this cloyingly earnest/refreshingly unpretentious (delete as applicable) labour-of-love retelling of the Canadian Corps’ involvement in the Battle of Passchendaele (1917), and should henceforth be known as Canada’s answer to Kevin Costner… No, scrap that: Mel Gibson.

Gross plays the handsome, rebellious and coolly pessimistic Major Dunn, wounded in battle and shipped back to his hometown of Calgary, where he regales budding troops with horror stories from the front. He falls in love with a German-born nursemaid, and takes a shine to her asthmatic brother, who is keen to fight in order to earn the respect of his girlfriend’s father. The big battle is rendered in revolting detail for the film’s finale – including barbed-wire crucifixion and latex gore. As a director, Gross paints in big, emotive strokes, and though his dialogue often feels too tied to historical fact, this old-fashioned, patriotic war movie has its heart in the right place.
Written by David Jenkins

Release Details

  • Rated:15
  • Release date:Friday 4 September 2009
  • Duration:114 mins

Cast and crew

  • Director:Paul Gross
  • Screenwriter:Paul Gross
  • Cast:
    • Paul Gross
    • Caroline Dhavernas
    • Joe Dinicol
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