Canadian film drama ‘The Rest of Us’
The Rest of Us (2020) is a Canadian drama film about a mother called Cami (Heather Graham) who is a successful children’s author and illustrator raising her difficult teenage daughter, Aster (Sophie Nelisse) as her ex-husband, Craig left the family and had an affair with a woman named Rachel (Jodi Balfour) which resulted in both of them starting a new life together. Tragedy struck when Craig suddenly passes away which ends up with Rachel and her daughter Tallulah (Abigail Pniowsky) that she had with Craig being evicted from their home and having to sleep in their car. Cami brings it upon herself to help Rachel out and have her and Tallulah live in her camper. The story follows the relationship between Cami and Rachel after years of hating each other from the affair. It also follows the bond between both mothers with each other’s daughters providing qualities that the birth parent doesn’t have. As if the situation wasn’t already complicated, there are still secrets that they are hiding that are later revealed.
The film is directed by Aisling Chin-Yee, she’s based in both Montreal and Los Angeles. She was also Canada’s rising film stars in 2019 by Now Magazine and co-founded the #AfterMeToo movement. This is Chin-Yee’s first feature film she has directed as she has been known solemnly as a producer working on documentaries and shorts that centralises on women and marginalised groups for 15 years which is very refreshing to see. In an interview with Variety explaining “her main objective was to make the film more than just one note, one tone, and one emotional experience. She wanted it to be more reflective of life, rather than a depressing experience, especially as she was dealing with family, grief, and tragedy.”
Overall, as her first debut film, it was nice to see predominately women as the main cast and I personally think that all the actresses played and expressed the emotions of their characters very well delivering some strong performances which make the scenes believable to audiences. I believe the aim she set out for the film is clearly shown as there were multiple tones throughout different scenes that fit together. Although the characters did deliver, I think the synopsis has been done a few times in quite a few films.