Tag Archives: Glen Gould

CBC/Radio Canada, APTN and Ayasew Ooskana Pictures announce casting and start of production on Marie Clements’ Bones of Crows

From a media release:

Ayasew Ooskana Pictures announced today production is underway on the new original five-part psychological drama (5X60) and feature film BONES OF CROWS, commissioned by CBC/Radio-Canada in association with APTN. Created by Marie Clements, the character-driven series features an ensemble cast of talent including Grace Dove (Monkey Beach), Philip Lewitski (Wildhood), Glen Gould (Cold Pursuit), Michelle Thrush (Pathfinder), Gail Maurice (Night Raiders), Cara Gee (The Expanse), Karine Vanasse (Cardinal), Angus Macfadyen (Robert The Bruce), Rémy Girard (District 31), Graham Greene (Molly’s Game) and Lorne Cardinal (Corner Gas).

BONES OF CROWS is told through the eyes of Cree Matriarch Aline Spears as she survives a childhood in Canada’s residential school system to continue her family’s generational fight in the face of systemic starvation, racism, and sexual abuse. She uses her uncanny ability to understand and translate codes into working for a special division of the Canadian Air Force as a Cree code talker in World War II. The story unfolds over 100 years with a cumulative force that propels us into the future.

The project will be shot originally in English, with Cree and Ayajuthem spoken in key scenes and there will be both Cree and French-language versions for broadcast. Filming locations include the Thompson-Nicola Region (Kamloops, Vernon, Quilchena), Greater Victoria Area, and Greater Vancouver Area in British Columbia, and Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Winnipeg portion of production will be produced by Eagle Vision.

BONES OF CROWS is a CBC/Radio-Canada original production, produced with the financial participation of Telefilm Canada, Canada Media Fund, APTN , Independent Production Fund, Shaw Rocket Fund, Bell Fund, ISO (Indigenous Screen Office), FIBC, CAVCO, and First Peoples’ Heritage, Language and Cultural Council and Indigenous Arts Program.

BONES OF CROWS is produced, written and directed by Marie Clements (Red Snow, The Road Forward), executive produced by Trish Dolman & Christine Haebler (French Exit, Indian Horse) and Sam Grana (The Boys of St. Vincent) with Executive Producers Lisa Meeches and Kyle Irving from Eagle Vision and the DOP is Vince Arvidson (The Magnitude of All Things).


Cardinal: Poor “Woody”

Before I dig into this episode of Cardinal, I have to ask one question: WHAT THE HELL is up with Delorme (Karine Vanasse)? Seriously!! Who deliberately burns the upholstery in their car with a lit cigarette, even if you do want to vandalize a relationship? Talk about passive aggressive!

OK, I have that off my chest.

We are on Episode 4; halfway through the series and once again our opening shot harkens back to the very first scene of the series. This time, however, the scene is set at night. It is Woody (Gord Rand), our cocksure career thief sitting in the the very same parking lot as John Cardinal (Billy Campbell) did in the first scene of the series. Woody is selecting his next victim based upon their purchases. And who does he spy, but “White Trash Johnny,” a.k.a. Eric (Brendan Fletcher). He follows Eric and Edie (Allie MacDonald) so he can case the neighbourhood and pick the proper time to strike. Now, correct me if I am wrong but earlier in the series, Gran’s (Amanda Smith) house was set in a little subdivision with lots of other houses nearby. Now it appears  her house is isolated amongst the birch trees. I HATE inconsistencies like this!

Anyhow, after much nagging by his wife, Woody agrees to seek respectable employment driving a snow plow for his brother-in-law. But there is a catch, he must give up his wayward habits. However, *Spoiler Alert* if you watched the entire episode, you know Woody never got the chance. Poor Woody.

Meanwhile, Delorme is still set on investigating Cardinal and seeks assistance from Commanda (Glen Gould). Commanda pays a visit to Francis (Lawrence Bayne) to discuss his connection to the poker chips and the money laundering. Francis supplies some of the bills he received from  Cardinal and Commanda, in turn, hands them over to Delorme. She runs the bills and discovers they are fresh from the bank. A dead end.

On the official investigation side of things, Cardinal and Delorme catch a lead. Keith London (Robert Naylor) arrived in Algonquin Bay via the bus depot and they trace his steps to the local bar. The bartender (James Byron) remembers seeing him because Keith got sick after just two beers. Cardinal once again pieces it together and decides it is time to canvass all hospitals, doctor offices, pharmacies and veterinarian clinics; anyone who could potentially carry the meds that made the cocktail in Curry’s toxicology report.

This is where we depart a bit from the novel. It appears writer Aubrey Nealon tucked in a bit extra for the cat and mouse game between Eric and Edie and Cardinal and Delorme. Here, Keith’s parents pay a visit to the department for an interview with Cardinal and Delorme. Sergeant Dyson (Kristen Thomas) arranges a press conference to appeal to the public for further information leading to the whereabouts of Keith London. Cardinal takes a massive  risk and encourages Keith’s mother to speak at the press conference, hoping the killer will get off on the knowledge that he gets to toy with the family of his victim which, in turn, buys the investigators more time.

In the meantime, Eric forces Keith to watch Curry’s snuff film and  Edie worries Keith now knows their secret. Eric suggests that tonight is the night: Edie can leave the little girl behind and once she kills Keith, she can be whoever she wants to be, no one will hurt her ever again. Eric then tosses Keith’s severed finger out into the woods. I have to ask … WHY would you do this? Will his hubris prove a fatal flaw? At any rate, Eric and Edie do happen to catch Cardinal’s news conference and it seems his little trick worked. Edie admits to Keith that he should be happy “because you were going to die tonight.”

On the home-front, Josh (Alden Adair) pays a visit to John; he apparently needs to talk. Knowing Lise was smoking again “Mr. Geology” did some digging around and instead discovered Delorme’s birth control pills hidden in the car. In spite of his initial suspicions that Lise and John are having an affair, he realizes that is not the case. But, in his drunken state he also lets it slip that Delorme’s transfer from Financial is just temporary.

The episode closes with Woody breaking into Gran’s (Amanda Smith) house. He heads to the basement where he makes the grisly discovery. Sadly, he did not arrive soon enough and Edie and Eric catch him in the process of trying to untie Keith. Woody meets his demise at the hands of Eric. I guess he should have listened to his wife.

Remaining questions: Who is in the white Ford SUV following Cardinal? My guess it is Musgrave (David Richmond-Peck), but I honestly don’t know for sure. And, can we officially ditch Josh? After all, he was not in the original text to start with. What is the point of him other than filler to promote the Delorme/Cardinal tension?

This was another strong episode, nicely pieced together despite the many intertwined storylines. The pace is consistent and is slowly mounting as the suspense level grows. Fletcher is entirely convincing as our psychopathic serial killer; I really don’t want to meet him anytime soon after watching this. I know many of you have serious crushes on Billy Campbell, but I am finding myself bored with his character now. I understand this guy has a lot going on in his head but for God’s sake man, emote just a little bit so we know you are human. I just don’t feel Campbell’s full talents were tapped into during this episode. Karine Vanasse on the other hand is fantastic. She is completely believable as a woman with many faces. Brava!

Let me know what you think so far in the comments below.

Cardinal airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CTV.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Cardinal’s serial killers “Edie and Eric”

Last week, Kelly Cardinal (Alanna Bale) suggested her father, John (Billy Campbell) take up running again. This is the scene we open this week’s episode of Cardinal with: him running. The chase has begun. Cardinal knows the killer will strike again and he feels he is in a race against time. Since the show is holding true to the book, there is likely a good deal of back and forth from here until the end. This was the issue I had with Forty Words for Sorrow. We know very early who the villains are and it is now just a race to the finish. As a novel, this format failed miserably for me. However, on screen, this formula works well, building suspense when we as the viewer know something the protagonist(s) doesn’t. As it stands right now, we have three principle storylines and two subplots, so I will attack each one separately instead of bouncing all over the place.

First, we have the story of Edie (Allie MacDonald) and Eric (Brendan Fletcher), who have selected their latest victim, Keith London (Robert Naylor). He is strapped, naked, to a chair, frequently drugged, and routinely degraded.

We also learn a good deal of backstory about Edie. She is emotionally hampered by her physical appearance and, left to care for an ailing grandmother, she is so entirely desperate for attention that the warped attentions of Eric act as a panacea for her woes. Eric has effectively seduced Edie, and in so doing has created his own little twisted minion, one that is eager to prove her devotion. Even though Eric is ultimately in control of Edie, knowing exactly which buttons he needs to push, Eric goes to the trouble of informing Keith he is deferring to Edie. She is in control and Eric is just there to nudge her along. Edie does so in her own time. With the removal of Keith’s finger, Edie demonstrates that she is not just a “dumb animal” and she made Keith bleed.

The scenes between Fletcher and Naylor were exquisitely performed. The fear is palpable. And can I just say “OW”? That duct tape over Naylor’s mouth HAD to hurt! The chemistry here is really terrific! Even the predatory sexual tension in this relationship despite the degradation is terrifyingly seductive.

I do have a question however, and I had the same one while reading  Forty Words. If pharmaceuticals and the knowledge of them is so easy for Edie to procure from the pharmacy where she works, why did Edie never self-medicate her eczema? Why, when she has felt so insecure and angry with respect to her outward physical appearance did she not use her position to remedy herself? What happened that made Edie so incapable of acting on behalf of herself, but so willing to act in exchange for the gratification she seeks from Eric?

Next, we have Delorme (Karine Vanesse) investigating Cardinal on behalf of Corporal Musgrave (David Richmond-Peck). We learn in this episode that Musgrave and Cardinal both worked Corbett’s crime ring raid in Toronto together. According to Musgrave, the raid “went bad” and he lays the blame squarely on Cardinal. Corbett and his crew were tipped off and instead of locating the drugs there was just “a half pound of C4 rigged to a wire there” waiting for them. As a result of the “tip off,” another officer was killed in the explosion. Musgrave is convinced Cardinal warned Corbet and his gang of the raid. I think Delorme’s spidey sense was tingling. She knows something is amiss. Delorme points out to Musgrave that he has no cause. The case was closed, Cardinal was cleared and therefore Musgrave has no reason to investigate Cardinal. So why is he pushing so hard to nail Cardinal? You know that line from Hamlet, “The lady doth protest too much methinks”? Sub in Musgrave for Queen Gertrude here.

The last of the three story-lines revolves around Cardinal and Delorme’s investigation into the serial murders. The department catches a break on a possible new victim after the Major Crimes Dept. from Toronto Police called. The parents of Keith London notified Toronto Police that their son did not arrive as scheduled.  Police know Keith passed through Algonquin Bay, but their trace of Keith’s phone revealed the signal died further east. Cardinal deduces the killer places the cellphones of his victims on the trains as they pass through town. Eventually, the phone goes dead, but long after leaving Algonquin Bay. However, these trains all lead back to Algonquin Bay. Meanwhile, the encrypted texts from Todd Curry’s laptop come back from forensics and Cardinal and Delorme run down the lead. Turns out Curry was lured to town by a man pretending to be a woman, but this was not their killer.

Finally our subplots: John and Catherine (Deborah Hay), and Lise and “Mr Geology” Josh (Alden Aldair). John visits his wife in the hospital again, but this time it is work related. As an artist, with knowledge of the mechanics involved in photography, John questions Catherine about the process of image processing. Despite her condition, Catherine realizes Cardinal is “working” and her resentment is palpable. Anyone else notice these two never appear in a shot together? In fact, they are positioned in opposition to each other and Catherine’s body is even turned away from her husband … indicative of the gulf that exists between them.

Also, it seems Lise is keeping a few secrets of her own. She is hiding the fact she is smoking again AND, she taking birth control behind Josh’s back. Yet it is as though she wants Josh to catch her, smoking in their car, leaving her pills in the glove compartment. Why does she want him to discover her secrets? IS she looking for an out from the relationship?

Questions remaining: What is Corporal Commanda (Glen Gould) doing investigating the hit and run of a horse? And why did Francis (Lawrence Bayne) hit a horse and leave it to die at the side of the road in the first place?

What are your thoughts on this episode? Let me know in the comments below.

Cardinal airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET on CTV.Facebooktwitterredditlinkedinmail

Cardinal… meet “Delorme”

Last week, Cardinal‘s cold open introduced viewers to the focus of the series, the murder of Katie Pine, and the lead character John Cardinal (Billy Campbell). Our first glimpse of Cardinal was a slow zoom to a head shot as he sat in his car conducting surveillance. We learned his back story, watched how he approaches a case. We also learned he has some secrets yet be uncovered and we are left to wonder whether or not he is a “dirty cop”.

This week, Cardinal starts with the same initial slow zoom establishing shot but this time its gaze is upon  Lisa Delorme (Karine Vanasse). To recap some key points about Delorme from last week: she has been transferred to Homicide from the Financial Crimes Unit under the direction of Corporal Musgrave, RCMP (David Richmond Peck) to investigate her new partner John Cardinal. At the close of the premiere, Delorme was ordered by Sergeant Dyson (Kristen Thomas) to meet with Musgrave instead of attending with the rest of the department to the Curry crime scene. But we need to ask, why did the RCMP choose her? And why would she agree to such a transfer? What secrets does she keep hidden? This week we peel back some of Lise Delorme’s layers.

We begin the morning after Cardinal’s discovery of a second victim in an abandoned home. Delorme is just arriving at the crime scene and Sergeant Dyson reminds her, her priority is the murder investigation and the department, and not whatever Musgrave has her working on. It’s decided Cardinal and Delorme are heading on a road trip to Delorme’s first autopsy. Her partner/boyfriend/husband Josh (Alden Adair)–I am not too sure what exactly this pair really are–is clearly not pleased with the arrangement (do I detect some insecurities here?). We also learn Lise and Josh have been trying to conceive a child, but without success.

Confined to a car for several hours, Delorme uses the opportunity to try and get to know her partner a bit better. However she soon realizes this process is a double-edged sword; the more she knows about Cardinal, the more she respects him. The same proves true for John when Delorme shares her thoughts on the timeline for Katie Pine’s death; the killer held Katie captive for a week before he murdered her. Delorme continues the search for intel on Cardinal. Why two phones? One is designated for his daughter, Kelly (Alanna Bale), who is away at school in Toronto. This way she can always reach him. Watching Vanasse and Campbell watch each other is fascinating. These two are doing a dance, constantly readjusting their positions, reevaluating each other as they circle each other and this case. Director Podz is using pregnant pauses to his advantage as he dishes out this story to the audience.

(Did any of you catch Delorme’s rule of thumb for men? “If I ask a guy five questions before he asks one back, then he’s a douche.” Interesting theory!)

We arrive in Toronto and witness Delorme’s first autopsy. This one proves grislier than most (Blunt certainly has the imagination for gory murders!) and elicits “tabarnac!” (one of several throughout the episode) from Lise. Several wounds, multiple fractures, a few screwdrivers thrust through the skull and all wrapped up nicely with audio tape. The tape is a trail. Not only is our killer escalating, he tied this murder to the Katie Pine case.

Back in Algonquin Bay, Josh decides to drop in at the department to surprise Lise. Cue the testosterone. There was definitely a bit of a turf war there on the part of Josh.

Meanwhile Ronny, the fisherman who found Katie Pine’s body, now feels it is necessary to watch over Dorothy Pine (Gail Maurice). OPP Detective Commanda (Glen Gould) has a chat and gifts Ronny with some soil from the fairgrounds where Katie was last seen alive. Ronny has already seen one side of Katie, now he must see the other side of her, the side that lived.

Lise, needing to blow off steam because “Whinging Josh,” let it slip to her family they are trying to have a baby,  goes for a late night drive and happens upon Cardinal on his way to the casino. She makes the call to Musgrave but he orders her to back off (WHY?). She follows Cardinal, despite her orders, and makes the discovery Cardinal is cashing in old chips for cash. The next day Cardinal recognizes Delorme’s car from the casino and lets her know, subtly, he is aware she is investigating him.

The last scene introduces Eric (Brendan Fletcher of The Revenant), Edie (Allie MacDonald of Young Drunk Punk) and  Keith (Robert Naylor of 19-2), who I think we can safely assume is their next victim. For those who have not read Forty Words for Sorrow, we don’t have one killer but rather two. They picked out this victim from the bus depot and followed him to the local bar. Edie laced Keith’s beer and they make the decision; Keith is next.

A couple of lingering questions: why is Cardinal going to the trouble of freezing the raccoon until he can bury it? What is up with Lise and “Whinging Josh”? Is anyone else sensing  Lise and Josh are not meant to be? I have a feeling the Lise-Josh-John triangle may heat up. And what is up with Musgrave? His “displeasure” with Delorme disobeying orders was just a tad over the top and not at all professional!

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Cardinal airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.



Cardinal: Introducing “John Cardinal”

At last, the long-anticipated Cardinal has arrived. The screenplay adapted by Aubrey Nealon (Orphan Black, Saving Hope), from the Giles Blunt bestseller and award-winning novel Forty Words for Sorrow, nicely captures the aura of the novel. This has the feel of a full-length feature film rather than a TV series. CTV knows it is competing with other cable productions, they took a chance, and they delivered with Cardinal; a captivating, gritty experience for its viewers.

Filmed in Sudbury, Ont., Cardinal is set during a Canadian winter, albeit without the grimy, roadside snow banks. We are frequently reminded of the deafening quiet quality of a snowy Canadian winter, and in winter, we pause, with shortened days, and colder nights.  The pace we set is slower, and Cardinal does that too. And it broods, which is, of course, suitable for a story about a serial killer, but it is also characteristic of our eponymous lead character. There is a great deal of internal dialogue provided by both the setting and Billy Campbell, most recently of Helix. But there are no gaps to fill in dialogue despite the many prolonged silences.

The cold open features the discovery of a body and a case which sets off an investigation that will span six episodes. A local fisherman makes the grisly discovery of an ice-encased body of a child at the bottom of an abandoned mine shaft.

Then we are introduced to Detective John Cardinal as he conducts surveillance at the local big box electronics store. His new partner Lise Delorme (Karine Vanasse) steps in to notify him that Sergeant Noelle Dyson (Kristen Thomson) wants Cardinal back in Homicide. Without yet knowing the identity of the child, Dyson suspects this may be the same case that nearly destroyed Cardinal’s career.

We head out to the crime scene in the middle of a frozen lake. The wide shot aerial footage here is really breathtaking. I am from the extreme southwestern tip of Ontario and I am not a huge fan of winter. I have never actually seen a vehicle drive on ice, or even ice huts out on a lake. It just doesn’t get that cold here for that long. I’m sure viewers not familiar with this type of cold were equally captivated by these scenes. Those who are familiar, will no doubt very quickly locate themselves into the story. At any rate, once Cardinal arrives on the scene he establishes his authority. He efficiently demotes the first to scene OPP foot patrol, and literally “de-boots” him for contaminating the crime scene.

The crane lifts the remains from the shaft; a lingering shot of the body, showing signs of animal activity, and we cannot turn our gaze. Special effects do not spare on the gore factor here. After forensics does a preliminary examination, of which we are thankfully spared, the Katie Pine file is reclassified from missing person to murder. With the discovery of her body, Cardinal’s early suspicions of abduction and murder are confirmed. We are told by Forensics there is evidence of ligature marks on her wrists and legs, and abrasions to her remaining eye socket. Katie Pine was forcibly restrained and the killer made use of a speculum to force her eyes open. The killer made her watch him.

Not trusting his new partner, Cardinal assigns Delorme all of his outstanding B&E cases to follow up on. Will these cases provide any clues relevant to the Katie Pine case? I think it is safe to assume so, otherwise, why write them in? Additionally, Delorme may have reason to distrust Cardinal; seems the detective has a little stash of something. Drugs? Intel? Cardinal makes a drop in the dead of night to “Francis” (Lawrence Bayne) for cash.

Delorme begins to earn Cardinal’s respect, albeit begrudgingly, and he shares his theory of a repeat killer. Cardinal believes the drowning of another child, Billy LaBelle, labelled accidental, was anything but. Lise, and it turns out the entire department, are all highly sceptical of Cardinal’s theory. However, after a thorough survey of unsolved missing person cases spanning the last two years, Cardinal’s theory pans out with the discovery of another body in an abandoned home, that of missing person Todd Curry. This confirmation sets us up for the remaining episodes. If there is a serial killer, there must be another victim!

In the closing scenes, Delorme asks the question that founds a secondary storyline: “Did he?” Did John Cardinal take money in exchange for information from Sudbury crime lord Kyle Corbett? We know his artistic wife, Catherine (Deborah Day, most recently from a guest appearance on CBC’s Four in the Morning) has been institutionalised for depression, but what other burdens are torturing Cardinal? Has he compromised himself? Delorme, it seems, is under the direction of RCMP Corporal Musgrave (David Richmond Peck) along with Detective Hansen (Kevin Louis) to investigate Cardinal.

So far, Cardinal is following the novel Forty Words for Sorrow, but thankfully, leaving out the inherent weaknesses I found when I read it. I found the book predictable. I will tell you why later should future episodes follow the same pattern. However, if Episode 1 is any indication, this may be the rare case that the book translates better to film than it appeared in the text.

Billy Campbell was the perfect choice for the role of John Cardinal. He captures that quiet brooding that this character emotes. Campbell must demonstrate this early on. In the scene in the squad room he shares with Delorme and McLeod, Cardinal hears the details of Katie Pines forensic report. As the camera slowly closes in, we can read everything Cardinal/Campbell is thinking in this long silence. Any dialogue in this scene would have been redundant; Campbell’s eyes told us everything we needed to know.

A couple noteworthy changes, from the original text: Delorme is not from Special Investigations, but rather transfers from the Financial Crimes Unit and Sergeant Adonis Dyson has been re-imagined as Sergent Noelle Dyson. We’ll wait to see how or if these changes play out in some significant way in upcoming episodes.

A very solid start to what I would call an atmospheric crime drama, and I look forward to how this will all play out! Other than Fargo the movie and the series, and the first season of Campbell’s earlier series Helix, I don’t think the use of winter has been used quite so effectively to drive a storyline. The Canadian winter is a character unto itself.

What did you think of this episode? Let me know in the comments below.

Cardinal airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. ET/PT on CTV.