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THE ANIMAL PROJECT (review)

20130828-111413THE ANIMAL PROJECT
Written and Directed by Ingrid Veninger

Starring Aaron Poole, Hannah Cheeseman and Jacob Switzer

Ingrid Veninger’s THE ANIMAL PROJECT, follows Leo (Aaron Poole), a widowed father, as he struggles to teach a small acting class and repair the bond he once shared with his teenage son, Sam (Jacob Switzer). One night, Leo stumbles upon one of his old short films, in which a young Sam, dressed as a bunny, walks around the streets of Toronto offering free hugs to any takers. This gives Leo an idea for a project that may finally bring his acting troupe out of their creative slump.

And what is Leo’s idea, you may wonder? Well, it’s to have his group roam the streets of Toronto in character wearing animal mascot costumes. Though his idea is initially met with hostility from the group, they finally agree to give it a shot. Leo’s “Animal Project” allows members of the acting troupe to get in touch with sides of themselves that they have kept hidden, and also allows them to grow together as people and as actors.

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THE ANIMAL PROJECT is unlike anything I have seen before, and I can promise that fellow audience members will feel the same way. It is a refreshing film that ultimately succeeds because it is well written, well directed, and extremely unique. Aaron Poole is great as Leo, and his talent it matched by the rest of the extremely skilled cast. The film can be funny, but at the same time, it can also be heartbreaking. It is a delight to watch and adds to the list of solid films that represent Canadian cinema.

3_5

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