Skip to main content

Union Square Starring Mira Sorvino Opens July 13 in Toronto

Union Square
a film by Nancy Savoca
Starring Mira Sorvino, Tammy Blanchard, Mike Doyle, Michael Rispoli, Daphne Rubin-Vega, and Patti LuPone

Opens July 13 2012 at the Carlton Cinema in Toronto

In New York City at the Angelika
Other cities to follow

"I was sitting in a coffee shop with producer Neda Armian and screenwriter Mary Tobler.  We were venting our frustration at the difficult climate of financing indie films and Neda said, 'Let's just shoot something. Anything. Shoot in my apartment. It's yours!  Little did she know that I'd take her up on it."  - Nancy Savoca (True Love, Dogfight) director of Union Square (quote taken from a media release)

Union Square is a classic indie film - a character-centric story that combines a low budget locale with fine acting from a strong cast.  It's a story that avoids easy answers and pat conclusions and whose strongest moments arrive in emotional poignancy rather than a climax to a predictable story arc.

Mira Sorvino is Lucy, overly thin and overly trendy in the way that women in big cities often are, waiting for a reply to her text to Jay, a married lover who's suddenly reluctant to see her when she shows up at Union Square station in New York City with a scruffy dog in tow. Her level of hysteria ramps up quickly at his ever evasive answers and Lucy seems overly dramatic, over-acted even... at first.

The film succeeds in holding your attention with a deft sense of storytelling; the full implications of each twist and revelation only unfold little by little. Lucy, now jittery and dejected, shows up at the doorstep of her estranged sister Jen, who's now engaged to be married and leading an enviable 'straight' life which includes a revised past and family history that she's completely fabricated for the benefit of her fiancé. Her wide-eyed horror at seeing Lucy literally on her doorstep sets the stage for the unraveling of family secrets that follows.

Mira as Lucy and Tammy Blanchard as Jenny play off each other nicely; the latter as the sister who got away and tried to erase the dysfunctional past and Lucy as the brittle survivor who couldn't deny - or get away from - her roots, no matter how messed up they got.  While the subject matter is family melodrama, it's sprinkled liberally with moments of humour particularly in the first half, such as when Jenny watches in horror as Bill, her fiancé, (Mike Doyle,) warms up to his attractive sister-in-law and her vixenish charms.

The setting and whole look are naturalistic, allowing for the kind of intimacy a story like this needs to take hold. Jenny's carefully constructed façade slowly crumbles over the course of the day and its aftermath, but in ways that you won't anticipate. She's leading a vegan, organic lifestyle while Lucy puffs on cigarettes and guzzles gin. The outlines seem broadly drawn but the story that flows out of it is subtle and the emotion feels real.

The ending is optimistic while avoiding pat answers and features Broadway legend Patti LuPone in a pivotal role.


What Else Is Hot This Week?

Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company Spring 2013 Toronto Performances

From a media release:

The new season brings
Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company
to new heights and new audiences

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
April 25-28, 2013 - Annual Toronto Season - World Premiere of Portales

TORONTO : Following on the heels of Esmeralda Enrique Spanish Dance Company's (EESDC) 30th anniversary year where its production Aguas/Waters was named one of the top five dance shows of 2012 by NOW Magazine, the early months of 2013 are full of excitement and possibility for Esmeralda and the company, which brings the finest flamenco and Spanish Classical Dance to Toronto stages.

March 20-24, 2013 - A Night in Madrid
Company dancers Esmeralda Enrique and Paloma Cortés perform Spanish Classical dance with the celebrated Tafelmusik Baroque Orchestra and Chamber Choir for A Night in Madrid featuring the Iberian flavoured music of composer Luigi Boccherini who made his home in Spain. His work is infused with the sounds of Spanish and gypsy folk music.

March 20-24 …

Polina Semionova to Appear as Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre

From a media release:


New York - Polina Semionova, a principal dancer with Berlin State Opera Ballet, will debut as a Guest Artist with American Ballet Theatre for the 2011 Metropolitan Opera House season, it was announced January 14, 2011 by Artistic Director Kevin McKenzie. With ABT, Semionova will perform Kitri in Don Quixote at the matinee on Saturday, May 21, opposite David Hallberg as Basilio, and the dual role of Odette/Odile in Swan Lake on Saturday evening, July 2, opposite Hallberg as Prince Siegfried.

Born in Moscow, Semionova studied at the Bolshoi Ballet School before joining the Berlin State Opera Ballet as the company’s youngest principal dancer. Her repertoire with Berlin State Opera Ballet includes Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, Nikiya in La Bayadère, Marie in The Nutcracker, Princess Aurora in The Sleeping Beauty, Swanilda in Coppélia, Kitri in Don Quixo…

Harlem Stage Digital Event: A Drop Of Midnight October 13 & 15 2020

From a release:Harlem Stage Digital Event:
A Drop Of Midnight
October 13 & 15 2020A two-part conversation with Jason ‘Timbuktu’ Diakité and his creative team around the developmental process of creating his autobiographical theater project, A Drop of Midnight. In this conversation Jason will take us on his journey to becoming one of Sweden’s chart-topping hip-hop artists and a best-selling author. He’ll also share the story of how a mixtape from Brooklyn traveled across the waters to the tiny village of Lund, Sweden and altered the course of his life forever. We will examine the impact of hip hop music and culture on the globe. How has hip-hop united communities of color globally?  How do you translate a personal story into a universal truth? How do you build a creative team? How has the current climate of social justice informed your artistic practice? Jason will read excerpts from the play and share some of the music. October 13—Part IIn this conversation A Drop of Midnight author…

So You Can't Go: Six Ways To Travel Virtually

So You Can't Go:
Six Ways To Travel VirtuallyTravel is limited for most of us in the world these days. For Canadians, it depends on the province you live in, but with the border to the US still closed, and other options limited at best, virtual travel from the couch can provide at least a view with a difference at a time when you may well need it most. Google Cardboard – VR On A BudgetYou don't need a lot of cash to get into travel via virtual reality. Google Cardboard is a line of VR viewers that are, well, made of cardboard, and are priced starting at $12CAD.If you check out this link, you'll find out how to download the software to your smartphone.At this link, you can get yourself an actual Google Cardboard for a hands-free VR experience. Google Cardboard apps offer a variety of ways to experience our beautiful planet, including Google Earth itself, which can take you anywhere, along with apps to view museums and cultural artifacts, and more.Ascape VRAscape has a huge l…

Fall for Dance North Debuts 2020 Festival: Live + Digital Experiences Sept 29–Oct 18 2020

From a media release:Fall for Dance North Debuts 2020 Festival
Captivating Live + Digital Experiences on Newly Enhanced Digital PlatformToronto’s premier international dance festival launches curated collection of original content and proprietary programs on new custom-built websiteTORONTO, ON — Fall for Dance North (FFDN) proudly presents the 6th edition of its esteemed international dance festival, The Flip Side, from Sept. 29–Oct. 18, 2020
Featuring a new, Netflix-style digital platform, an enhanced line-up of free programming, and a ticketed signature livestream presentation featuring six world premieres by Canadian dancemakers, FFDN has reimagined the festival experience to offer audiences an intimate connection to the art form of dance during these extraordinary times.Starting on Sept. 29, free programs will be released at daily, including an original podcast, a quirky interview series in a bathtub, a poetry + music album, a new dance film featuring 46 Ryerson Schoo…