Hot Docs 2014: The Possibilities Are Endless Review

The Possibilites Are Endless

The Possibilities are Endless


After suffering a hemorrhagic stroke, Scottish singer-songwriter Edwyn Collins ended up slipping into a coma. After waking, it was discovered quite quickly he had suffered acute aphasia, a condition that affects the brain and leads to problems using language.  Other than yes and no, the only other phrases Edwyn could use were the name of his wife ‘Grace Maxwell’ and the titular ‘The Possibilities are Endless’. The film employs lush cinematography and sound design to attempt an encompassing and sensory exploration of Collins’ recovering mind through this time while also showing us where he has progressed to today.

Directors Edward Lovelace and James Hall use interviews with Collins and his wife Grace Maxwell as the narration over moving abstract imagery in the film’s first half and recovered footage of Edwyn in the latter half to guide the film. The technique works quite well as, with the film mirroring Edwyn’s own recovery and progression. The film also uses re-enactments of the couple’s courtship and life together to help illustrate what’s truly an epic love story.


From the film’s start, booming the one massive worldwide hit ‘A Girl Like You’ (which most will remember from the Empire Records soundtrack), to the touching final performance which sees Edwyn back on stage after recording a new album, the film is filled with great music from Collins. A testament to Edwyn’s desire to live and record music yet again, The Possibilities are Endless truly delivers on its name. (Kirk Haviland)


Wednesday, April 30th, Scotiabank 4, 9:30pm

Thursday, May 1st, Scotiabank 3, 1:30pm


Saturday, May 3rd, The Royal, 7:30pm