TIFF 2013: Sarah Prefers to Run Review

Sarah Prefers to Run

Sarah Prefers to Run

Discovery

Director: Chloe Robichaud

The feature length debut from Robichaud is nothing short of a revelation for both her and her star Sophie Desmarais. It’s the rare kind of coming of age story that captures the first year of university and everything leading up to it as a scarring sort of learning process, but it never goes about things in a bombastic or melodramatic fashion.

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Barely able to attend McGill to earn a spot on their track team Sarah Lepage (Desmarais) fakes a marriage to her line cook buddy Antione (Jean-Sebastien Courchesne) for necessary aide and tax breaks. He has feelings for her, she doesn’t for him. In addition to trying to find her way on the team and potentially career ending health issue, Sarah also struggles with her sexuality and her crush on the girl who made her want to go to the school in the first place.

The simplicity of Robichaud’s work here cuts deeper than a thousand shouting matches ever could. Problems are dealt with realistically and sometimes very awkwardly. It finds its poignancy through being as unsentimental as possible, and the film establishes Robichaud as a major talent to keep an eye on. The same can be said for Desmarais, playing a young girl who the characters on screen might see as a cipher, but the audience knows is a much deeper and richer person than they’ll ever know. The film’s intimacy astounds. (Andrew Parker)

Screens

Thursday, September 12th, Scotiabank 4, 9:15pm

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Friday, September 13th, TIFF Bell Lightbox 1, 11:45am

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