Marion Bridge

Poster for Marion Bridge

Autumn 2003 Main series

Sunday, September 21, 2003 at 4:00pm
Sunday, September 21, 2003 at 7:00pm
Monday, September 22, 2003 at 7:00pm

Empire Theatres, New Minas, NS

Directed by


Rated 14A · 1h 30m

Marion Bridge was the surprise feel-good hit of the 2002 Toronto International Film Festival and the winner of the Best Canadian First Feature Award. Working with a script by well known playwright and actor Daniel MacIvor, editor turned director Wiebke von Carolsfeld has confidently stepped behind the camera to achieve a work of rare subtlety and warmth. The setting is the post-industrial landscape of Cape Breton. Agnes (Molly Parker, War Bride, Sunshine, Last Wedding) has returned home to Sydney, Nova Scotia from Toronto to visit her ailing mother, an alcoholic chain-smoker. Years earlier, Agnes left to escape the secret that haunted her. Having fought her own battle with alcohol, she returns home sober, strong and seemingly able to face the past she fled. Her sisters, Theresa (Rebecca Jenkins of Bye Bye Blues) and Louise (Stacy Smith, New Waterford Girl), are less convinced and when Agnes goes off on unexplained, solitary drives, the sisters suspect that what little peace they have known will be destroyed. Agnes’ actions set off a chain of events that pries open a long-shuttered past and emotionally reforges an uplifting bond between the three sisters. The triumph of Marion Bridge is its perfect mix of first rate performances, a beautiful script and skilled direction. Parker, Jenkins and Smith all shine: from the moment they first appear on screen, each actor shimmers with detailed life, effortlessly suggesting depths of truth that unfailingly intrigues. Von Carolsfeld has an eye-opening sense of drama and awakens worlds of expression from the smallest gesture of mundane situations. Specters of the past and yearnings of the present float just under the surface of Marion Bridge, fueling a delicate story of forgiveness and understanding, told with extraordinary compassion.

“Brilliant feature film debut…” – The National Post

“Takes the raw ingredients of soap opera – the spilling of family secrets and the opening of old wounds as a parent slips away – and spins them into something truthful and quietly compelling.” – Stephen Holden, The New York Times

“Always engaging and often compelling.” – Rick Groen, The Globe And Mail

“A carefully drawn portrait of family life.” – Peter Howell, The Toronto Star