MIFF PICKS – ‘The Rooster’, a meandering directorial debut; ‘The Adults’, a finely etched family dramedy

Odd couple: Hugo Weaving and Phoenix Raei in ‘The Rooster’.


THE ROOSTER – The directorial debut from actor Mark Leonard Winter is a mood piece about mental illness and self-imposed isolation that is strong on atmosphere but slight on story. While investigating a suicide, rural cop Dan (Phoenix Raei) befriends an eccentric, bitter hermit (Hugo Weaving) ensconced deep in the forest. There are some good moments from Weaving, but the film runs long and the third act is rushed. Evocative cinematography.

Michael Cera and Sophia Lillis in ‘The Adults’.

THE ADULTS – Reuniting after a three-year hiatus three small-town siblings attempt to reconnect in the face of long-standing tensions in a modest, well-crafted dramedy about the difficult emotional task of putting love before judgement. Terrific performances from Michael Cera, Hannah Gross and especially Sophia Lillis as an unmotivated Zoomer stuck in a malaise of indecision. The film features the memorable use of the Men at Work song Overkill in a wonderful dance sequence and the weaponization of a vacuum cleaner.