VIFF: Cole


It’s not very often that you get to go into a theatre to watch a film and have no preconceived notions on how or what that film will be, but I really think that’s the beauty of being able to attend the Film Festival. You don’t turn on the television and see billboards of these movies, and can assume a blank slate before watching anything. Having said that, I can’t tell you if Cole was one of the best movies I’ve seen this year because it caught me so suddenly off guard, or because it truly was just fantastic film making. What a great way to spend my Friday afternoon.

The movie from the start is a homage to rural British Columbia, taking place in Lytton, BC: dry sand and rock, hot sun, and the “country” way of life, it’s always 5 o’clock with the sun on the back of your neck in Lytton. The title character’s name, I’m going to assume you guessed, is Cole (Richard de Klerk), and Cole lives with his sister Maybelline (Sonja Bennett), her two children (the eldest half-african american from a previous relationship), her redneck boyfriend Bobby played by Chad Willett (mullet not sold separately), and his mentally absent and speechless Mother. The family owns the only gas station in Lytton, and Cole’s passion for writing leads to him getting into a creative writing class at UBC which he ditches working at the business more and more for, to drive the three hours to and from school once a week. During class, his attention is caught by a beautiful fellow student Serafina (Kandyse McClure) who quickly finds she needs a tutor. We can see where this is going. It’s a classic case of Princess and Pauper, and Cole finds himself keeping his “redneck” life in Lytton a secret to Serafina’s priveleged family and upbringing, and harder and harder to balance the two.

The relationships in this movie leap off the screen and sit in your lap. The exquisitely believable and tender relationship between Cole and his Nephew affectionately nicknamed Rocket, is so true to itself that I found myself nearly in tears just watching them talk. A great performance by first timer, little Jack Forrester. I really could not picture the movie or their relationship succeeding without his naturality. Chad Willet’s performance kept you on edge without being over the top, and what a great hick he was with the language, alcoholism and abuse wrapped into a nice little Canadian stereotype blanket. The absolutely stunning Kandyse McClure delivered not only a solid performance but was enchanting as the “I’m Too Perfect” girl breaking free from familial life, and the chemistry between Richard De Klerk and herself was captivating. As the main character, Richard De Klerk played Cole as everything a main character should have been, keeping the movie rolling, keeping the emotion and dialogue strong and natural, and inviting you into not only the love story between Cole and Serafina, but as the clearly talented Vancouver director Carl Bessai said at the Q&A session afterwards, invited you into the love (and maybe hate) story between Cole and Lytton.

An almost exclusively Canadian soundtrack kept the movie intimate, although one too many indescript Elliot Smith sounding three chord acoustic folkers blended into each other. But hey if that’s my only REAL complaint…

I absolutely cannot write for HOMOrazzi without mentioning how stunning Richard De Klerk is and how nervous I was that he would catch me still wiping away a tear or making a bad face during the Q&A after drooling over him for 95 minutes. Tight shirts do a body good. Or is it milk? Meh.

From start to finish Cole was warm and runny and universably relatable to anyone who grew up in a small town. Soon to be a rainy day movie in my DVD collection, I pray for a wider release and hope you give this small privately funded and local film a chance, because it’s a gooder.

Homorazzi Interview with Cole Producers

Interview with Richard de Clerk

  • Yashar

    I heard from a friend that Richard is planning to announce that he is actually gay. That, and I saw him kissing a man at a club the other night, but he could be preparing for a role…

  • YasharY

    Whoever freaking wrote this is a scumbag… I ve been a friend of Richards for God knows how long and he s always told me about scumbags that are always around him, friends on his face and back stabbing scumbags behind him, but never believed it until i see someone use my name to make him look bad .. either way, this is not a funny joke, and shame on whoever wrote this crap about Richard, one of the nicest and most talented people that I have had the pleasure of knowing ..
    Yashar Yousef

  • Nic O.

    Well you always know you’ve made it when the gay rumours start Yashar. And although having something untrue said about you is hurtful and pointless, I do hope you’re so passionately calling someone a scumbag for stealing your name and not for calling someone gay (even if untrue). That would be offensive to a lot more people than just Richard.

  • Jesse

    Richard, we welcome you to the gay community! I wish more actors didn’t wait until they were famous to come out. Yashar we welcome you as well.

  • brandon l.

    What a hunk. I was wondering if he was gay or not. Congrats Richard. Does anyone have his contact info so I can invite him to a few events?

  • charles lou

    I would help him practice his make out scenes any day of the year! Now I have something to look forward too 🙂 Oh and Yashar, I’ve got a special treat for you 😉

  • chloe

    Yashar, do you mean “friends on his face” as a sexual innuendo?

  • Gerry

    I knew he was gay!! There was something about that lisp on that sexy man. Does anyone have his agents phone number or email? I have a calendar we do every year with up and comer celebrities in the gay community. I wonder if he’ll go commando for us…

  • Nic

    I still feel like NO ONE actually said he was gay. LOL. ???

  • Dennis L.

    Well, could Homorazzi do another interview with him?

  • Anonymous Lover

    Richard de Klerk, you’d be Vancouver’s sexiest homo!