Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 20, 2021

TURNING PAIGE

 

Year: 2001
Country: Canada
Run Time: 112 minutes

Set in the turbulent substrata of modern teenage suburbia, this tense domestic psychodrama offers a piquant rejoinder to "Harriet the Spy." Bright teenager Paige Fleming longs to be a writer, and, as so many other writers do (see BIG BAD LOVE, also in the CIFF), she uses versions of her own family and acquaintances, like her rejected suitor Jeff, in frequently surreal experiments at fiction. Sometimes she's struggling to comprehend the world around her, but other times she isn't above a little manipulation, for theatrical effect. Then, in a plot complication she herself could not envision, Paige's angry, estranged brother Trevor moves back under their widowed, ineffectual father's roof, after an absence of two years. Trevor left in police custody for assaulting Mr. Fleming, the aftermath of a shattering family tragedy with which Paige is still struggling to come to terms. Now the girl imputes suspicious, ulterior motives in Trevor's return. To make matters worse, clinging Jeff naively tries to use Trevor as a means to get back into Paige's good graces, while Paige's closest girlfriend develops an attraction to the prodigal brother. Perceiving a threat against her loved ones, Paige plans accordingly to protect against Trevor. But is she acting wisely, or does the budding author's overactive literary imagination have her misinterpreting the worst? Just because one is a natural-born storyteller doesn't mean that one knows the whole story. Or that a few ruthless edits can make a real-life drama tie up neatly in the final paragraph.

Screenplay
Robert Cuffley, Jason Long

Director
Robert Cuffley

Producer
Carolyn McMaster

Cinematography
Mark Dobrescu

Editing
Ken Berry

Principal Cast
Nicholas Campbell, Katherine Isabelle

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