Shortly after actress Tracy Wright was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Toronto’s film community swung into action to create a starring role for one of Canada’s most under-appreciated and best-loved actresses. But the result is no act of charity: Trigger is superb. Molly Parker and Wright co-star as Kat and Vic, former rockers who are reunited a dozen years after the breakup of their band Trigger. They’ve gone their separate ways: Kat is the pretentious L.A. showbiz type, Wright the acerbic bohemian. Aside from some cameos, Trigger unfolds as a two-hander, a feast of wall-to-wall dialogue along the lines of My Dinner With Andre. But while it begins in a restaurant, the conversation goes on the move as the women head into the night, to a reunion concert, an after party, a park bench. The dialogue, brilliantly crafted by Daniel McIvor, crackles with recrimination, rivalry, competing addictions and blunt inquiry into the Big Questions. Bruce McDonald, who’s proving to be a master at capturing spontaneous moments (This Movie is Broken) directs with an elegant, unobtrusive eye, as Tracy and Parker deliver a master class in acting via luxurious stretches of unbroken dialogue. Witty, moving and immensely satisfying, Trigger is a real gem, and far better than a movie so quickly slapped together has any right to be. It says a lot about what can be accomplished when filmmaking is fired with urgent devotion to a common purpose.
Trigger premieres at TIFF Sept. 12 with an additional screening Sept. 18