Molly Parker and the late Tracy Wright are brilliant in Bruce McDonald's sublime two-hander

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

Looking for more?

Get the Best of Maclean's sent straight to your inbox. Sign up for news, commentary and analysis.