what i'm watching: one week, my favourite movie of my 2009-10 season

In my annual movie ratings post, I wrote that my favourite movie of our last Movie Season was "One Week," a Canadian film written and directed by Michael McGowan.

The IMDB listing is here and you can watch the trailer here.

The plot is simple; I can relate it without spoilers. A young man, about to be married, learns that he has a very aggressive, usually fatal form of cancer. On a whim, he buys a vintage motorcycle and takes off from his home in Toronto, heading west through Canada.As he travels across Canada, you don't know if he will break off his engagement, or return to Toronto for treatment, or maybe drive west and never return.

"One Week" is about the ticking clock of our lives. The randomness of human connection. The existential sadness underlying a conscious life, in which death is always implicit.

Ben, played perfectly by Joshua Jackson, hears his own clock ticking louder than most of us usually do, so his conflicts are suddenly thrown into high relief. But Ben's conflict lurks in all of us, especially if we lucky enough to age. How can we do the things we want to do - how can we live the life we dream of - before our time runs out?

"One Week" is also about the lure of the road. The urge to take off, to run away, to escape, in conflict with the need for comfort, stability and domesticity. This really hit home. My wanderlust versus my life.

And "One Week" is also about the magnificent natural beauty, and quirky comedy, that is Canada. Canada is really the co-star of the movie. On a wisp of a budget, the cast and crew of set out by bus, in search of Canada. The characters Ben meets on his trip were cast along the way, so they were able to travel lighter and more flexibly. They found no shortage of beauty and wonder and amusement. The results are stunning.

Seeing this movie revived my desire to drive from Toronto to the west coast - the longer, all-Canadian route. We're talking about doing it when Tala is our only dog, so I'm in no rush. But I'm going to make it a priority.

I suspect that if you see "One Week" because of this post, you will say, "I liked it, but not as much as you." This movie spoke to me in a very special way.

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