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2 SECONDS

Canada, 1998 (MIFF 1999, International Panorama)

Director: Manon Briand

2 Seconds scooped the prize pool at this year's Montreal World Film Festival. Manon Briand's debut collected Best Director, Best First Feature and Best Canadian Film as judged by both the critics and public. An understated film with an extraordinarily simple premise: a mountain-bike racer, Laurie, is in the throes of a mid-life crisis; the title refers to the crucial moment of hesitation she experiences at the commencement of a race atop a Californian mountain. Laurie is then uncer­emoniously dumped from the racing team, begins to feel dreadfully insecure about her age and abilities and moves in with her nerdy, ultra-goofy brother Steff.

Bike maintenance in an out of the way repair shop leads to an unlikely friendship between Laurie and a crusty old Italian gent, Lorenzo. It is when Laurie takes a day job as a cycle courier that Briand shows her stuff, providing an excellent portrait of Gen-X courier culture set to a cool urban mix of jazz and left-field modern rock.

The wonderfully charming development of Laurie and Lorenzo's friendship is humourously punctuated by episodes detailing Steff's obsession with getting a girl­friend, Einstein's Theory of Relativity and coming up with a winning lottery number. All facets combine to substantiate the accolades this fabulous film has received.

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