If you don't like this, we can't be friends.
Although it has its amusing moments, in eneral the plot does not convince.
There is definitely an excellent idea hidden in the background of the film. Unfortunately, it's difficult to find it.
Worth seeing just to witness how winsome it is.
When I saw Gary Lewis playing in the movie I was almost certain that this film is promising a lot. However, I was wrong. Lets start with good things: Excellent acting and camera directing which proves that movie was an art work (not so) long time ago. Everything is so convincing, almost like real. However, film misses a real plot. Simple plot is an idea of a real grandmaster, but it needs developments of characters and/or interaction with another plots. The movie is way too slow for its genre and way too profiled for an art film. Attempt to make a good movie has been lost somewhere on the horizon of the promising film-making. My opinion is that this is a real pity, since most of the people in this film project seems to know their job pretty well.
"True North" is about a fisherman boat, transporting illegal Chinese immigrants from Belgium to Scotland, because they need the money in their desperate situation. This movie is about cruel reality. It is one of those movies, which reminds me, that I live a comfortable live. This movie keeps you mesmerized from the beginning to the end. Throughout the movie my thoughts were "Oh no, please don't let that happen, please not that...", although of course I knew it is unavoidable. Because that is, what the movie is about in the first place. Although there are some moments of relief, beware, the story is desperately unhappy. It leaves a lump in your throat. At the end, when the camera zooms out, a shiver went through my spine and I had tears in my eyes. "True North" accomplishes this not just by storytelling alone. It is perfectly executed. The actors performances are superb, the camera gives you the impression of being on the ship, in the storm, better than for example in "The Perfect Storm". It all feels so real. It is a great movie.
True North hits the ground running. It's never less than engrossing and the performances are uniformly excellent.What sounds like a derivative thriller: A crew of fishermen facing bankruptcy decide to smuggle Chinese immigrants from mainland Europe to Scotland, could easily have traded on clichés for it's effects. But writer/director Steve Hudson creates an all together more complex portrait of what essentially decent people will do in desperate circumstances.Martin Compton shows a maturity and stoicism in his performance.Peter Mullens character has the greatest arc; as an ex-con who lives his life at a superficial level to avoid engaging in anything deeply who has his humanity awakened by the plight of the immigrants stored in the belly of the boat.Gary Lewis quietly exudes the desperation of man whose working life is based around daily failure.Steven Robertson is excellent as the uptight cook from the Western Isles who is terrified of his own sexuality.But the real revelation for me was first time actress Angel Li whose facial expressions are pages of dialogue in themselves. My criticism of the film is not in the story itself but the state of the Scottish film industry with again, another Scottish story being shot predominantly in Ireland.In closing, I just hope True North gets the distribution deal that it deserves. It will probably be marketed as a thriller but it is so much more than this. Go see it.
For a movie that had a very simple storyline to it (Chinese immigrants go on a ship seeking a better life in northern Europe), I was amazed at a couple things when I saw this very engaging movie at the Toronto International Film Festival with the dynamic and fun director present:1) First, this story feels so very true. No sugar coating. No over-dramaticism. Nor clunky lines. It's a story with what are real characters just being themselves, in a fairly enduring and harsh environment.2) Then, while I was wondering why the movie was called True North, when I thought I had it figured out, the story's message struck even deeper. True North is the unwavering north. Not another form of north that shifts as the tides do. And making moral decisions -- if there is such a thing as a moral righteousness, was a topic, perhaps as I think of what's important to me, and what I would sacrifice in the name of money, my livelihood, or my own wants -- was a topic that just worked for me.3) And because the movie just came out and told a story -- I just felt -- WOW! What an awesome piece of work. And when the director talked about his passion for shooting on a ship when it needed to be on a ship, and how very real the scenes were because of that, I was even more impressed. The shots were vivacious, interesting, and captured the feeling of being on a ship. How a propos!So -- for an engaging movie, and a director's 5 years of sweat and tears using real life to inspire this story-telling, I think you will be so very engaged with this movie. Check it out!