Screened as part of NZIFF 2006
Whole New Thing is an oddball gem, beautifully acted from a quick-witted script delicately attuned to its misfit protagonists. Don, a gifted English teacher, is a closeted gay with a taste for anonymous sex. 13-year-old Emerson has been home-schooled in rural Nova Scotia by his counter-cultural parents, a ramrod Greenie dad and a mother whose earthy vivacity is tinged with restlessness. He’s written a fantasy novel to rival Tolkien but he’s not so hot at maths. Obliged to submit to the contemptible public school where ‘those who can’t, teach’, he zeroes in on the one person who might be his intellectual equal. A 13-year-old boy with a crush on him is exactly what this particular teacher does not need. Applying his parents’ liberal attitudes to sexuality and casual nudity, Emerson takes To Sir, With Love to dire lengths, but there’s wisdom and grace in the way writer/director Amnon Buchbinder and writer/actor Daniel McIvor apply the brakes to his premature acceleration into adulthood.
“Subtle and consistently surprising... Here’s a coming-of-age film that could become a Canadian classic.” — Now