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Originally published Thursday, June 12, 2014 at 3:05 PM

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‘The Grand Seduction’: a healthy dose of charm, mischief

A 3.5-star movie review of “The Grand Seduction,” Don McKellar’s whimsical, irresistible comedy about small-town Canadian attempts to snag a village doctor.


Special to The Seattle Times

Movie Review ★★★½  

‘The Grand Seduction,’ with Brendan Gleeson, Taylor Kitsch, Gordon Pinsent. Directed by Don McKellar, from a screenplay by Michael Dowse and Ken Scott. 115 minutes. Rated PG-13 for some suggestive material and drug references. Guild 45th.

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A small-town Canadian comedy that’s so intricately plotted and unlikely that it verges on the exotic, “The Grand Seduction” is nevertheless a hoot.

Directed by Don McKellar, who made one of the best end-of-the-world movies, “Last Night,” it benefits from a simple, whimsical premise: A harbor village is in such desperate financial shape that its leaders will play almost any game to snag their own doctor, required to gain a lucrative business contract.

It’s the complications that may raise an eyebrow or two: elaborately faked cricket games, phony fishing expeditions, bold blackmail at Customs, electronic eavesdropping on a National Security Agency scale, geezer jokes that rely on something like sign language to fly.

Often suggesting the rural charm of a 21st-century “Local Hero,” the movie is a showcase for gifted comics, including Brendan Gleeson as the town’s chief mischief-maker; Gordon Pinsent as a whisker-covered malcontent; and the self-deprecating hunk Taylor Kitsch, who could be branded for life (in a nice way) with a line like “No one has cheekbones like that.”

John Hartl: johnhartl@yahoo.com



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