Review – Extra Ordinary (2019): Fantasia International Film Festival!

by Vincent Leblanc

My second film on Day 13 of the Fantasia International Film Festival was the Canadian Premiere of the supernatural comedy Extra Ordinary, a co-production between Ireland and Belgium. The film had its World Premiere at SXSW back in February. It then played at the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival in April where it won the Silver Raven in the International Competition section. It also played at the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival in early July and was awarded the H.R. Giger “Narcisse” Award for Best Film in the International Competition section and also received the Audience Award. It played in several other festivals before landing in Montreal.  

The film was written and directed by Mike Ahern and Enda Loughman, their first feature film. It stars Irish comedian Maeve Higgins (her first starring role in a feature film), Barry Ward, Claudia O’Doherty, Risteárd Cooper and Will Forte.

The film came to life thanks in part to the festival’s own Frontières International Co-Production Market, which “connects North America and Europe with a specific focus on genre film”. Held every summer since 2012 during one weekend of the festival, the market helps writers and directors meet producers and distributors in hopes of making a movie come to life. For example, the excellent science-fiction/adventure/horror/comedy film Turbo Kid was a product of the very first edition of Frontières. The market also has partnerships with the Brussels International Fantastic Film Festival in Belgium and the Marché du Film in Cannes. The project of Extra Ordinary was presented back in 2014.

The host for the festival welcomed actress Maeve Higgins to the stage. She said she was happy and honored to be there and thanked the host for sending her an invitation. She hoped we would love the film and that she’d come back after the screening for a Q&A.

If you didn’t know about Extra Ordinary already, check out this synopsis (copied from the Fantasia website):

 

“Lonely thirty something Rose is a driving instructor in a rural Irish town. It’s not an especially rewarding gig, but it’s all she can do to get away from her true calling — that of a paranormal “sensitive”, daughter of a famous departed TV medium. She’s become accustomed to seeing spiritual activity that others are blessedly oblivious to, and she’s quite happy to keep it private. This becomes rather difficult when past-his-prime rock star Christian Winter comes to town, looking for a sacrificial victim to renew his Satanic pact for one hell of a come-back album. A whole lot of supernatural craziness is about to put Rose to the test.”

Extra Ordinary was really, really fun. The story is interesting and mixes comedy, supernatural, and a little bit of romance. The film has all sorts of funny lines and sight gags that often hit the mark. The final confrontation is hilarious. 

I was completely unfamiliar with Maeve Higgins before this screening but I really enjoyed her performance. Will Forte is hilarious/ridiculous in his role of the rock star. The rest of the cast does a great job too.     

Extra Ordinary will apparently be released in Irish cinemas in September. It was announced in late June that Cranked Up Films acquired the North American distribution rights for a possible release in the fall. I hope you guys get to see it soon.  

I am giving Extra Ordinary a 4 out of 5 Hairpieces!

Here’s a trailer for the film that shows too much obviously. So, watch at your own risk: 

And here’s an interview with Maeve Higgins at Fantasia: 

#Fantasia2019 #FantasiaFest #ExtraOrdinary

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