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The late Gordon Pinsent wrote and directed, as well as stars in, this forgotten gem of Canadian filmmaking, based on his own novel. The year is 1962 and the setting is a pretty coastal town in Newfoundland, Cop Cove, named not for the police but for the copper which is the community’s livelihood. John has worked his entire life in the mine, and so has almost every other fella he knows. But the mine’s played out, and the authorities would have the townsfolk relocate. John though, he has his own ideas…

Pinsent – who passed in February at the age of 92 – was an icon of Canadian film, with over 150 movie and TV roles to his name. Among them, The RowdymanThe Grand Seduction, and Away from Her. Something of a follow up to RowdymanJohn and the Missus was a labour of love for Pinsent, who was of course from Newfoundland himself, and who based on the story on a real relocation programme. He spent ten years trying to get the film made, turning his screenplay into a novel, a radio play, a stage play and then finally the movie. It’s a rich, evocative character piece, nostalgia bumping up against eccentric comedy, but with deep seams of pathos. And the final ten minutes are a genuinely cinematic coup de grace, once seen never forgotten.

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