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An addictions counsellor on the brink gains a new perspective on her own demons, in the feature debut from writer-director Molly McGlynn.
Share Her Journey Ambassador Molly McGlynn’s acclaimed 2017 feature debut begins with a surprise that is both ironic and slyly funny: an addictions counsellor is arrested for DUI. But Mary Goes Round is more artful character study than easy laughs. McGlynn’s smart script provides us with an array of compelling characters, all plagued by unique demons.
Mary (Aya Cash) has not led a charmed existence. Her family split up when she was a child and, after her mother died, she was left alone, uninterested in reconnecting with her father, Walt (John Ralston), or her younger sister Robyn (Sara Waisglass). A string of heartbreaks has fuelled Mary’s alcoholism, which she’s now having a hard time hiding. After a particularly disastrous night — complete with the drunk-driving charge — Mary accepts her father’s entreaty to visit. There, she realizes others might have even bigger problems than she does.
At the centre of McGlynn’s film is Cash’s textured, touching performance as a woman-child anxiously fighting pain that she doesn’t understand and has a tough time acknowledging. Tooling around town on a kid’s bike, she is a complicated emblem of resilience wobbling towards the realization that empathy might actually be a way to escape one’s own trauma.
Official Selection, 2017 Toronto International Film Festival
Content advisories: sexually suggestive scenes, coarse language