Midnight Madness: Stuck

As my friends are fond of saying, that is how you do that.

Tonight's Midnight Madness was the world premiere of Stuck, by Stuart Gordon. As soon as word got out among the Midnight Madness congnoscenti that Colin Geddes was bringing a movie to TIFF about a man stuck in the windshield of a young woman's car (based on a true story, no less), it became the dark horse ticket-to-have for this year's MM lineup - even as Mother of Tears, Diary of the Dead and tomorrow night's SUKIYAKI WESTERN DJANGO garnered more of the attention. Stuck gets cred because it just sounds so darn cool - and you want to see if the director can pull this premise off.

Oh boy, did he ever. Stuck is as rough around the edges as the proverbial piece of broken windshield glass, but Stuart Gordon does a terrific job of capitalizing on every cringe-inducing moment inherent to a story where a guy spends the back half of the film fighting for his life from within a busted-up car.

Mena Suvari plays the white trash dipshit who hits Stephen Rea in the middle of the night and then fails to do anything about it; while she goes about her day-to-day business (including a hysterical full-frontal sex scene that turns into a PTSD phantasmagoria, and an equally-hysterical frying pan fight with her boyfriend's naked mistress), the dude impaled on her windshield has to do his best to elicit aid from a startlingly apathetic public.

Badly wounded and pathetically shlubby, Rea really elevates the picture with his dedication, sense of fun, and willingness to show us the pain.

The entire cast (except, unfortunately, Rea) was in attendance at the Ryerson, including a shorn-haired, pixie-like Mena Suvari and a tremendously engaging Russell Hornsby - who got on the microphone before the show started and proclaimed, "It's midnight, I'm fucked up!" Clearly, the man understands the MM vibe.

Stuck re-screens Wednesday at 4:00 at the Scotiabank.

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