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Year: 2005
UK: Soda Pictures
Cast: Caroline Dhavernas, Craig Ferguson, Anna Friel, Kevin Pollak, Wendy Crewson, Peter Keleghan, Kristen Holden-Ried, Tom Barnett, Catherine Fitch, Janet-Laine Green, Krista Bridges, Normand Daneau, Damir Andrei, Pierre Collin, Daniele Lorain
Director: Gary Yates
Country: Canada
UK: 90 mins
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong language, and moderate nudity and sex references
UK Release Date: 11 November 2005


NIAGARA MOTEL tells the story of eight people, each struggling with a personal crisis, who cross paths at a motel in the honeymoon town of Niagara Falls.

Niagara Falls is a romantic destination for newlyweds and a symbol of beginnings, promise and potential. Not this Niagara Falls. In NIAGARA MOTEL, tragedy waltzes with comedy in an intense dance of life. NIAGARA MOTEL is about people who are at the falls for other reasons than tourism. They are all, for various reasons, in personal crisis and at the end of their tether.

One of them is Loretta Bourgogne (played by Caroline Dhavernas), the young, sexy and pregnant waitress at the Motel's diner. She has her hands full with people who all want something from her. There's Dave (Tom Barnett), the underachieving stapler salesman who is dating Loretta to impress his boss. There's Michael (Kevin Pollak), the small-time hustler who wants to exploit Loretta's "special quality" in the world of adult porn videos. And there's Gilles (Normand Daneau), the father of Loretta's unborn baby, who wants her back home in Quebec. Gilles is the best friend of Loretta's dead husband, Stephane, who was eaten by a bear.

Staying in one of the rooms at the Motel is Denise (Anna Friel), a recovering drug addict, and her husband R.J. (Kris Holden-Ried), an ex-con who mended his life in prison. The couple is desperately trying to regain custody of their baby from social services. They manage to completely alienate themselves from social worker Helen Mackie (Janet-Laine Green), the person who holds their fate in her hands, when Denise, whose raw desperation to get her child back bizarre and surreal chain of events including burying Helen alive (believing she is dead).

In another room are Henry (Peter Keleghan) and Lily (Wendy Crewson), a middle-class couple in a marriage that is precariously on the edge of collapse. Their story is about another kind of failure entirely; the sour unhappiness of being middle aged and not amounting to much. Henry, a former corporate manager, is out of a job and is looking for one in Niagara Falls. Lily is bitterly unhappy because she's used to so much more - and now they're on the verge of bankruptcy. Henry tries in vain to find gainful employment but can't stomach the humiliating job interviews he knows are beneath him. He feels so degraded that he picks fights and even contemplates suicide. Knowing that some money has to come from somewhere, Lily makes friends with Sandy (Krista Bridges), a prostitute who works out of the Motel. Lily figures that if Sandy can make so much money, why can't she?

Phillie Phillips (Craig Ferguson), the Motel's woeful, drunken janitor, is a ghost of a man. Like a Greek chorus, Phillie lurches around the lives of the three sets of characters, all the while moving toward his own epiphany, a fall over Niagara Falls.

The owners of the Motel and restaurant are Boris (Damir Andrei) and his daughter Sophie (Catherine Fitch), immigrants from Serbia. Boris, a loudmouth, yells at his staff and at his customers. Kind-hearted Sophie meddles in the lives of others, especially Loretta's whom she is desperate to help.

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