Aurora Borealis

| September 22, 2006

Every year, a few low-budget independent films have a good story, are shot well, and and contain performances well worth seeing. This year, Aurora Borealis is one of them.
Shot in Minneapolis, it is the story of 25-year-old Duncan Shorter, who is a rolling stone in the river of life. He spends his time hanging out with friends, floating from one menial job to another, and waiting for that one thing that will propel him to what he is supposed to do.
The fact that Joshua Jackson plays the role of Duncan makes me want to title the movie Dawson’s Creek: Eight Years After. But let’s let that go for now.
While visiting his grandparents in their retirement apartment complex, Duncan sees a flyer offering a job in the building as a handyman. Motivated by the fact that his downward sliding grandfather is in need of lots of extra attention–and that his home healthcare provider (Juliette Lewis as Kate) is way hot, Duncan takes the job. From there, we see a relationship blossom between Duncan and Kate and Duncan and his grandfather (played by Donald Sutherland). The third leg of the triangle is closed as Sutherland gets the two of them together.
The thing that Duncan and Kate have most in common is that they are both rolling stones. Kate is different in that her rolling takes her to city after city. She is a healthcare provider, so there is always a good job–so she can follow the winds of fate. Duncan’s stone just rolls around the Twin Cities.
Since all good love stories follow the Boy Gets Girl, Boy Loses Girl, Boy Gets Girl Back equation, I will let you know that something might happen again between those components in the equation. See the movie to find out.
Jackson does a fine job as Duncan. He is feeling and honest, and you can see he is a true and loyal friend. If only he had not spent six years playing Pacey on Dawson’s Creek, I would have been amazed at how well he fell into the character. Juliette Lewis is, as always, a fine actress and is a joy to watch in this film. Sutherland and Louise Fletcher (One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest) are the perfect “been together forever and 10 days” couple and make you wish they were your grandparents.
For those who have dysfunctional families or enjoy watching them as they interact, I highly suggest the Thanksgiving sequence as one never to be missed. It is priceless.
Like the Northern Lights that Sutherland is forever saying he can see from his balcony (but everyone else finds elusive), you are going to have to hunt for Aurora if you want to see it in a theater. But this is one visual feast that is well worth the hunt.

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