In just two features — TIFF selections Tower (2012) and How Heavy This Hammer (2015) — Kazik Radwanski has emerged as one of the most distinctive young voices in Canadian cinema, with his refreshingly unadorned yet empathic portraits of alienated individuals struggling to keep it together. His latest and best film to date, Anne at 13,000 ft centres on a precarious period in the life of its eponymous Anne, played by an electric Deragh Campbell in one of the year's most staggering performances.
With her best friend Sarah (musician Dorothea Paas), 27-year-old Anne works at a Toronto daycare, where she needlessly bickers with colleagues and is often more interested in fantasizing with the children than in supervising them. For Sarah's bachelorette party, they go skydiving, and Anne seems completely in her element, floating above it all, a true departure from her strained, awkward professional and social interactions. A vivid portrait of volatility, Anne at 13,000 ft provides both clever metaphors and jostling temporal shifts to show the fine line between losing one's ground and wanting, waiting, for one's life to take off.