119 minutes – Drama
Release date: May 17, 1985
Distributor: 20th Century Fox
Based on Mordecai Richler’s 1980 book and adapted by him for the screen, the story we are told takes place over four decades. As it begins we are in the “now” part of the story and we learn that Joshua Shapiro’s (James Woods) world has collapsed around him. His career as a bestselling author and television celebrity is in danger of being ruined when he is implicated in a scandal because of a supposed homosexual affair with an English writer; his best friend has died; and his wife has left him. Now, living with his father (Alan Arkin), he spends a day reviewing the events of his life, which is the “then” part of the movie told in flashbacks to earlier, happier times. Joshua was once a young street-smart boy growing up in Montreal. His father leaves home because of his bootlegging activities and his mother performs a striptease for his adolescent male friends at his Bar Mitzvah. Later, when he grows up, he writes a book about the Spanish Civil War, falls in love with a married woman, Pauline (Garbrielle Lazure), and steals her away from her husband. Back home in Montreal their relationship falls apart when he joins the fashionable country club set of her childhood. When her playboy brother committs suicide, she retreats to a mental institution and Joshua is left trying to piece together the meaning of his life then and now. It won five Genie Awards, including Best Supporting Actor (Arkin) and Best Supporting Actress (Linda Sorensen).
The image above was scanned from a set of 8 lobby cards for Joshua Then and Now in the Northernstars Collection.