101 minutes – Comedy-Drama
Festival release date: September 12, 1993 (TIFF)
Canadian Distributor: Seville Pictures
The Lotus Eaters is set in 1964 in a small town on Galiano Island off the coast of British Columbia. Here we meet Hal Kingswood, played by R.H. Thomson, in a performance that brought him a Genie nomination. Hal, the principal of a small school, is more than a bit old-fashioned for the times. It might be the 1960s elsewhere, but here Hal refuses to let his teenaged daughter, Cleo, go to a concert alone with her boyfriend. Meanwhile, his youngest daughter, Zoe, who narrates a great deal of the story, seems to be bursting with romantic ideas and idealistic notions that are perfect for the times. When a teacher at Hal`s school dies suddenly, she is replaced by Anne-Marie Andrews, a free-spirited teacher from Québec who brings magic, love and a pair of pigs into the lives of the quiet people in this far too quiet community. But it doesn’t stay quiet for long. As time passes, Zoe discovers that her father has entered into an affair with this new teacher. And there is even more trouble brewing in the Kingswood household. As the family gathers to celebrate Christmas, it quickly becomes apparant that this may be their last such holiday together. In addition to her father`s infidelity, we learn that Cleo is pregnant and has no interest in getting married. And young Zoe`s idealism is challenged when she is tempted to make a grab for power within the family.
Nominated for 16 Genie Awards, The Lotus Eaters won 5 including Best Actress and Best Screenplay.