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91. The Twentieth Century; movie review

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Title : 91. The Twentieth Century; movie review
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Cert TBA
90 mins
BBFC advice: TBA

I can't say I know much about Canadian politics but I think it would be a safe bet that its history isn't quite a crazy as this.
Matthew Rankin's The Twentieth Century is impossible to categorise because it is so utterly bizarre.
Its chief character, the three-time Candian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King, is painted as a whimpering but politically ambitious, obsessive foot fetishist.
It also portrays his father as downtrodden and constantly wearing a maid's outfit and his mother as being a rather ugly transgender man with blonde ringlets.
This is just the beginning of surrealism which is akin to how I imagine an LSD trip to be.
Dan Beirne plays a young King who finds himself vying for the Prime Minister's post against Bert Harper (Mikhaïl Ahooja) and Arthur Meighan (Brent Skagford).
Curiously, in real life, Harper did not seek major political office and, in fact, was such a close friend of King that the latter wrote a book about him. Meighan was King's rival as the movie suggests.
I digress.
To fight out for the Prime Minister's job, the trio are involved in an It's A Knockout-style contest which includes ribbon-cutting and seal-clubbing.
This film seems to take its lead from Monty Python's Terry Gilliam but stretches its humour way too thin.
For example, the foot fetish would have been a fun throwaway but is overused to the point that it becomes grotesque.
Indeed, as with most of the movie's wacky tangents, I just couldn't see the point.
Was I even meant to? Who knows?
Or perhaps I needed to be Canadian to understand it. Either way, The Twentieth Century just went straight over my head.

Reasons to watch: It must be the craziest film of the year
Reasons to avoid: Makes no obvious sense at all

Laughs: None
Jumps: None
Vomit: Yes
Nudity: None
Overall rating: 2/10

Did you know? 
A survey of scholars in 1997 by Maclean's magazine ranked King first among all Canada's prime ministers, ahead of Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir Wilfrid Laurier. As historian Jack Granatstein notes: "The scholars expressed little admiration for King the man but offered unbounded admiration for his political skills and attention to Canadian unity."

The final word. Matthew Rankin: "It began with the diary of Mackenzie King. I read it as a university student and I was really affected by it. I felt personally connected to his most extreme outpourings. I was really amazed by how maudlin, how hypersensitive and confused and bewildered and panic-stricken the diary was. It reminded me of my own! I felt this connection to this very vulnerable, very private space. "

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