Vernon Film Society Director: Ken Scott
Cast: Patrick Huard, Julie LeBreton, Antoine Bertrand
Run Time: 109 minutes
Country: Canada
Year: 2011
Language: French with English Subtitles
Rating: 14A (Sexually suggestive scene)

A Gala Presentation at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival®, and runnerup for the Cadillac People’s Choice Award, Starbuck is the sophomore feature from writer-director Ken Scott (Seducing Doctor Lewis, The Rocket). Inspired by the true story of a legendary bull who fathered hundreds of thousands of offspring through artificial insemination, Scott’s funny and endearing Quebecois comedy is an extraordinary adaptation. David Wozniak (Patrick Huard, Funkytown,Bon Cop, Bad Cop) is a train wreck of a middle-aged man. When he’s not disappointing his brothers at his family-owned butcher shop or flaking out on his pregnant girlfriend Valérie (Julie Le Breton), he’s getting his head dunked into a bathtub full of water by thugs to whom he owes an obscene amount of money.

David’s loser-ish existence is upended when a lawyer informs him that he’s fathered no less than 533 children via his one and only skill: donating sperm. He’s also notified that over a hundred of his now young-adult offspring are taking legal action against the sperm-donor clinic to reveal the true identity of the infamous and anonymous “Starbuck”. With the help of his blundering lawyer pal (Antoine Bertrand), David sets out to keep his identity under wraps. However, much to his friend’s chagrin, he begins to meet up with and even aid his children without letting them in on who he really is.

What initially serves as a slapstick set-up makes a surprising transition into dramatic territory when David begins to interact with his extremely diverse children. And thanks to his newfound paternal status, David’s relationship with his own father takes an unexpectedly tender turn. With a plot as outlandish as this, Starbuck could easily be remade as a broader Hollywood comedy, but duplicating its rich and unique appeal won’t come easy.

"Slapstick and storytelling chutzpah make a sweet mix." - Stephen Cole, The Globe and Mail


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