Goliath Image


By Bradley Gibson | February 6, 2023

The drama Goliath agonizingly revisits the idea that you cannot go home again. Canadian director/writer Luke Villemaire brings the pain when a young woman gets a fateful call at work. That lady is Robin Walker (Jessica Sipos), who has a promising career as a reporter in the big city. She gets called back to the small town she left six years ago for her father’s funeral. Upon returning, all the reasons Robin left come immediately back to the surface. Robin must deal with the people and situations she’s avoided while uncovering family secrets.

Robin’s brother, Garrett (Jon Cor), is there with his boyfriend, Parker (Daniel Maslany), and they appear to be the only sane couple in the middle of the firestorm. She tracks down her sister Violet (Michelle Mylett), only to learn that she’s left her job at the Marina to become a stripper. Robin’s mother, Diane (Andrea Roth), seems to be holding herself together well, considering the circumstances, until a stranger named Ellie (Krista Bridges) comes to see Robin. When Diane lashes out at Ellie and insists that she leave, it’s clear there’s an issue between them, but explains nothing and demands that Robin stay away from Ellie.

As Robin catches up with her hometown, we learn that when her father was diagnosed with a terminal illness, both she and Garrett left home to pursue their careers, leaving Violet and Diane to be caretakers for years without support. The family members left behind are understandably bitter, but Robin does what she can to atone. She’s faced with grief over her father’s death, compounded by the hurt she’s inflicted and suffered from the rest of the family. The film takes us on her journey of finding a way to start healing.

Robin must deal with the people and situations she’s avoided while uncovering family secrets.”

Having a character return to a place after being away for some time is a convenient way to bring the audience up to speed without resorting to endlessly verbose exposition. In the case of Goliath, it also turns up the tension as Robin left when she was needed most. The story would be more interesting if Villemaire had explored more deeply why she left. That said, the drama plays out a moment in life that most people either are or will be acquainted with. As such, no matter the familiar beats, the emotions are real.

Villemaire’s film would feel like a retread of the familiar prodigal child trope that pops up more often than it should if not for the strength of the performances. Sipos inhabits Robin artfully. In fact, all the roles are played with raw authenticity. Also, the cinematography and music production values are high, and the lighting stands out. There are many beautiful shots of the landscape and the water.

The Walkers find that change is always unsettling, and comparing life and people now to how they used to be can bring bitter realizations. Diane is happy to see Robin but angry that she left. Robin was done with the family when she left and is twice as done coming back after she sees that all that she fled from (and more) must still be resolved. Perhaps, as T.S. Eliot suggested, we see things more clearly once we have grown and changed. “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” You can’t go home again, and Goliath will help you understand what happens when you try.

Goliath (2022)

Directed and Written: Luke Villemaire

Starring: Jessica Sipos, Michelle Mylett, Andrea Roth, Krista Bridges, etc.

Movie score: 7/10

Goliath Image

"…Sipos inhabits Robin artfully."

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  1. Randy Femrite says:

    I liked it.

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