Ubisoft presents...

Montreal Premiere
star WINNER: Audience Award; Best Actor, SACRAMENTO FILM FESTIVAL

2006 | 82 min | video
English language

none click here to watch the trailer

Screening Times

July 12th, 2007
4:45 pm
J.A. De Seve

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Sharp writing, a deft touch behind the camera and a stunning performance by lead actor Michael Rapaport make Special a remarkably fresh and unique take on the superhero genre. Perennial supporting man Rapaport steps into a rare lead role as Les, a solitary parking enforcement officer who volunteers for an experimental anti-depression drug trial. The drug, marketed under the brand name of Special, is designed to block the brain chemicals that trigger feelings of self-doubt -- but it does far more than that for Les. Shortly after he begins taking it, he gains the ability to fly; he becomes telepathic; he can walk through walls. A lifelong comic book fan, Les takes this as a sign that he is called to life as a superhero, and quits his job to focus purely on performing heroic acts. But it isn't long before two strange men in suits and a limo begin following Les wherever he goes, and the use of his powers seems to exact a physical toll.

Special is at once an incredibly realistic take on the super hero genre, a character study of a man descending into madness, and a blacker-than-pitch dark comedy shot through with just the faintest glimmer of hope. Directors Jeremy Passmore and Hal Haberman show remarkable skill both behind the camera and with their script. Clever without being cute about it, inventive while remaining rooted in reality, Special works so incredibly well because it is a film that never, absolutely never, loses sight of the real man at its heart. While the end result dips into the fantastical, the directors built the story around their own experiences with anti-depressants and Les’ experiences ring remarkably true as a result. When effects are put into play, they remain subtle and understated -- Haberman and Passmore choose instead to leave the focus on Rapaport’s remarkable performance.

—Todd Brown

“Rapaport is sensationally believable in his first lead role… Special is a subtly beautiful warning that chemical straitjackets may damage your health” – Adam Ford, NERVE

“Develops a genuine sense of pathos to go along with the many choice scenes of absurdist comedy” – Jason Alexander, EYE WEEKLY






Director: Hal Haberman, Jeremy Passmore
Screenplay: Hal Haberman, Jeremy Passmore
Cast: Michael Rapaport Josh Peck Paul Blackthorne Robert Baker Alexandra Holden
Producers: Frank Mele, Edward Parks
Distributor: VVS

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