The Uncles, 2000, 2 ½ stars

A funky, uncular opus

From The Orlando Weekly, 2001

Two brothers plot to find a man to impregnate their mentally ill sister so she will have a baby of her own and stop kidnapping other women’s children. Although it sounds like an episode from a daytime talk show, The Uncles is actually a touching, slightly askew, if disjointed, story of sibling relationships, marital infidelity and mental illness.

Creator Jim Allodi uses a documentary-style camera to create a unique comedy/drama of betrayal and alienation from society. John (Chris Owens) and Marco (Kelly Harms) are the two brothers constantly saving Celia (Tara Rosling) from the police following her kidnapping expeditions. Thirty years old, still living at home and shunned by the world, all Celia knows is that she wants a baby of her own, and nothing will stop her in her quest. Meanwhile, John has complications of his own, as he is sleeping with the wife of his employer’s son. So the impregnation plot is hatched.

Sagging in the middle and struggling to find its direction, the twists and turns in the story and the touching performance of Rosling keep the film on its feet. Allodi displays deeply emotional moments in a quiet, contemplative manner, with enough humor to keep the mood light. Though not a must-see at this year’s Florida Film Festival, this independent Canadian project is a quirky, original film with a charm all its own.