John A.: Birth of a Country

Watch John A.: Birth of a Country

  • 2011
  • 1 hr 31 min
  • 7.5  (135)

John A.: Birth of a Country is an epic historical drama from 2011 that takes us back to the formative years of Canada as a nation. This compelling film tells the story of Sir John A. Macdonald, the country's first prime minister and one of its most influential figures. From his early days as a lawyer in Kingston, Ontario to the heights of political power in Ottawa, John A. Macdonald's journey is one of determination, charisma, and a fierce love for Canada.

The film opens with Macdonald as a young man (played by Shawn Doyle) who is trying to make a name for himself as a lawyer. He is a hardworking and ambitious young man who is determined to succeed, despite the obstacles that stand in his way. As the years go by, he becomes increasingly involved in politics and eventually rises to become the leader of the newly formed Conservative Party.

One of the most striking aspects of John A.: Birth of a Country is the way it captures the tumultuous political landscape of 19th-century Canada. This was a time of great change and upheaval, as the country struggled to define itself in the wake of the British North America Act. Macdonald was at the forefront of this movement, working tirelessly to unite the disparate regions of Canada into a single, powerful nation.

At the heart of the film is Macdonald's relationship with his family, particularly his wife Agnes (played by Kate Nelligan) and their son Hugh (played by Trent McMullen). Through their eyes, we see Macdonald as a man who is both driven and vulnerable, struggling to balance his political ambitions with his love for his family. The scenes between Macdonald and Agnes are particularly powerful, as we see the toll that his career takes on their relationship over the years.

The film is beautifully shot, with sweeping vistas of the Canadian wilderness and stunning recreations of period architecture and clothing. The attention to detail is impressive, and the film feels truly immersive, transporting us back to a time when Canada was on the brink of becoming a truly great nation.

The cast is uniformly excellent, with Shawn Doyle delivering a standout performance as Macdonald. He captures the complexity of the man, from his quick wit and charm to his struggles with alcoholism and depression. Peter Outerbridge is also superb as George-ìČtienne Cartier, Macdonald's political ally and friend. His performance is nuanced and nuanced, capturing the complexity of a man who is both a patriot and a pragmatist.

David La Haye is also excellent as Louis Riel, the Métis leader who was at the forefront of the Red River Rebellion. His scenes with Macdonald are some of the film's most electrifying, as we see the two men grapple with the question of what it means to be Canadian.

Overall, John A.: Birth of a Country is a compelling and deeply moving historical drama that offers a fresh perspective on a pivotal moment in Canadian history. It's a must-watch for anyone interested in Canadian politics or history, and a testament to the vision and ambition of one of the country's greatest leaders.

John A.: Birth of a Country
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  • Release Date
  • Runtime
    1 hr 31 min
  • IMDB Rating
    7.5  (135)