Return to tiff.’s home page

Film Description

Film Description


The Husband

The latest from Canadian maverick Bruce McDonald (Trigger), The Husband is a fresh, unique and gutsy black comedy about impotent male rage and the limits of compassion. Henry, the hero of McDonald’s film, is having a really bad year. His wife, Alyssa, a former teacher, is in jail for sleeping with a 14-year-old student, forcing Henry to raise their infant son alone. He loathes his ad agency job—and his co-workers even more. Moreover, the burden of single parenting has essentially cut him off from his friends and left him to stew. As Alyssa’s release looms, Henry finds it increasingly difficult to contain himself.
The Husband is defiantly unpredictable. We’re never quite sure where the film is headed, but we know there’s a strong chance it isn’t someplace good. Yet we watch, transfixed, as Henry approaches an undefined point of no return—primarily because it’s hard not to empathize with him on some level, but also because of the astonishing performance of co-writer and star Maxwell McCabe-Lokos (Lars and the Real Girl). Hunched over, always infuriated and in a rush, Henry is part golem and part speed freak, furiously trying to escape his own anger. McCabe-Lokos is aided by Sarah Allen (On the Road) as the baffling yet sympathetic Alyssa; noted German actor August Diehl (Inglourious Basterds) as Henry’s lone remaining friend; and the iconic Stephen McHattie (Pontypool, A History of Violence) as Alyssa’s understanding father. Keeping all of these elements under control is McDonald, who turns in his most subtle piece of direction to date.

With its sly humor and increasingly frenzied characters, The Husband borrows elements of Italian sex comedies from the 1960s while taking aim at more serious subjects. Guilt may be—as Susan Sontag once suggested—the most useless, unproductive emotion, but chances are that jealousy, leavened with macho rage, comes a close second.


"Bruce McDonald’s film nimbly steps between black comedy and psychological disaster." - John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter

Director: Bruce McDonald
Cast: Maxwell McCabe-Lokos, Sarah Allen, Dylan Authors
Year: 2013
Runtime: 80 minutes
Country: Canada
Language: English
Distributor: Agency 71

Ratings: ON NR / BC NR / AB NR / SK NR / MB NR / QC NR / Maritmes NR


Date Circuit Centre Location
This film has no active screening dates.
Programmers Login