Billy Bishop Goes To War (2011) - Rotten Tomatoes

Billy Bishop Goes To War (2011)

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Movie Info

One of Canada's most celebrated and enduring plays comes to the screen in this offbeat musical drama. Billy Bishop was born in 1894 in Owen Sound, Toronto; he was a loner with a sense of adventure and fascination with airplanes, and at the age of seventeen he enrolled at the Royal Military College of Canada. Bishop was an undistinguished student, but as a member of Canada's Royal Flying Corps he became a hero, shooting down 72 enemy planes during World War I and receiving more decorations than any of his peers. In 1978, John Gray and Eric Peterson debuted +Billy Bishop Goes To War, a compact but ambitious theater piece in which a pianist accompanied one actor who played Bishop as well as seventeen other characters. Director Barbara Willis-Sweete has filmed the play in a manner that honors its theatrical origins (and was fashioned after a successful 2009 revival at Toronto's Soulpepper Theater), as Peterson plays the elderly Bishop, imaging his life and times with mingled joy, sorrow and bitterness as he takes on the voices of the many people he's encountered in his life, while Gay at the piano interjects songs that help tell the story. Billy Bishop Goes To War received its world premiere at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival.

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Critic Reviews for Billy Bishop Goes To War

All Critics (2) | Top Critics (2)

Peterson's frantic, charismatic performance captures the giddy, hallucinatory velocity of war.

November 4, 2011 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Like a fine old single malt, the story and performances have acquired greater richness and depth...

November 3, 2011 | Rating: 3/4

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