Empire“This film is bloody lovely…A joy from start to finish … The faded hope of LA is perfectly captured, as is a depth of sibling love and resentment, with excellent performances, big laughs and emotional truth.

Variety“…an original young filmmaking talent coming into his own.”

thr_logo“a poignant portrait of sibling rivalry and affection.”

la_weekly_logo“It’s a thinking man’s Judd Apatow flick … literate, amusing and unexpectedly moving.”

national_post4 OUT OF 5 STARS
“Matt Bissonnette is one of the very few Canadian writer-directors who can create genuine dialogue — speech that isn’t overly self-conscious, awkwardly sparse or dripping with too much metaphor. His characters are as real as it gets, and regardless of the plot, it’s always such a pleasure to join them on screen.”
“No, it’s not like Sideways; it’s a lot better, in fact.”

“…a road-trip buddy movie, minus all the road-trip buddy movie cliches. Quiet, hilarious, touching — and an amazing soundtrack to boot.”

gam_flag_leaf3 OUT OF 4 STARS

Watch Globe film critic Liam Lacey’s 60-second video review of “Passenger Side”.
“Simple and smart … The lead actors have their familiar, sibling banter down cold – dialogue that’s half-funny, half-bitter and designed mostly to kill time. Scott, in particular, shows himself to be one of the best young American actors going.”

gazette“The most enjoyable anglo-Canadian movie since One Week.”
“Exactly the kind of funny, smart, sad, insightful movie we should be making…”
“a brilliant film – smart, funny, a little disturbing and utterly original.”

“It’s like a Richard Linklater movie from the mid-1990s: very little happens, and that’s sort of the point. The conversation is engaging, the two leads snap instantly into the relaxed but guarded vibe of lifelong adversaries, and the script parcels out little bits of information as needed.”

eyeweeklyMuch fantastic dialogue ensues when the cassette-tape aesthetic of older brother Michael (Adam Scott) rubs up against the whims of his dubiously life-embracing former-junkie brother Tobey (Joel Bissonnette) as they drive from place to place through regular peoples’ LA (not one pass by Manns Chinese Theatre or the Disney/Gehry opera house). Carefully paced and, at times, cleverly self-conscious, the gentle unfolding of the brothers’ relationship via an urban road trip feels like Old Joy if it were set in downtown LA instead of the Pacific Northwest wilderness. Bonus points for the Cancon hockey talk, which is excellently paired with a Leonard Cohen song.

Articles / Interviews

indiewire_logoAmerica Unrolling Outside: “Passenger Side” Director Matthew Bissonnette (19 June 2009)

The IndependentWhatever happened to the great American film director? Pictures of promise: 10 young American moviemakers to watch (3 July 2009)

GlobeandMailIn the driver’s seat. (2 Sept 2009)

Adam Scott takes on Canuck road film (22 Sept 2009)

signalmagQ&A: Mac McCaughan (Superchunk/Portastatic) (31 March 2010)

msnlogoMac McCaughan catches ride on “Passenger Side” (5 April 2010)

playlist-logoSuperchunk’s Mac McCaughan Curates Soundtrack For Canadian Indie Film ‘Passenger Side’ (5 April 2010)

national_post“The Passenger’s indie filmmakers are backseat thrivers” (28 April 2010)

now_mag“On the road again: Matthew Bissonnette and actors take a freewheelin’ approach to movies” (29 April 2010)

FIND_logo_4C“Passenger Side: An Interview with Matt Bissonnette” (25 October 2010)