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Whole New Thing (2007)

Aaron Webber , Robert Joy , Amnon Buchbinder  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Aaron Webber, Robert Joy, Rebecca Jenkins, Daniel MacIvor, Kathryn MacLellan
  • Directors: Amnon Buchbinder
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Picture This, Breaking Glass Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: December 14, 2010
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #280,792 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Whole New Thing" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Emerson Thorsen, 13, lives with his parents in their eco-home in the wilds of Nova Scotia. The precocious teen has completed his first book, writing and illustrating all 1000 pages of it. Meanwhile, the home-schooled youth can barely add 2 + 2, so his mother enrolls him in the local junior high. Emerson isn t happy about the move, and has trouble fitting in at the new school.

One of Emerson s new teachers is Don Grant, a 42-year old closeted gay man. Emerson initially is scornful of his teacher, but when Emerson speaks up in class, Don treats his ideas seriously. Emerson's scorn changes to respect, but soon he develops his first crush on Don. Emerson throws himself into this awakening of the heart with dangerous abandon. Don, who isn t out to the students, reacts with alarm. Eventually, Don has to learn how to curb Emerson's feelings without crushing his spirit. In the process, both student and teacher learn valuable lessons about surviving growing pains.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Entirely enjoyable Emmerson! August 24, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Ah, I love a chance to do a little alliteration in my reviews.

This Canadian film is very entertaining and very well done. The story of a young boy coming to grips (often), with his sexuality is handled with good taste and intelligence. The acting, particularly by Aaron Webber, is subperb. If he's not actually gay, he certainly does a good job of conveying some of what it means to be thirteen and dealing with such issues.

The sub-plot involving Emmerson's mother cheating on his father with a Cylon (inside joke), is less interesting, but still good. Frankly, that could have made for a decent stand-alone movie, but here it somewhat drags focus away from the main plot.

I'd like to see a sequel to this film, which is not something I say every day, especially not in the context of a gay film, most of which follow the checklist of gay movie cliches (ie: character dies, usually through suicide, character gets gay bashed or character gets AIDS).


To me the movie also raised up some interesting philosophical/ethical issues. Clearly Emmerson has some erotic desires for his teacher. The fact that he IS Emmerson's teacher would make it very touchy for them to follow-through on those deisres. I tend to have the view that not all sexual contact between adults and minors is harmful, and in the context of this story, I found myself wondering what the consequences might have been had the relationship between Emmerson and his teacher been consumated (beyond all the legal issues, that is).

For those seeking further reading on this issue, I invite you to check out
... Read more ›
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42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars NOT A "COMING OF AGE" MOVIE August 23, 2007
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
This Canadian movie "Whole New Thing" is just not another film about a teen's "coming of age" and dealing with the fact that he is gay plus having a terrible crush on one of his teachers. Although the aforesaid is certainly a part of this marvelously directed and acted "little" film. Indeed thirteen year old Emerson is sent out into the cruel world of public middle school after being "home schooled" all of his prior life; there he comes to the realization that he is gay and subsequently has one of those life numbing impossible for it to go anywhere teen crushes on his forty something year old teacher while at the same time dealing with the violence, taunts and bullying that comes with being different and looking a little different in a school that is filled with the so-called "normal" students. The aforesaid scenario is definitely a part of this film; however, it is not, to me, the main focus of the film. To me, the real story of this film is the maturation of the grown ups that surround the 13 year old Emerson (which are, of course, his parents whose marriage is falling into ruin and the object of his affection, his teacher who is a lonely and very closeted gay man that likes to live dangerously by visiting public "johns" for sexual gratification).

As I stated before, this is a marvelously acted (especially by Aaron Webber as Emerson in what I understand is his first film--amazing) and directed film. The movie also is splendidly filmed--one really can feel the bleakness of the area that it is showing. (I assume it's Nova Scotia)

The bottom line is that this is a wonderfully intelligent movie that I, as an old fart, could relate to because, to me, it really is about us older folks coming to grips with our lives.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Post-gay and a nearly exceptional. Nearly. December 9, 2007
Honestly, this movie is more a 3.5 star film but I gave it 3, since it was too frustrating to deserve a 4. I think it does deserved to be watched once, but I don't think there's enough substance in the film to warrant repeated viewings.

The acting is fine, especially the lead. I think nearly all the other reviewers took notice of Aaron Webber's sterling performance of a precocious child dealing with his first crush. This is not a coming-out movie; Emerson is a post-gay child. He doesn't think of his sexuality in terms of labeling - it just so happens that his first crush is a male teacher.

What prevents this film from being brilliant is that it lacks both edge and ending.

Edge - The relationship between Emerson and Don began to become realling interesting when Emerson started a game of cat-and-mouse with his teacher to seduce him. Unfortunately, this begins and ends all too quickly. It seemed rather weird that Don could be so weak-willed with partners, choosing anonymous bathroom stall sex, and yet be so firm and resolute with a boy cruising him. The john that picks up an anxious Emerson at the end is a weak plot device, more painfully comical that true. It's as if the director and screenwriter wanted to end the movie with Emerson's and Don's virtue intact rather than be bold and make a statement.

Ending - By the end of the movie, I don't feel that Emerson has changed or is more self-aware. If anything, he just learns how cruel the world can be and that some adults will view him as a sexual object. Don's return to his partner, suggested in a brief shared scene, seems like a bandage to his plotline.

The film addresses a very controversial subject - the sexual desires of a minor. But, it also shies away from reality and believability in favor of weak accountability.In the hands of an edgier filmmaker, it could have been a more memorable picture.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Whole New Thing
This was an eccentric movie in its plot and theme. The themes were presented from a cultural point of view that fits
a population North of the 45th degree latitude. Read more
Published 10 months ago by Gary W. Phelps
5.0 out of 5 stars A MASTERPIECE!
This is one good exemple of a masterpiece that could one be produced in a socially advanced country such as Canada. Read more
Published 14 months ago by Alberto C. B. Souza
5.0 out of 5 stars coming of age
Its a coming of age story for both characters. Really well done, written, acted, and filmed. Both characters make cringe worthy choices that seem pretty realistic. Read more
Published on January 14, 2012 by R. M. Clinkscales
4.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected Charmer in a Twisted Plot
Mix up a stale marraige, a lonely single high school teacher (who happens to be gay), a young teenager trying to comprehend love and sexuality; then toss in some adultery,... Read more
Published on November 6, 2009 by C. Clay
4.0 out of 5 stars A good coming of age movie
I enjoyed this movie. Emerson, the star of show, did steal the spotlight. The plot was fairly conventional. Read more
Published on August 14, 2009 by Harold W. Miller
3.0 out of 5 stars Not a whole NEW THING!
I enjoyed the movie. I understand that sexually coming out for the young man is a whole new thing for him personally, but the subject matter is NOT a Whole New Thing. Read more
Published on January 12, 2008 by Brent E. Johnston
4.0 out of 5 stars Finding Self
WHOLE NEW THING is another fine little film from Canada, utilizing an excellent cast of Canadian actors to present a modern day conundrum about identity in a manner more sensitive... Read more
Published on November 11, 2007 by Grady Harp
3.0 out of 5 stars A Bit of a Tease
This film has an interesting premise, executed in a fashion similar to fellow Canadian director Atom Egoyan, but reads like a premium channel television show. Read more
Published on October 30, 2007 by Nicholas D. Butler
3.0 out of 5 stars odd but occasionally compelling tale of adolescence

What happens to people who are raised without conventional social boundaries? Emerson Thorsen (Aaron Webber) is a thirteen-year-old boy living with his aging... Read more
Published on October 27, 2007 by Roland E. Zwick
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