Former Scrubs star Zach Braff plays Henry, a New York expat living in Montreal’s Chinatown, from where he’s running a prescription drug-dealing operation. One night while he’s driving around making deliveries, he accidentally hits Nathalie (Isabelle Blais), an eight-months-pregnant French-Canadian woman, then takes off in a panic. Immediately filled with guilt, he sets out to find Nathalie, who lost her baby in the accident, and attempts to redeem himself somehow.
In other hands, The High Cost of Living might have come off like a melodrama, but Deborah Chow keeps it feeling grounded, directing much of it in a cinéma vérité style. Undeniably one of the most gifted actors in Quebec cinema, two-time Jutra winner Isabelle Blais outdoes herself in Chow’s film, delivering an absolutely heartbreaking performance as a woman forced to walk around with a dead baby inside her, preparing with dread for a stillbirth.
The High Cost of Living comes out on DVD today, September 6. Special features include interviews with Chow, Blais and Braff as well as co-star Patrick Labbé and producers Kimberley Berlin and Susan Schneir.