THE HIGH COST OF LIVING – written + directed by Deborah Chow – World Premiere at TIFF

Zach Braff and Isabelle Blais star in The High Cost of Living
Zach Braff and Isabelle Blais star in Deborah Chow’s directorial debut, The High Cost of Living


Written and directed by Deborah Chow

Starring Isabelle Blais, Zach Braff and Patrick Labbé

World Premiere at 2010 Toronto International Film Festival in Canada First

Over the course of a lifetime, everyone pays a price. We all go through things that knock us down and leave us fumbling in the dark—no one gets through life unscathed. everyone at some point, pays the cost. “The High Cost of Living” is a story about that cost.  But with payment comes a better way of living. Because although the cost of living is high, this is a story about realizing that it’s ultimately worth the price – Deborah Chow 

Toronto, Tuesday, August 10, 2010: TIFF programmers give a nod to Toronto native Deborah Chow’s feature film debut “The High Cost of Living” in their Canada First selection. The drama stars the versatile Zach Braff (Garden State, Scrubs) alongside talented Quebec actors Isabelle Blais (Borderline, Human Trafficking, The Barbarian Invasions) and Patrick Labbe (Les Boys, Durham County) and introduces Patrick Lo. 

 Henry (Zach Braff) makes a wrong turn. Weary, worn and well above the legal limit, he takes a left that should have been a right and suddenly finds himself hurtling towards a woman standing straight in his path. In a fit of panic, he hits and runs, leaving her lying in the street— unconscious, bleeding and thirty-four weeks pregnant.

Nathalie (Isabelle Blais) wakes in the hospital only to find her bright future destroyed and the baby she is still carrying, dead. The shock and trauma of the accident have taken their toll, forcing the doctors to postpone the delivery. She is sent home with her husband Michel (Patrick Labbe), left to carry the stillborn child as she tries to regain her health.

Across town, in a rundown Chinatown apartment, Henry faces his own struggle. With his conscience weighing heavily, he combs the news but finds nothing, and finally decides to take matters into his own hands. He enlists the help of his teenage neighbour, Johnny (Patrick Lo) sending him out to discover the woman’s fate.

Over the next week, Nathalie struggles to come to terms with the loss. But everywhere she looks she sees reminders of the child, and Michel—too unnerved and emotionally bereft to deal with the tragedy— offers her little support. As the days pass the strain takes its toll, and the baby that was supposed to save the marriage, is suddenly destroying it.

But as her life unravels, Nathalie stumbles across Henry, an unlikely guardian angel. Henry is everything that Michel is not—compassionate, charming and funny—and Nathalie finds a welcome relief in the rumpled stranger that seems only too willing to offer her refuge.

But that refuge is not all that it seems. Henry’s past misdeeds are catching up, and he soon discovers that the police are steadily closing in on the wrong suspect. With Johnny in danger and Nathalie in need, Henry finds himself in an increasingly precarious position as he tries to ignore his growing feelings for the woman he ran over.

As the inevitable looms, the truth will finally be exposed, forcing Henry and Nathalie to confront loss, labour and love, and to ultimately decide whether the cost of living is worth the price.

Writer, director Deborah Chow was born in Toronto, Canada, shortly after her parents emigrated from Australia. She completed her undergrad at McGill University, and received her M.F.A in directing from Columbia University. She has written and directed two short films, “Daypass” and “The Hill,” both of which toured extensively on the festival circuit and were broadcast worldwide.

THE HIGH COST OF LIVING is produced by Montreal based Suki Films Inc. by veteran producers Kimberley Berlin and Susan Schneir. It was produced with the financial assistance of Telefilm Canada, the Quebec Film and Television Tax Credit program and the Canadian Film and Television Production Tax Credit program. The film will be released in Canada by Filmoption International who is also the International sales agent.

Festival Screenings:

Wednesday, September 15, 9:00pm, Scotiabank Theatre 3

Friday, September 17, 9:30am, TIFF Bell Lightbox 2

Saturday, September 18, 8:00pm, AMC 5

Opening Date Post TIFF:

Opening in theatres in Canada in February/March 2011