I recall hearing about the challenging role she had to play, requiring a lot of stretching to find the character, but she did it.
She won a Genie (Canada’s equivalent of the Oscar) for Best Supporting Actress. It was for the role of Frances.
What brings me to write about Robyn and Bye Bye Blues, is not so much to share Rob’s and my pride with her achieving this honor, but to mention how frustrating it is that Bye Bye Blues, a work of art in the field of filmmaking is not available on DVD.
I tried to get a DVD copy recently, only to discover it was only available on VHS, which we have. I don’t know about your VHS tapes, but I find that the quality deteriorates with time.
The story is exquisite: It’s about a “WWII wife and mother who joins a local dance band to provide for her family while husband’s at war. Romantic involvement with one of the dance members makes her decisions difficult when her husband returns from war.
Story watches the progression of the band as it grows into a popular successful recording and touring group. Excellent music and soundtrack.
I found one clip from the film on Youtube, not the greatest quality but you’ll get a flavor of Bye Bye Blues, nonetheless. Rebecca Jenkins, who won a Genie for best actress, is featured in this clip.
Considering this Canadian cinematic gem was nominated for 10 awards and won 5, it’s a shame that this film isn’t available on DVD. But thanks to Rebecca Jenkins and her husband, Joel Balkan, a University of B.C. law professor and part-time jazz guitarist, it’s now available on iTunes and hopefully soon on VOD streaming.
“Bakan said he spent about $20,000 to rescue Bye Bye Blues …, and added that he expects any subsequent application to go more smoothly. …The question I ask is, you’re flipping through the channels and you very seldom see an old Canadian film on TV. You see newer ones — but none of the old films. Our cinematic history is either not on DVD, not in digital form, not on Netflix, not available on iTunes, and not being broadcast on TV because of this problem.” (from Rebecca Jenkins’ website) .
So, now that’s it’s available on iTunes, our family is looking forward to renewing our love affair with this film, for all the above reasons. If you want a good story and good music, this is a movie to see.
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