The internet erupted this week with the news that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had tweeted his admiration and respect upon the DVD release of cat-themed children’s movie Nine Lives. Nine Lives, the puzzling children’s movie starring Kevin Spacey as a career-focused father who gets turned into a cat by mystical pet shop owner Christopher Walken, opened in theatres earlier this year. The movie, which currently sits at 7% on Rotten Tomatoes, was released last Friday on Blu-Ray and DVD in North America. Criticized for its surprisingly acclaimed casting despite being vapid garbage, the movie was one of the biggest commercial flops of 2016.
On Wednesday, Trudeau released a statement online on his social media pages, which described his “deep joy” at the DVD release of the movie, going on to state, “while a controversial film, both Nine Lives’ supporters and detractors recognized its tremendous dedication and love for the feline species.” The statement was released while he was on a safari of a feline sanctuary in Madagascar.
Political opposition was quick to ridicule Trudeau for his sympathy towards such a critically disliked film. Rona Ambrose, interim leader of the federal Conservatives, called on Trudeau to retract his statement and issue a condemnation of the movie. She described the movie as, ‘responsible for the glorification of Hollywood cash grabs, and representative of the joke that our honourable Prime Minister has become.”
Earlier this week, Trudeau held an impromptu press conference from Madagascar to attempt some damage control by clarifying his comments. When asked if he thought that Nine Lives was a fantastic summer blockbuster, Trudeau simply responded, “No.” He clarified, “Nine Lives is absolutely a polarizing movie. I will not deny the low quality of its writing, acting, effects, themes, and pacing. However, I did really like Kevin Spacey in the movie where he’s in love with his daughter’s friend.” President-elect Donald Trump tweeted early Friday morning, “Nine Lives is out! Bad!”, which was seen by many as yet another tasteless political maneuver, but celebrated by the white supremacist film critic community.
When asked for justification for his initial comments, Trudeau harkened back to the early days on the road with his father, former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. When travelling in the family van from city to city for political engagements, their beloved cat Quebec would always travel on Justin’s lap, and cuddle with him lovingly. Tragically, Quebec was kidnapped by nationalist francophone separatists and exploited as a symbol of their resistance. These events, known as the Octo-purr Crisis, are a stark reminder of the feline element of the early days of the Trudeau dynasty.