From Will Smith at the wheel of an E-Class Sedan (“the new hotness”) in Men in Black II to Bryce Dallas Howard dodging dinosaurs in a GLE Coupe in Jurassic World, Mercedes-Benz vehicles often lend a touch of automotive glamour to the movies. This summer, Milton’s Secret, based on a book co-written by bestselling author and self-help guru Eckhart Tolle, features a black C-Class Sedan in a sleek supporting role.
The film is part family drama, part coming-of-age tale, but above all, director Barnet Bain says he seeks to create “transformational entertainment.” The plot sees embattled couple Jane and Bill Adams (The L Word’s Mia Kirshner and Private Practice star David Sutcliffe) providing a tense homefront for their preteen son, Milton (William Ainscough). Things aren’t much better at school, where Milton is being bullied. But with the help of an empathetic schoolteacher (played by erstwhile action hero Michelle Rodriguez, who is a fan of Tolle’s work), Milton begins to find his way. He also gets help from his free-spirited grandpa Howard (Donald Sutherland), who teaches Milton to let go of the past and his fears about the future and instead concentrate on the here and now – a common thread in Tolle’s writing.
Milton’s Secret is a film for parents and adults, hidden within a kids’ movie.”
“It’s a film for parents and adults, hidden within a kids’ movie,” explains line producer Peter Harvey, on his return from the Whistler Film Festival. While the film was shot last fall in Hamilton and Brampton, Ontario, neither stands in for any one North American city in particular, because the issues it deals with are universal. And, because production of Milton’s Secret had the support of companies like Mercedes-Benz Canada as well as being partially crowdfunded, the filmmakers were able to maintain their vision and Tolle’s message without relying on big studios. Says producer Stephen Huszar, “Movies like Milton’s Secret will act as a catalyst to create social change and a more mindful world.”