By: Jessica Goddard Paul McGuigan’s Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool is a sappy, sweet, and rich examination of the relationship between Oscar winner Gloria Grahame (Annette Bening) and aspiring actor Peter Turner (Jamie Bell), some thirty years her junior. It’s a movie about a lot of things; their weird but earnest age gap romance, the eccentric persona of the former film starlet, the panic spiral associated with aging, the cutthroat nature of showbiz.
By: Trevor Chartrand Doomed by circumstance, citizens of the gritty slum town Badsville are generally faced with two options: escape the city or die trying. In a corrupt town ruled by gangsters and criminals, the world built in director April Mullen’s Badsville may be bleak and daunting, but it’s not a world without hope.
By: Nick van Dinther Some films can be accused of lazy storytelling and a lack of risk. Well, neither apply to Peter Lynch’s Birdland. Unfortunately, Lynch’s convoluted ambition makes Birdland a very difficult film to follow.
Strawberry Flavored Plastic combines elements of found-footage horror and mockumentary to create a story about two documentarians (Nicholas Urda, Andreas Montejo) making a movie about a serial killer, Noel Rose (Aidan Bristow). With testimonials, first-person video, and video conferencing, the audience learns how this “film” slips out from underneath its makers and how it goes awry.
Where You’re Meant to Be isn’t without good music, interesting history, and touching moments, but I still feel like director Paul Fegan misses the mark.
Golden Globe winner In the Fade is an intense, slow burning German drama that takes audiences through a series of tragedies and intimidating confrontations in hopes that there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
By: Nick van Dinther From the very first scene in Den of Thieves, it becomes fairly obvious that this is not going to be your typical shoot ‘em up popcorn flick. It’s actually a smart, well written, edge-of-your-seat thriller that defies all expectations.
The Final Year captures the calm before the storm. With an upcoming (and controversial) election on the horizon, director Greg Barker gained exclusive access to the Obama administration by chronicling activity by the former president and his foreign policy team.
Starting this month, Dmitrii Kalashnikov’s experimental doc The Road Movie begins a theatrical tour that will last over a year. Toronto’s Royal Cinema is the first stop, and the journey continues through the United States before heading back to Canada next February; it concludes in Boulder, Colorado the following month. That’s impressive for a shoestring indie, especially one that would be “TOO HOT FOR TV”. Twenty years ago, Joe Francis would’ve sold this at 2:00am…
Suck It Up was an encouraging sleeper flick that helped close out last year.