Filmmakers seem eager to work with Robert Nolan – I don’t blame them. Nolan is, undoubtably, one of the best character actors working in the industry. He’s respected because of his ability to morph into a role, and because of how professional he is. I’ve seen him play an embarrassing parent, an insane clown, a teacher on the brink of destruction, and I’ve even seen him pull disgusting “things” out of his body. He can…
Throughout my years of attending the Toronto After Dark Film Festival, I have come to learn a few truisms: 1) if a film is a world premiere, steer clear, 2) the international shorts program usually contains some of the best work at the festival, and 3) the Canadian shorts usually contain a handful of brilliant selections surrounded by others that are…less so. Being unable to speak to the first (as of now), I am glad…
By: Jessica Goddard Violeta Ayala’s Cocaine Prison is a Spanish language documentary that follows the intertwined lives of three people; two of which are entangled in the Bolivian justice system for their involvement in the illegal cocaine trade.
By: Jessica Goddard Kathleen Hepburn’s Never Steady, Never Still is a serious, greyscale, dragging meditation on subjects so inherently sombre, it’s practically masochistic to sit through the whole film without allowing yourself a break.
What happens when Andrey Zvyagintsev makes a political film with a female lead? A disappointing monstrosity that could’ve been a masterpiece with forty-percent discarded.
Let’s assume that bad things are always happening. While someone finds enjoyment in life, someone else may be barely hanging on to their reality. That’s basically the gist of Wayne Wapeemukwa’s debut feature Luk’Luk’I, an obvious stream of consciousness that doesn’t expand beyond that idea.
By: Jessica Goddard Mina Shum’s Meditation Park is an engaging, quirky, and empowering film about the overdue self-actualization of a Vancouver woman (Cheng Pei-pei) in light of the discovery of her husband’s affair. This thoroughly modern film also expertly highlights the immigrant experience in multicultural Canada, while making clear that the narrative is culturally universal. There is an exquisite balance of humour and poignancy in the writing, strengthened by an excellent cast.
By: Jessica Goddard This detailed and thoroughly layered period drama intertwines two stories against the backdrop of the Catholic Church’s controversial reforms in the 1960s, known as Vatican II.
It’s not healthy to compare movies, but I have a feeling I would’ve had greater appreciation for Ingrid Veninger’s Porcupine Lake if I hadn’t already seen Andrew Cividino’s Sleeping Giant. Both are of Canadian origin, they take place over the course of a Summer away from home, and they follow a coming-of-age narrative with kids.
By: Jessica Goddard Mary Shelley is an appropriately dramatic and sentimental depiction of the early life of 19th century writer Mary Shelley (Elle Fanning), as well as a satisfying exploration of Shelley’s influences in writing her now-classic novel, Frankenstein. The film focuses heavily on the arc(s) of Mary’s relationship with her eventual husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley (Douglas Booth); always emphasizing the ways in which Mary’s famous Gothic novel is affected by the various traumas of…