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Ordinary Love

Ordinary Love is a superb drama with slight notes of ice-breaking wit.  It’s orchestrated along the same lines as 2017 Oscar nominee The Big Sick or last year’s Netflix sleeper Paddleton (both of which, funnily enough, co-star Ray Romano but I digress), only the premise of a middle-aged married couple coming to terms with an alarming cancer diagnosis is played, as expected, a bit more sullen.

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The Lodge

The Lodge thinks its rooted in gothic horror when its misery might actually be post-emo.  Suicide is predominant in this macabre thriller from Austrian filmmakers Severin Fiala and Veronica Franz (Goodnight Mommy) and while it seems to be a topic used to explore the mourning identities of the film’s characters, it’s mostly in existence to add moody atmospheric chills.  Surface-level stuff, but very effective.

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Standing Up, Falling Down

Standing Up, Falling Down is a really nice dramedy about people finding and relating to each other.  It’s funny, touching, performed well, and directed with fluency by newcomer Matt Ratner.  As far as movies go about characters leaning on comedy as a crutch to hide their true emotions, the film is the best of its kind since Judd Apatow’s Funny People.

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Ford v Ferrari

By: Trevor Chartrand It doesn’t take a car enthusiast to enjoy the high-octane drama that fuels Ford v Ferrari, one of the best movies of 2019.  Director James Mangold (Walk the Line, Logan) helms this fast paced, in-your-face film that’s based on the true story of the ‘car wars’ that took place in the late 1960s.  The film comes fully loaded with a classic look, (mostly) strong characters, and a tight, focused story.  Ford v Ferrari…

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Space & Time

There seems to be an unhealthy trend of shooting and wrapping film productions within a short time frame (A Fall from Grace, Appiness).  But for Toronto indie Space & Time, writer/director Shawn Gerrard sees the appeal of a patient process.  Space & Time has been shot over the period of 11 months;  allowing the film to naturally capture the passage of, well, space and time.  This lends a potentially special quality to the film’s story…

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21 Bridges

Black Panther’s Chadwick Boseman plays Andre Davis, a stoic NYPD detective who was psychologically affected at a young age by the murder of his father, a policeman in the line of fire.  From that tragedy, Davis developed a certain alertness to his job but the experience has made him mentally withdrawn from situations and company.  Peers are either impressed with his work or intimidated by his reputation. Davis invests all of his passion in his most…

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Downhill

By: Jessica Goddard From directors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash (The Way Way Back), Downhill is an English-language remake of Ruben Östlund’s European awards contender Force Majeure (2014).  Having not seen the original, I can only speak to the quality of the new film – starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Will Ferrell – as a standalone film.  And, it’s not bad!  Truly, it’s not bad.  It’s a little simple and unpolished, and uncertain of what it wants to…

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Portrait of a Lady on Fire

Céline Sciamma’s highly acclaimed drama Portrait of a Lady on Fire is visceral filmmaking at its most eloquent.  So much of this period piece hinges on textures, sights, and sounds to make the audience believe that we’re living through someone’s romantic memories.

Reviews

Come to Daddy

Most movies build towards a crescendo, yet the first act of Ant Timpson’s Come to Daddy is the climax.  But then, instead of gradually hitting new heights, Timpson’s film simmers to a tepid temperature.  Despite the outrageous feedback you may have heard about the movie’s wild qualities, Come to Daddy is actually family tame (if you’re used to off-the-wall genre pieces).

Reviews

Code 8

Code 8 is an Indiegogo funded passion project from actors Robbie and Stephen Amell that raised over $3,000,000 (Canadian) crushing the campaign’s $200,000 goal – that’s impressive.  I learned about the crowdfunding after watching the movie, which made my appreciation for the film grow.  But, I still think Code 8 is both a tedious action/thriller and a mishmash of too many observational social commentaries.