Reviews

School Life

Neasa Ní Chianáin and David Rane’s observational documentary, School Life, is an intimate look at the daily life at Headfort, a centuries old primary Irish boarding school.  The school is run by John and Amanda Leydon, who instruct their young students on a the usual range of disciplines – math, science, languages, sport, and music.

Reviews

Great Great Great

Set in the Roncesvalles neighbourhood of Toronto, Great Great Great is the story of Lauren (Sarah Kolasky) and Tom (Dan Beirne), a couple in their early thirties whose relationship is coasting along steadily despite Tom’s inability to find steady employment as an urban planner.  Nothing about Lauren and Tom‘s life is particularly awful: they eat food, they go to the gym, they have relationships with friends and family.  Everything begins to fall apart when Lauren‘s parents…

Reviews

Loving Vincent

Loving Vincent wants you to focus hard on the six-year process it took to make this movie.  This oil-painted film is the first of its kind, with over 100 artists (including Canadian Valerie Fulford) painstakingly painting over 65,000 frames to make a cohesive cinematic work of art.  Each frame is in the signature swirly style of tortured painter Vincent van Gogh.

Reviews

Lucky

The most interesting thing about Lucky is the director’s connection to the concept.  This is the directorial debut of John Carroll Lynch, a character actor who sometimes has the capability to steal a whole movie with his few scenes.  Even if you can’t recall Lynch from his name, the moment you see him appear in films (like Shutter Island and Zodiac), you can’t help but be excited to see what he does with his supporting…

Reviews

Rebel in the Rye

By: Jessica Goddard The writing instructor continuously trying to put down his most gifted student in hopes of making him better and stronger.  A father who doesn’t want to indulge his son’s delusions of a career as a professional writer.  The sight of a Capital A “artist” bent over his typewriter in an otherwise empty, white room.  These are just a few of the many contrivances the viewer of Rebel in the Rye is subjected…

Reviews

Don’t Talk to Irene

Writer/director Pat Mills follows up his 2015 comedy Guidance with the equally hilarious Don’t Talk to Irene.  However, his latest flick is certainly cut from a quirkier cloth, but that doesn’t make it any less sarcastic.  It’s certainly one of the funniest films of the year.

Reviews

White Night

There’s an art project titled White Night.  It’s a collaborative between five filmmakers (Sonny Atkins, P.H. Bergeron, Brian Hamilton, Matt Purdy, Dan Slater) and it chronicles six fictitious stories during Toronto’s Nuit Blanche – an all-nighter dedicated to art.  One of the characters, a struggling artist named Emily, contributes a cumbersome piece made entirely out of stacked cardboard boxes.  People pass by and heckle at it, while Emily fumes and eventually releases the tension through a…

Reviews

Our Souls at Night

Our Souls at Night is what I would call an “easy recommendation”.  It has a satisfying modesty that makes the viewer feel nice.  It’s also a safe suggestion for fellow movie goers within the same social circles.  However, it isn’t a “necessary recommendation” because that would require the film to carry more weight than expected while also pleasing the audience.

Reviews

Long Time Running

A documentary about The Tragically Hip’s Man Machine Poem Tour needed to be made.  After all, it was a pivotal imprint in modern Canadian culture as the entire nation collectively considered the band’s timeless legacy and paid respects to terminally ill musician Gord Downie.  Finding filmmakers to handle such sensitive subject matter would be an intimidating order, yet Jennifer Baichwal (Watermark) and Nicholas de Pencier (cinematographer on The Ghosts in Our Machine) rise to the occasion and exceed…