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…
By: Jessica Goddard Home Again is for Hollywood, by Hollywood, about Hollywood. If you can deal with that, you might enjoy this safe and well-meaning romantic comedy. Hallie Meyers-Shyer’s Home Again (a title which never ends up making any sense) is rarely laugh-out-loud funny, but it’s often endearing in a snort-and-smile kind of way.
Short film director Govinda Van Maele encounters pacing issues with his feature-length debut Gutland.
Pilgrimage will be known as “that movie where the Punisher fights alongside monk Spider-Man”. By that, I mean Tom Holland (Spider-Man: Homecoming) and Jon Bernthal (Netflix’s Daredevil and The Punisher) have starring roles in Brendan Muldowney’s action/drama about a monastery’s dangerous mission.
By: Jessica Goddard Luca Guadagnino’s Call Me By Your Name is a complex and highly nuanced coming-of-age story, packed with moving performances.
Michael Haneke’s Happy End looks at modern technology’s ability to capture atrocities, through a sort-of-sequel to Amour, again following the Laurents through a series of misfortunes.
Goon: Last of the Enforcers arrives five years after the surprise hit Goon, and it’s as if the audience never left these characters. Even though the film is working under a different director (Jay Baruchel taking over for Michael Dowse), this sequel makes sure it stays within the same surly vein as its delightfully crude predecessor.