Stardust has a really good idea for a movie: the rise of an insecure musician who strives for fame but, at the same time, is scared of how his lack of identity will ruin him. If the movie was about an ambiguous celebrity, director Gabriel Range (Death of a President) could’ve had a lot of room to explore the anxieties of fame. Unfortunately, he’s desperate to crowbar these dilemmas into an unqualified and unauthorized biopic…
Tesla, written and directed by Michael Almereyda (Hamlet , Majorie Prime), explores the famous Serbian inventor with an ostensible inventiveness in both narrative and form. While the experimentation is welcome and even appropriate, its application is uneven and questionable, and leads to an uncertain overall thesis.
By: Jolie Featherstone Unjoo Moon’s I Am Woman is a loving biopic of Helen Reddy, the artist who created the iconic song ‘I Am Woman’, the anthem of the women’s movement in the 1970s.
Intended as a sequel, of sorts, to Braveheart, Robert the Bruce sees Angus MacFadyen (Braveheart, Alive) reprise his role as the titular Scottish king. Unfortunately, this is one of those movies with all the right ingredients – but no spark.
It was both surprising and unsurprising to find out director François Girard was attached to The Song of Names. By going into the movie blind, so much of Girard’s film reminded me of the Oscar winning drama The Red Violin. This discovery that both films were directed by the same person made sense, but I didn’t expect The Song of Names to pale so much in comparison.
Biopics don’t get more standard than Seberg. The film is watchable and efficient to an extent, but it also feels manufactured by a faulty machine.
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.
By: Trevor Chartrand While epic in scale with an ambitious, decade-spanning story, The Traitor is ultimately a disappointing, bloated film. This movie sets out to tell the gritty true story of the Italian mafia’s first police informant, Tommaso Buscetta (Pierfrancesco Favino), however, this lengthy picture gets bogged down with an overstuffed plot. Even with such rich and captivating source material, the film is ultimately uninteresting due to its failure to satisfy in the ‘audience accessibility’ category.
Depending on who you ask, Canadian cinema may well be celebrating its 100th year this year and, despite the general dismay that it continues to attract from some, it is still very much able to be as innovative as any other national cinema. Why the history lesson? Because that may be the best way to introduce Matthew Rankin’s The Twentieth Century, at once a great addition to the Canadian cinematic canon and a bitter poisonous…
Filmmaker Nick Broomfield recounts his memories of Marianne Ihlen and singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen in his documentary Marianne & Leonard: Words of Love.