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.
Wild Nights with Emily didn’t “click” with me but, then again, I feel like I’m “missing” something.
By: Jolie Featherstone Dome Karukoski’s Tolkien is a polished, but reserved, Edwardian period piece that explores the early life of J. R. R. Tolkien, famed author of The Lord of the Rings. From a childhood fraught with loss to serving in in the First World War as a young adult, the film draws connections between Tolkien’s real-life experiences and the lore and legends he created in his works.
The White Crow, written by Oscar nominee David Hare (The Reader) and directed by Harry Potter actor Ralph Fiennes, goes against the usual conventions of a biopic.
By: Jessica Goddard Touching, sincere, and surprisingly universal, Jon S. Baird’s Stan & Ollie is a sensitive look into the last tour of legendary comedy act Laurel and Hardy. Built on wonderful performances from Steve Coogan and John C. Reilly as Laurel and Hardy respectively, the biopic has wonderful range – from the tender or vicious exchanges to the subtle but magnetic moments when the pair perform on stage as a duo.
By: Trevor Chartrand Director Ethan Hawke’s country music biopic Blaze leaves a lot to be desired – with a lot of atmosphere and not much narrative, this film is meandering and weak. To some, the film could perhaps be considered an abstract poem, akin to the music stylings of the late Blaze Foley, which I suppose should be commendable. However, given the more obscure nature of this film’s subject, the storytelling gaps will leave audiences…
Bigger is an abysmal biopic about the Weider brothers, Joe and Ben, which is unfortunate because the world of fitness is due for an engrossing movie. Not a flabby flick like this.
As someone who – sheepishly – isn’t qualified to compare this remake to its original source material (the 1973 classic starring Steve McQueen and the books written by Henri Charrière), I can tell you that as a standalone prison drama, Papillon works very well.
By: Nick van Dinther With a real-life figure like Bill “Spaceman” Lee, there is more than enough material to make an interesting biopic. Unfortunately, the creators of Spaceman decided to leave a lot of that material on the table.