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Reviews

Last Call

Last Call pitches itself to audiences with an intriguing gimmick.  Shot in real time, the film’s story is told from two perspectives – using a split-screen technique to divide the pair of one-take shots.  However, Last Call is more than a crafty production with a trick up its sleeve.

Reviews

The Curse of Buckout Road

Myths and urban legends are most effective in horror movies when filmmakers stick with simplicity.  It’s what makes most legendary villains in the genre resonate with audiences.  The Curse of Buckout Road is a film that does the exact opposite, further proving why less is always more.

Reviews

The Meaning of Life

The Meaning of Life walks and talks like a conventional weepy melodrama, but it’s much more than a typical tear-jerker.  This is a smart and sweet film that reads between the lines.  Instead of rattling off a familiar story about a friendly relationship that blooms between a struggling musician (Finn played by Canadian pop artist Tyler Shaw) and a young leukemia patient (Sophie played by Sadie Munroe of CBC’s Workin’ Moms’), The Meaning of Life…

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2019: ‘Coppers’

In his documentary Coppers, Alan Zweig (15 Reasons To Live) interviews Canadian ex-police officers.  Occasionally, viewers are given the a ride-along perspective as the subjects drive around their formally patrolled turf and share some unforgettable stories.  Most of these interviewees can recall aged confrontations as if it happened hours before Zweig’s camera turned on.  For some, these cases have led to current wellness complications.  Along with riding shotgun, Zweig has also emulated the atmosphere of…

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2019: ‘The Twentieth Century’

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…

Reviews

Angelique’s Isle

By: Trevor Chartrand Canadian films have the unfortunate reputation for being ‘bad’ or ‘poorly produced,’ and as much as it hurts to admit, the generalization tends to be accurate.  That’s certainly the case with the latest film from directors Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Michelle Derosierand.  Angelique’s Isle tells the true story of a First Nations woman and her wilderness survival during the copper rush of the late 1800s.

Reviews

The Stone Speakers

One of the best things about moviegoing is watching a rising star come into their own element.  Up-and-coming actors are always praised for this, but we don’t shed enough light on indie filmmakers who finally find the right vehicle for them.

Reviews

Astronaut

Sending the unlikeliest of people into space–from Jason Voorhees to Homer Simpson–has always been a crowd-pleasing move.  So it should come as no surprise that Shelagh McLeod finds the same results in her feature directorial debut Astronaut, which sends seventy-one year old Richard Dreyfuss into the heavens, in perhaps the Oscar winner’s best performance in years.

Reviews

Roads in February

Directed and Written by Katherine Jerkovic, Roads in February is a beautifully shot and immersive film that explores the relationship between a young Hispanic Canadian named Sara (Arlen Aguayo-Stewart), and her grandmother (Gloria Demassi).

Reviews

Mouthpiece

In Mouthpiece, two women play the lead character.  Not with strategic editing or a duel Sliding Doors-esque narrative, but simultaneously on-screen.  While this may sound like an excuse for the filmmakers to showboat and earn arthouse cred, the results couldn’t be farther from being just a fancy trick.