The Lodge thinks its rooted in gothic horror when its misery might actually be post-emo. Suicide is predominant in this macabre thriller from Austrian filmmakers Severin Fiala and Veronica Franz (Goodnight Mommy) and while it seems to be a topic used to explore the mourning identities of the film’s characters, it’s mostly in existence to add moody atmospheric chills. Surface-level stuff, but very effective.
The work I’ve seen from French-Canadian filmmaker Denis Côté all involve the subject of lost souls. Carcasses was a pseudo-doc about a lonely scrapyard owner who is suddenly interrupted by a gang of wanderers, and Curling followed the faded relationship between a father and his daughter in the wake of a tragedy.
Audiences were recently subjected to a tasteless dark comedy about understanding death called Considering Love & Other Magic. Thankfully, movie goers can rebound with Suck It Up, another Canadian indie about comprehending grief that actually sticks its landing thanks to fantastic performances and Jordan Canning’s thoughtful direction.
Bas Devos’ feature film debut Violet is an unforgettable movie. There’s so much to admire about it: its cinematography, its patience, and Cesar De Sutter’s outstanding introverted performance. However, Devos’ daring ambition to visualize inner conflict through minimal dialogue may be the film’s strongest achievement.
Sieranevada is an often charming, occasionally tedious, and relentlessly honest family drama written and directed by Romanian filmmaker Cristi Puiu (The Death of Mr. Lazarescu).
The Benefactor features Richard Gere at his most animated playing a troubled philanthropist with a guilt complex.
Geordie Sabbagh’s A Sunday Kind of Love hits its hometown at a great time. Canadian Film Day is just around the corner, and it joins the ranks of other exceptional Canadiana fare that you should celebrate on April 20.
By: Addison Wylie As much as I would like to commend writer/director Jeremy Thomas for making a sophisticated and adult film about grief and the internal struggle to define what is morally correct, his woeful feature Ally Was Screaming is an anticlimactic and overcooked blunder that drove me crazy. Although, Thomas’ maturity is essentially what was much needed in January’s I Put a Hit on You. Seth, Nole, and Ally were a friendly and tender trifecta….
By: Addison Wylie Odd Thomas is certainly an odd case indeed. Stephen Sommers’ adaptation of Dean Koontz’s novel has good things about it, yet it has difficulty coming together as a whole. Anton Yelchin stars as Odd Thomas, a sweetly distraught hero with an ability to avenge the deaths of others. He’s approached by silent spirits who then lead him on paths, and it’s his duty to right whatever wrongs he faces. The local police…