By: Jessica Goddard From director Felix Van Groeningen (The Broken Circle Breakdown), Beautiful Boy is an affecting, thought-provoking account of one family’s experience with the cyclical realities of addiction, recovery, and relapse. The story is told sensitively – though sometimes confusingly – through a fragmented, flashback-heavy narrative structure.
By: Trevor Chartrand Part romance, part crime-drama, The Old Man & the Gun is the gripping, yet low-key, story of notorious bank robber Forrest Tucker (Robert Redford). Based on the true story of a life-long criminal and prison escape artist, the film examines Tucker as a unique breed of villain. Always calm and in control – but not in the suave, Ocean’s 11 type of way. When Tucker robs a bank, he’s simply courteous, polite,…
Lizzie is a decent psychological slow burn, but its problematic pacing leaves me wondering if the film could’ve been stronger had it been workshopped more. With his second feature film, director Craig William Macneill demonstrates his ability to build tension through taut silences and piercing instrumentals. However, Bryce Kass’ script doesn’t match the filmmaker’s patience.
By: Jessica Goddard A movie unafraid to leave your head spinning from the farfetched quantity of twists, A Simple Favor is fun, well-paced, and stylish. Directed by Paul Feig, it balances elements of a mystery/thriller/dramedy, borrowing from too-many-to-count eerie pop culture phenomena before it. And yet, successfully, it pulls off homage (as opposed to shameless rip-off) time and time again, in a way that feels fresh and full of energy.
By: Trevor Chartrand There are some unforgettable vast desert vistas in Jirga, a philosophical study of redemption and forgiveness screening at this year’s festival. I had a chance to talk with director Benjamin Gilmour and star Sam Smith to discuss their experience making the film, but I just had to ask about those landscapes.
After touring the festival circuit and sweeping the hearts of many movie goers, Tulipani – Love, Honour and a Bicycle finally makes its way into theatres to claim more adoration from audiences.
By: Trevor Chartrand Sparse and atmospheric, writer/director Benjamin Gilmour’s Jirga is a visually stunning entry in this year’s TIFF lineup.
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.
Madeline’s Madeline is a one-of-a-kind. I can’t remember the last time a movie was this uncomfortable yet so rewarding and fulfilling.
By: Graeme Howard Simon Baker’s directorial debut Breath (adapted from the international best seller by Tim Winton) is, at first glance, a by-the-numbers coming-of-age surfing tale. However, the audience is treated to a thought-provoking surfing drama that succeeds in capturing the raw nature of the sport, while also exploring the spontaneity of youthfulness and the joyful exploration of curiosity, fear, and self-understanding.