Directed, written, and produced by Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki (Le Havre, The Man Without a Past), The Other Side of Hope is a timely and oddly touching comedic drama that manages to combine artistry and humour with wry social commentary.
By: Jessica Goddard Woody Allen’s Wonder Wheel is colourful, melodramatic, deliciously tacky cinematic theatre driven by an intriguing premise and infused with refreshing nostalgia. It’s visually delightful, and the quirky setting and quirkier characters sustain curiosity even if those characters don’t feel totally real.
Stephanie Di Giusto’s The Dancer is one of the more interesting biopics in recent memory. It’s by the book in terms of the genre’s formula and narrative structure but Di Giusto finds another way to look at her film’s biographical material.
Sweet Virginia is an ant hill of a movie – if you look underneath its still surface, you’ll find many working parts. There are many strengths, but director Jamie Dagg, screenwriters Benjamin and Paul China, and the phenomenal cast do a very good job at subtlety concealing them; allowing the film to wash over the audience from start to finish.
By: Jessica Goddard Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying is a touching, exquisitely-performed road trip drama, full of insight and engaging questions for the modern era. This is a movie that never stops breaking your heart, while it keeps you guessing at all the right moments. It’s both patriotic and skeptical; somehow inspiring and disillusioning.
I didn’t believe anything in Considering Love & Other Magic. These characters are so disengaged, you could set them on fire and all they would do is shrug. They’re all too busy pondering about death; mostly the long-term existentialism that lingers when a loved one passes away. The press release describes Dave Schultz’s film as a “family movie”. Try explaining that pitch to your kids. You’ll owe them ice cream after the show.
Paradise, a Holocaust drama from Russian filmmaker Andrey Konchalovsky, is surprisingly mannered considering the film’s potential. The movie murmurs its story while over-rehearsed interviews with individual characters interject break up the pacing with intimate perspectives.
By: Trevor Chartrand Showcasing the contrast between two farming families in Mississippi, Mudbound examines the overbearing racist climate of the southern states in the 1940s. Based on a novel of the same name and directed/co-written by Dee Rees, the film takes place both during and after the Second World War. When a white family takes ownership of a Mississippi farm, they find themselves living in the fields among the black farmhands who will work for them….
By: Jessica Goddard Mark Felt – The Man Who Brought Down the White House will work for those already familiar with the Watergate scandal of the 1970s, but Peter Landesman’s film will be less interesting to audiences not well-versed in political history. The screenplay doesn’t offer much exposition and relies on the smarts of its audience to keep up and understand.
Loving Vincent wants you to focus hard on the six-year process it took to make this movie. This oil-painted film is the first of its kind, with over 100 artists (including Canadian Valerie Fulford) painstakingly painting over 65,000 frames to make a cohesive cinematic work of art. Each frame is in the signature swirly style of tortured painter Vincent van Gogh.