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Les Misérables

The Academy Awards have been criticized for not being ambitious or diverse enough, which is true.  But, I’ve seen plenty of risks taken in the Best Foreign Language Film category;  mostly from movies I admire more than I actually enjoy.  This time last year, Lebanon’s Capernaum received a public theatrical run shortly after being nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar.  I remember walking away from the film with a heavy heart.  It was…

Reviews

Brotherhood

By: Trevor Chartrand Based on a true story, Brotherhood is a harrowing tale of survival that recounts the tragedy beset upon a boy’s summer camp in Balsam Lake, Ontario in 1926.  On the night of July 20, thirteen boys and two camp counsellors set out to cross the lake in a canoe to gather food and supplies for the camp.  They encountered high winds that capsized the boat, leaving them floating in the cold water…

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Anthem of a Teenage Prophet

The melodic title of Robin Hays’ Anthem of a Teenage Prophet suggests, at the very least, a kind of experimental approach to tragedy and trauma.  Instead, this adaptation of Joanne Proulx’s award-winning novel Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet is surprisingly familiar;  replete with the traditional rebellious drug-fueled angst we’ve come to expect from cinematic representations of teenage life in the suburbs.

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The Peanut Butter Falcon

The Peanut Butter Falcon is an outstanding example of how filmmakers can make an in-the-moment crowd-pleaser and push it towards being a timeless classic.  Written and directed by Tyler Nilson and Mike Schwartz, The Peanut Butter Falcon is a road movie that plays as a contemporary take on American fables;  filled with recovering characters that are all endearing in their own ways.

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A Wizard’s Tale

It’s embarrassing to admit, but A Wizard’s Tale – a film intended for small children – took me a while to finish.  The storytelling, so hyper.  The humour, so random.  And no matter how many times I rewatched pivotal parts, I was still left dumbfounded.  When our heroes reached a kingdom of “balloon-people”, I knew I wasn’t losing it – the movie was.

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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.

Reviews

Firecrackers

Jasmin Mozaffari’s first feature length film is aptly named.  Firecrackers is an explosive and mesmerizing journey that follows two teenage friends, Lou (Michaela Kurimsky) and Chantelle (Karena Evans), as they attempt to break free of their small town.  Their plans to run away from it all are complicated by mundane jobs, poverty, abusive boyfriends, and drug-addicted parents.

Reviews

To Dust

By: Trevor Chartrand A surprising and VERY unique take on the buddy-comedy, To Dust is a thoughtful and inspired look at grief – with plenty of well-timed comedic wit.  It’s a premise we’ve all heard before, with two unlikely companions teaming up to reach a common goal, however the approach and style this film takes is a brand entirely its own.

Reviews

Dim the Fluorescents

Dim the Fluorescents is a fast and furious masterclass in deadpan comedy.  Its filmmaker, Daniel Warth, knows this and doesn’t miss an opportunity to make an uncomfortably honest comment about creative communities, or portray convoluted art – no matter how ridiculous it is – as believable impassioned labours of love.