Toronto International Film Festival

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2015: ‘Lolo’

By: Shannon Page While on a spa retreat in the countryside with her best friend (Karin Viard), Violette (Julie Delpy, who also directs) meets geeky computer engineer Jean-René (Danny Boon).  Their romance gets rocky when Violette brings Jean-René into her sophisticated life in Paris and introduces him to her nineteen year old son, Lolo (Vincent Lacoste).  An unhappy Lolo attempts to sabotage his mother’s new relationship. The script – which was co-written by Delpy and Eugénie…

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2015: ‘Invention’

By: Addison Wylie It takes patience to mull thorough Mark Lewis’ Invention.  However, even the calmest movie goers may find themselves jiggling their leg and looking at their watch. Invention features visual artist Lewis and a wandering, hovering camera (driven by cinematographers Bobby Shore and Martin Testar) visiting Toronto, Paris, and Sao Paulo.  His feature film debut asks audiences to find fascination in minor details.  The camera floats, locks in on open, negative space and waits for…

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2015: ‘I Smile Back’

By: Shannon Page Probably best known for her stand-up comedy and satirical roles, Sarah Silverman isn’t the first name that comes to mind when one thinks of serious dramatic actresses – but maybe she should be. Directed by Adam Salky (Dare), I Smile Back stars Silverman as Laney Brooks, a suburban housewife and mother of two.  In between packing lunches and driving the kids to school, Laney’s self-destructive behavior and out-of-control drug use begin to…

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TIFF 2015: ‘Northern Soul’

By: Trevor Jeffery In 1978, John (Elliot James Langridge) is a lonely English youth with a penchant for vandalism.  He goes from creepily shy to dance machine after meeting cool guy Matt (Josh Whitehouse) and being introduced to the sounds of American soul music.  And speed.  Lots and lots of speed. The two bond quickly over records and dancing.  John ditches his good boy life, rudely telling his parents and teacher to go elsewhere, and…

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TIFF 2015: ‘Ville-Marie’

By: Trevor Jeffery College senior Thomas (TIFF rising star Aliocha Schneider) witnesses a young mother’s suicide after she hands him her baby and dives in front of a truck.  Guy Édoin’s Ville-Marie takes two paths from this first scene tragedy: one, following Thomas as he reunites with his estranged actress mother shooting on location in Montreal, Sophie (Monica Bellucci), and the second following the hospital staff – a paramedic who shows up to the scene,…

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2015: ‘Dégradé’

Trapped in a hair salon while chaos ensues outside, the characters of Arab and Tarzan Nasser’s tensely-written Dégradé are confronted by the worsening socio-economic conditions of Palestine: frequent brownouts, lack of security, armed conflict, and ideological extremism.  The Nasser twins use their diverse range of female characters – all differing in terms of devoutness, personality, and in some cases cultural background – to weave together a flowing, stimulating dialogue on the political and social climate…

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2015: ‘Love’

By: Mark Barber Love is about reconciling romance with sex;  something its director, French provocateur Gaspar Noé, and the film’s main protagonist, Murphy (Karl Glusman), agree on.  Whether or not Noé is successful in marrying romance and sex (and whether they are even really that diametrically opposed outside of some conceptions of pornography) doesn’t matter.  Love faults in so many other ways, it’s easy to ignore its ambition. Love tells the story of the turbulent…

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2015: ‘She Stoops to Conquer’

By: Addison Wylie TIFF’s short film programmes have always featured creative work made by gifted people. This year, Peterborough born filmmaker Zack Russell is one of those people. She Stoops to Conquer marks Russell’s filmmaking debut, but he couldn’t be farther from being a beginner. His sweeping theatre experience has allowed Russell to gradually learn how to communicate with actors, how to block a scene, and how to understand the emotions behind a playwright’s work. After watching…

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2015: ‘Louder Than Bombs’

By: Shannon Page Louder than Bombs’s non-linear plot follows a widower named Gene Reed (Gabriel Byrne) and his sons, Jonah (Jesse Eisenberg) and Conrad (Devin Druid), as they navigate life two years after the death of Gene’s wife Isabelle (Isabelle Huppert) who was an acclaimed conflict photographer.  Jonah, now a university professor, returns to his childhood home to sort through his mother’s things prior to an upcoming retrospective on her life’s work. Given the subject…