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Reviews

Bandit

Brief stylistic choices in the comical caper Bandit reminded me of 2013’s Pain & Gain. And while I shuddered remembering how nasty Michael Bay’s true-crime comedy was, those feelings were soon followed by a sigh of relief as Bandit’s charm washed over me.

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2022: ‘So Much Tenderness’

Environmental lawyer Aurora (Noëlle Schönwald) has sought out refuge in Canada after her husband is mysteriously killed. She flees across the border from Columbia and then, after some additional information is explained about Aurora’s backstory, the film fast-forwards to the refugee’s contemporary lifestyle in Toronto. Despite finding new roots and separating herself from the past, recent sightings of her late husband around the city have Aurora second-guessing her identity.

Reviews

Becoming a Queen

Becoming a Queen is a very straightforward documentary that zeroes in on one person, their career, and their primary achievement. The film follows this standard structure well enough, issuing the occasional bit of history along the way, but I wish director Chris Strikes followed a less conventional format to this vibrant subject matter.

Reviews

Slash/Back

While I’m not head-over-heels for Slash/Back, Nyla Innuksuk’s lil’ sci-fi that could, I don’t want the filmmaker to be discouraged by my review.  It’s best described as a Northern Canadian Attack The Block, which is an incredible compliment.

Reviews

All My Puny Sorrows

All My Puny Sorrows, directed by One Week’s Michael McGowan, is cut from similar cloth as last year’s outstanding, sad drama Our Friend.  Carried by a small yet mighty cast who are all approaching sensitive material under the guidance of a cautious filmmaker, All My Puny Sorrows tracks how deep mental illness can run within a family’s dynamic, and how it affects its members.

Reviews

Marlene

By: Trevor Chartrand Marlene dramatizes the notorious true story of the wrongfully-convicted Canadian Steven Truscott, who was sentenced to death for the rape and murder of classmate Lynne Harper in 1959.  Appropriately, the movie pays special attention to his wife, the titular Marlene, who spent years tirelessly researching his case and eventually clearing his name.  The justice system is put under close scrutiny during this understandably melodramatic, romanticized, version of true events and director Wendy…

Reviews

Run Woman Run

Run Woman Run is a sweet and charming dramatic comedy about family, community, healing, and grief.  Written and directed by Zoe Leigh Hopkins (Kayak to Klemtu), Run Woman Run stars Dakota Ray Hebert (In Her City) as Beck, a single mom who is forced to re-examine her lifestyle after she is diagnosed with diabetes.  While her father (Lorne Cardinal of Corner Gas) and sister (The Exchange’s Jayli Wolf) beg Beck to start eating right and exercising,…

Reviews

Learn to Swim

By: Trevor Chartrand In this feature directorial debut of Thyrone Tommy, Learn to Swim focuses on the failing relationship between a stubborn jazz saxophone player Dezi (Thomas Antony Olajide) and an up-and-coming singer, Selma (Emma Ferreira).  The film plays with time and takes place both before and after the relationship has failed.  I hesitate to compare the film to 2009’s 500 Days of Summer, simply because Learn to Swim takes a much more sophisticated, and…