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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…

Reviews

Donkeyhead

By: Trevor Chartrand Donkeyhead is the first feature film from writer/director Agam Darshi, who has extensive credits both in front of and behind the camera.  Her film focuses on Mona (played by Darshi herself), the least-successful sibling among the four brothers and sisters in her family.  As a failed writer, she is the only one among them who still lives at home, aimless in her pursuits with no job and no prospects.  Instead of pursuing…

Reviews

Scarborough

In the same observant spirit as Beasts of the Southern Wild, Room, and The Florida Project, Scarborough provides several perspectives of people trying to survive, whether they know it or not. It’s better than Beasts of the Southern Wild and Room, but it’s not as accomplished as The Florida Project. But then again, Scarborough is its own special film.

Reviews

Felix and the Treasure of Morgäa

For the first 20 minutes or so, I was really enjoying Nicola Lemay’s Canadian family film Felix and the Treasure of Morgäa.  The animation popped off the screen, the writing and visual gags were amusing, and the story was nesting in a promising adventure-fantasy element.  Even the obligatory cute animals were making me laugh.  I was excited to finally have an animated children’s movie ready to recommend to families.

Reviews

Roobha

Lenin M. Sivam’s Roobha explores two intersecting narratives: one, a young dancer, Roobha (Amrit Sandhu), a transgender woman living on the streets;  two, an older bartender Antony (Jesuthasan Antonythasan) whose poor lifestyle choices have severally worsened his health.  The two unexpectedly fall in love, creating tension in both characters’ lives.

Reviews

The Kid Detective

The Kid Detective has done the best job, in recent memory, explaining why a mystery’s leading sleuth is such a sad sack.  The enigmatic and eccentric personality has become such a cliché in the genre, that the audience just expects and accepts the detective to be grizzled, or unhappy, or an unpredictable hot head.  In The Kid Detective, Abe Applebaum (Adam Brody) carries those traits, but writer/director Evan Morgan provides compelling motivation which fuels Brody’s top-form…