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Mongrel Media

Reviews

Living

Acclaimed character actor Bill Nighy has earned his first Oscar nomination for his lead performance in Oliver Hermanus’ Living, a retelling of Akira Kurosawa’s Ikiru set in 1950s London.  Nighy more than deserves the nomination.  This isn’t a case of his peers tipping their hats to his legacy of work.  The role of Williams, an intimidating yet reclusive boss who learns about a critical health diagnosis giving him six months to live, is a change…

Reviews

Decision to Leave

Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, The Handmaiden) aspires to give audiences a different type of police procedural with Decision to Leave, but I’m afraid he’s put too much of his focus on trying to deliver innovation rather than a story that’s either compelling or accessible.

Reviews

Piggy

Piggy is committed to its framework and characters, but it hasn’t settled on a primary genre.  Actually, as confusing as it is, the story tries to make its main character the genre which, you can imagine, poses issues.

Reviews

House of Darkness

A night of flirting and drinking leads up to House of Darkness’ initial scene, featuring a coy couple exchanging smiles as Hap (Justin Long) anticipates more canoodling with Mina (Kate Bosworth) at her place.  She invites him in and, immediately, he can’t believe her house which resembles a castle-style mansion.  For some reason, he shrugs off the peculiar detail that it’s lit by several candlesticks and that Mina is dressed for a long-ago period, but…

Festival Coverage

TIFF 2022: ‘I Like Movies’

Set in the early-2000s, I Like Movies alternates between the double life of 17-year-old Burlington native Lawrence Kweller (Isiah Lehtinen) as an outspoken high school senior and an obsessive film buff at his local video store, Sequels Video.  Lawrence is an opinionated know-it-all under both roofs, but he feels more in his element at Sequels and is elated when they finally hire him on as an employee.

Reviews

I Love My Dad

At the root of a dark comedy is sadness.  Some examples may take more effort to trace back to that forlorn emotion, but the premise usually begins with an unfortunate circumstance and then carried beyond the point of comfort or absurdism;  ideally to create humour.  It’s all about finding amusing, and sometimes inappropriate, ways of interpreting that sadness.  And, I Love My Dad is successful most of the time.

Reviews

My Old School

My Old School is a peculiar documentary that intrigues audiences with an unconventional narrative gimmick, and further attracts viewers with its strange, entertaining, and deliberately confusing yarn.  The movie is, simply, unforgettable.

Reviews

Fire of Love

“Do I like this movie, or do I just like the footage?” I frequently asked myself this during Fire of Love, a documentary about the relationship between volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft and their explosive expeditions.