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Reviews

A Hundred Lies

For aspiring musician Ricky (Rob Raco of The CW’s Riverdale), a career breakout would not only reassure himself of his personal aspirations but the fame and fortune could also benefit his sick mother. Unfortunately, as a bartender who is constantly disrespected by his boss and getting shorted on hours, he’s often discouraged and frustrated by the lack of hope.

Reviews

Orah

By: Trevor Chartrand Lonzo Nzekwe tells a very personal story in his gritty revenge-thriller, Orah.  Having lost his brother at the hands of an alleged corrupt police officer in Nigeria, the filmmaker has admittedly helmed this movie as a sort-of revenge fantasy;  with his characters exacting justice in ways he never could.  As the film’s writer and director, Nzekwe’s ambitions are noble and empowering but, as a film, Orah is ultimately a messy series of…

Reviews

So Much Tenderness

So Much Tenderness reunites me with Colombian-Canadian filmmaker Lina Rodriguez eight years after reviewing her feature-length debut Señoritas.  While I can see a bit of growth between then and now, Rodriguez is still stuck in her naturalistic, fly-on-the-wall approach to personal character studies.

Reviews

Soft

By: Trevor Chartrand Soft (which was featured in TIFF’s Discovery program last year) is a coming-of-age drama that, while captivating, can be difficult to watch – largely due to its meandering nature.

Reviews

Stay The Night

After HR specialist Grace (Andrea Bang of Luce and TV’s Kim’s Convenience) is passed over for a promotion, she resolves to embrace spontaneity and have a one-night stand.  Little does she know that the handsome stranger she met in the bar (Joe Scarpellino) is really an NHL player from out of town navigating a professional setback of his own.

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 Colombia 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, some new reminders and concerning sightings have Aurora second-guessing her identity.

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

Daisy Productions: ‘#BasicBAEs’ and ‘Thank U, Ex’

The latest efforts from the Toronto-based comedy collective Daisy Productions are two different takes on a fantasy vs. reality theme.  #BasicBAEs, directed by Dennis Alexander Nicholson (Kitty Mammas), is a short film that follows the individual lives of friends who primarily communicate through social media.  Thank U, Ex, a hybrid show directed by Maddie Rose that incorporates theatre with taped segments, chronicles the love life of a hopeless romantic with a chip on their shoulder….

Reviews

Run This Town

Run This Town, writer/director Ricky Tollman’s exceptional and intelligent feature-length debut, isn’t just about Rob Ford and and his public busts.  It’s not just about Ford’s team of “special assistants”, or the eager journalists who want a big break and be the first to report breaking news.  Run This Town is a magnetically contemplative film about the ethical decisions within these careers that jeopardize the integrity of these people.

Reviews

Space & Time

There seems to be an unhealthy trend of shooting and wrapping film productions within a short time frame (A Fall from Grace, Appiness).  But for Toronto indie Space & Time, writer/director Shawn Gerrard sees the appeal of a patient process.  Space & Time has been shot over the period of 11 months;  allowing the film to naturally capture the passage of, well, space and time.  This lends a potentially special quality to the film’s story…