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Thelma

Quaint humour and wholesome gags about retired life collide with a character-driven, Coen Brothers-inspired thriller in Thelma. In her best role since her Oscar nominated work in Alexander Payne’s Nebraska, June Squibb proves her chops as a late-career lead as the titular golden-ager. Lonely albeit confidently independent in Los Angeles, Thelma isn’t seen as a liability to her daughter (Parker Posey), her son-in-law (Clark Gregg), or her grandson (Fred Hechinger). However, a phone scam that…

Reviews

Ezra

Ezra feels like a modernized Rain Man that functions with the same fruitful filmmaking that made The Peanut Butter Falcon such an inclusive trailblazer. It’s also a great vehicle for character actor Bobby Cannavale (Blonde, Old Dads), who truly shows his worth as a grounded performer.

Reviews

The King Tide

Newfoundlander director Christian Sparkes (Hammer) seems as though he dipped into A24’s back catalogue to draw inspiration for his effective east coast chiller The King Tide. While there may be stylistic similarities to David Eggers’ work (The Witch, The Lighthouse) and Ari Aster’s movies (Hereditary, Midsommar), Sparkes’ ominous dramatic thriller doesn’t necessarily resemble Canada’s usual output. At least, not since Denis Côté’s Ghost Town Anthology.

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Love Lies Bleeding

By: Jolie Featherstone Filmmaker Rose Glass follows up her sharp horror film Saint Maud with Love Lies Bleeding – a grimy, sexy, wild ride. A stylistic and psychedelic blend of self-aware Americana meets noir, Glass delivers a heady acid trip of a love story.

Reviews

Dream Scenario

By: Jeff Ching The idea of a random Joe Schmoe appearing in everyone’s dreams is an intriguing premise, but could Dream Scenario’s writer/director Kristoffer Borgli (Sick of Myself) have ever imagined a better set-up than Nicolas Cage portraying this ubiquitous dream character?  The answer to my rhetorical question is a resounding “hell no!”. In fact, at the post-screening Q&A at this year’s TIFF, Cage explained how he easily relates to this character and brought up the meme about himself;…

Reviews

Freelance

The swashbuckling comedic action-adventure sub-genre featuring a macho man saving a high-profile damsel in distress seems like a dated idea.  It’s possible for filmmakers and storytellers to modernize this premise (The Lost City as a recent example), but to leave this two-dimensional dynamic at its infant stages for most of the movie feels like a no-win risk.  If this is generally agreed upon, then pardon me for the switcheroo: I had a lot of fun with…

Reviews

She Came to Me

She Came to Me has the feel of a 2000s-era quirky indie without feeling like a pandering throwback.  The characters are eccentric weirdos, the filmmaking is aware of its cleverness, the situational comedy is purposely absurd but meaningful, and it’s all in the name of romance.

Reviews

Back on the Strip

Back on the Strip is a guilty pleasure in the sense that I feel like I need to apologize to somebody for laughing as much as I did.  This unleashed movie isn’t very perceptive or thoughtful, but it knows how to deliver a payoff and a punchline.  I suppose in these circumstances you have to be fair and give credit where credit is due, but it feels like I’m rewarding bad behaviour.