TIFF15 REVIEW: About Ray [2015]

“I’m proud of you” I hate to be the guy to judge a book by its cover, but I admittedly did just that with Gaby Dellal‘s About Ray. It depicts the “unconventional” family of three generations with Susan Sarandon‘s Dodo, Naomi Watts as her daughter Maggie, and Elle Fanning‘s transitioning grandson/son respectfully named Ray (formerly […]

TIFF15 REVIEW: Into the Forest [2016]

“It reveals character” The farther we advance towards a world of complete convenience, the further we distance ourselves from self-sufficiency. Every new generation loses more skills and know-how of what humanity was capable of for millennia to survive. We choose careers in dance and the arts, leave books collecting dust when the internet is at […]

TIFF15 REVIEW: Baskin [2015]

“Open the eyes of your heart” It starts off with a late night dinner scene between a quintet of cops telling crazy stories and losing their temper with the help straight out of a Tarantino movie and continues on its descent to Hell with a writhing, mashing, sexual bloodletting orgy calling to mind E. Elias […]

TIFF15 REVIEW: Bang Gang (une histoire d’amour moderne) [Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story)] [2016]

“I’d rather watch” A post-9/11 world rife with domestic terrorism is one our youth should be allowed to avoid. Parents seek an escape as well, though, something that risks leaving their kids alone without supervision for longer than recommended. This concept is never more prevalent than within the affluent sector of society where expendable income […]

REVIEW: Phantom Boy [2015]

“My reign will start in darkness” French directors Alain Gagnol (who also wrote) and Jean-Loup Felicioli have another winner on their hands with Phantom Boy. The much-anticipated follow-up to their Oscar-nominated animation A Cat in Paris was five years in the making and well worth the wait. With its vibrant colors muted for a NYC […]

TIFF15 REVIEW: I Saw the Light [2016]

“Remember: they can kill you, but they can’t eat you” The opening to Marc Abraham‘s I Saw the Light holds a lot of intrigue. Based on Colin Escott‘s biography about hillbilly legend Hank Williams, the start goes from a faux black and white newsreel interview with producer Fred Rose (Bradley Whitford) recounting how one-of-a-kind the […]

TIFF15 REVIEW: Len and Company [2016]

“Be good or be gone” Hearing how deeply a film touched its cast lends a certain air that might not normally be there. Len and Company has it as Juno Temple and star Rhys Ifans both exclaimed during their TIFF premiere Q&A how affected they were by director Tim Godsall and cowriter Katherine Knight‘s script. […]

TIFF15 REVIEW: Mænd & høns [Men & Chicken] [2015]

“In fact, they hadn’t been dealt any cards” While I’m not familiar with Anders Thomas Jensen‘s solo work, I am with the films he has collaborated on opposite Susanne Bier. So to see images of his latest Mænd & høns [Men & Chicken] with a weirdly disfigured and hair lipped Mads Mikkelsen readying for a […]

TIFF15 REVIEW: Ville-Marie [2016]

“It’s like you never do the right thing” It may only be his second feature length fictional narrative, but writer/director Guy Édoin‘s Ville-Marie is something special. The title is named after the Montreal hospital where the majority of the film takes place. From an unforgettable opening that violently shakes us awake to prepare for the […]

TIFF15 REVIEW: A Patch of Fog [2016]

“What happened to one guy doing another guy a favor?” After Michael Lennox‘s success with the Oscar-nominated short Boogaloo and Graham, it was only a matter of time before he’d delve back into the feature game with his debut solo fiction. Scripted by John Cairns and Michael McCartney, A Patch of Fog possesses the type […]

TIFF15 REVIEW: Mekko [2016]

“Time ran out” Seeking to bridge the divide between contemporary filmmaking and Native American spiritualism, writer/director Sterlin Harjo‘s Mekko provides a tale of redemption and honor worthy of both worlds. At the center is a kind-hearted soul damaged by alcohol and dark forces stemming from his old hometown’s need for evacuation due to its water […]