TIFF REVIEW: Beautiful Boy [2018]

“Everything” There’s an odd framing device within Felix Van Groeningen‘s Beautiful Boy that strangely frames the first half of the film for no reason. It’s a scene wherein David Sheff (Steve Carell) is conducting an interview with a Dr. Brown (Timothy Hutton). The latter assumes it’s for a story considering the former is a journalist, […]

TIFF REVIEW: Duelles [Mothers’ Instinct] [2019]

“Forgive me” Director Olivier Masset-Depasse lets us know exactly what to expect out of Duelles [Mothers’ Instinct] from the start, introducing an idyllic bourgeois home with all the sensory cues to foreshadow melodramatic suspense. Alice Brunelle (Veerle Baetens) peers out her window as neighbor Céline Geniot (Anne Coesens) leaves, rushing out once the car pulls […]

TIFF REVIEW: کفرناحوم [Capharnaüm] [Capernaum] [2018]

“Because I was born” The synopsis doesn’t lie. Young Zain (Zain Al Rafeea) is in prison, his five-year sentence just put into effect. He has no papers despite being born in Lebanon and thus a doctor must estimate his age by his lack of baby teeth as twelve. But here he is anyway for a […]

TIFF REVIEW: The Front Runner [2018]

“A lot can happen in three weeks” And so it began—sentiments that prove true only until the next example replaces it. We’re just two years removed from Donald Trump’s victory for president of the United States and already the art seeking answers about what went wrong and what went right have arrived. Much of it […]

TIFF REVIEW: The Predator [2018]

“Did I say that out loud?” Writer Shane Black had a good year in 1987. He burst onto the action screenwriting scene with Lethal Weapon. Co-wrote the cult classic children versus Universal monsters fantasy The Monster Squad with Fred Dekker. And landed a supporting role in the Arnold Schwarzenegger-starring Predator as an exfil team member […]

TIFF REVIEW: Mouthpiece [2019]

“This isn’t about you” Cassandra (played by Amy Nostbakken and Norah Sadava) reminds her mother (Maev Beaty‘s Elaine) that we (humans) used to only live until forty. I think we often forget this fact—subjectively rather than objectively. The disparity between my generation and my parents’ is a veritable canyon as far as notions of domesticity, […]

TIFF REVIEW: Les filles du soleil [Girls of the Sun] [2018]

“Women, life, liberty” It’s just like America to document ISIS as a fight we must combat—like the saviors we are. There’s a reason for this from our perspective, but our jingoistic thought process does detract from what’s occurring on the ground. People are engaged in a war that they have no way to avoid. They’ve […]

TIFF REVIEW: Loro [2018]

“Him, Him?” If you watch “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” you know Silvio Berlisconi. The Italian tycoon turned politician is mired in scandals, controversy, and populist excitement to the point of having a bizarre theme song declaring, “Thank Goodness for Silvio.” He smiles and waves, refuses to divest business interests while in office, and […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Fiore Gemello [Twin Flower] [2018]

“Shall we go?” Two strangers running from personal demons collide at the start of Laura Luchetti‘s Sardinia-set Fiore gemello [Twin Flower]. He (Kallil Kone’s Basim) is an Ivory Coast immigrant desperate for money yet unequipped with the correct paperwork to earn gainful employment. She (Anastasiya Bogach’s Anna) is desperate to escape a pursuer (Aniello Arena‘s […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Aniara [2018]

“The utter nonsense of living” So much of our desire to exist is based in control. We have the ability to move our homes, restart careers, and work towards a future of our choosing. No matter how difficult things become, there’s always a hope for better or an avenue towards change. It’s only when we’re […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Jessica Forever [2018]

“Why wouldn’t you come with us?” Redemption is a tricky concept. Can you be redeemed without forgiveness from those you wronged? Are our actions in the aftermath enough to achieve some semblance of peace if they show we’ve learned through remorse? Everyone has a different opinion on the matter whether victim, loved one, stranger, or […]