TIFF REVIEW: Skin [2019]

“This is what I have” Bryon ‘Babs’ Widner (Jamie Bell) hears the buzz of a faulty electrical connection, triggering a transition to an operating table and screams as the tattoos covering most of his body start being removed. It’s a soundscape that’ll have you squirming in your seat, the close-up shots of scar tissue replacing […]

TIFF REVIEW: The Lie [2019]

“We’re not turning around” All kids grow up. Some parents grow apart. And the ramifications of this combination can have drastic effects. Jealousies might crop up to cause rifts while nostalgia for times long since past try replacing a present of anger and regret. So what is there to do but deal with the pain? […]

TIFF REVIEW: Teen Spirit [2019]

“Love’s not real” If you haven’t had enough underdog tales about kids from the wrong side of the tracks trying to make it big, Max Minghella‘s directorial debut Teen Spirit hits all the usual check marks to provide a stylish if familiar entry to the theme. There’s the likeable teen lead in Violet’s (Elle Fanning) […]

TIFF REVIEW: White Boy Rick [2018]

“We’re goddamn lions” The pitch is as follows: Ricky Wershe Jr. (newcomer Richie Merritt) was a street hustler, drug kingpin, and FBI informant by the age of seventeen. If that doesn’t hook you, the added bonus of it all being real should. Welcome to White Boy Rick, a look at the American Dream that cuts […]

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: 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 […]