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: 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 […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Hölmö nuori sydän [Stupid Young Heart] [2018]

“Nobody knows” It was fun to laugh back in January when Donald Trump spoke to the media about how he wanted fewer immigrants from “shithole” countries and more from the likes of Norway. We laughed because it was obvious what the difference between the two was for him—my ignorance towards Scandinavian politics stopping at the […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Das schönste Paar [The Most Beautiful Couple] [2018]

“Stay cool. Okay?” It starts with a rape. I won’t lie: I sighed thinking Sven Taddicken‘s Das schönste Paar [The Most Beautiful Couple] was going to end up another drama about coping and retribution like most others wherein Liv (Luise Heyer) struggles as Malte (Maximilian Brückner) protects. So it was a welcome surprise when we’re […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Cascos Indomables [Helmet Heads] [2018]

“There’s a spot on your face” If Broken Lizard were Central American and deadpan, they might make something akin to Ernesto Villalobos‘ Cascos Indomables [Helmet Heads]. Think an extremely droll Super Troopers meets Office Space starring a sextet of bike messengers desperately trying to break the monotony of their stagnant lives while also staying afloat […]

TIFF18 REVIEW: Lof mér að falla [Let Me Fall] [2018]

“Then you’ll get the kick” Films about addiction can be tough to endure depending on how authentically harrowing the experience is drawn. They can only end in one of two ways: death or sobriety. The former can be literal or figurative depending on how deep the drug of choice has its claws fastened and the […]