REVIEW: Ordinary Love [2019]

How do you say to someone, ‘Don’t die’? Cancer is so often equated with death that it’s no wonder most films work towards that result when dealing with the subject matter. Not everyone dies, though. Many discover it early enough to have it removed without the need for additional operations. Some are a bit further along and must therefore confront the prospect of chemotherapy as a deterrent from complications. It’s different for everyone and the pain endured will always be there, but cancer stories can also be about life and…

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TIFF19 REVIEW: Calm with Horses [2020]

That’s not you. To cross the Devers family is to earn retribution. This is a known fact to all in the rural Irish town of Glanbeigh. Some strangers arrive and overstep their bounds without knowing (as if getting involved with drug dealers was an act whose danger can be unknown), but most everyone knows everyone else’s name and where to find them. So when it’s Fannigan’s (Liam Carney) turn to “make good” on a transgression, he doesn’t try to run. He sits in his chair as Douglas “Arm” Armstrong (Cosmo…

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REVIEW: Calvary [2014]

“I’ve always found forgiveness to be underrated” I’m not a religious man—hell, I’m barely agnostic. I’m also not sure if that truth helps my finding John Michael McDonagh‘s Calvary as powerful as I believe it to be or simply evidence of it’s universality for both churchgoers and not. A reflection on faith, God, and ourselves caught within a present where destruction is immensely more prevalent than salvation, this story cannot help but touch you on the basest level of humanity to ask whether or not you can be better. It’s…

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REVIEW: The Guard [2011]

“I’m Irish, sir. Racism is part o’ me culture.” All Sergeant Gerry Boyle wanted was to be left alone. A guard in Connemara, Ireland, he got through his workday by having a pint, rough-housing with the youngins, and stationing himself at the sharpest curve in the road to pickpocket illicit drugs from the kids lying dead from car crashes. Days off mean escapades with his two favorite prostitutes, crime scenes are for enjoyment rather than documentation for actual police work, and his constant bucking of authority is status quo. Gerry…

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