REVIEW: Blue Velvet [1986]

“Now it’s dark” After finding critical and commercial success with The Elephant Man—earning his first Oscar nominations for directing and screenplay—David Lynch became bankable enough to mount what would end up a large-scale disaster in Dune. Whereas many would probably count the latter as a failure across the board, the truth is that the sci-fi […]

REVIEW: Joy [2015]

“No, I don’t need a prince” There’s a reason you don’t hear “Mangano” throughout David O. Russell‘s supposed biography of Miracle Mop inventor Joy Mangano and it’s because Joy isn’t real. Whether original scribe Annie Mumolo intended this aesthetic—she reportedly fought tooth and nail to retain her credit—or Russell retooled its tone, what could have […]

TIFF15 REVIEW: Closet Monster [2016]

“Don’t be a wimp” Writer/director Stephen Dunn‘s feature debut Closet Monster cares little about convention to tell the story of Oscar Madly (Connor Jessup) growing up with a psychological revulsion to his sexual urges all thanks to an extremely disturbing event witnessed as a child. This prologue glimpse at his youth (played by Jack Fulton) […]

REVIEW: Enemy [2014]

“Chaos is order yet undeciphered” When you read a synopsis for the late Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago’s The Double you’ll find a very straightforward tale of doppelgangers. There’s the alpha, the pushover, and the innocent victims caught between; the insanity of seeing an exact replica in the flesh paired with the infinite possibilities such […]

REVIEW: Keyhole [2012]

“I’m returning what was lost” Like the crackled overlay of two radio stations playing from a dial meticulously tuned equidistantly between them, Guy Maddin‘s haunting Keyhole concurrently projects the tenuous holds of reality, dream, and afterlife onto its fixed environment inside the Picks’ residence. Apparently the return of the household’s patriarch after an extended absence, […]

REVIEW: Two Lovers [2009]

“You deserve to be loved” Leave it to Joaquin Phoenix to quit the business after giving his finest performance to date. The role of Leonard Kraditor in James Gray’s Two Lovers is an amazing turn from someone that has been usually relegated to the cool, confident leading man. Yes, I know, his portrayal of Johnny […]

REVIEW: My Dad is 100 Years Old [2005]

“Like is not the measure of right” I have caught the Guy Maddin bug. And it is all My Dad is 100 Years Old’s fault. Is Isabella Rossellini’s love letter to her father overdone, pretentious, and unnecessary? Probably yes on all counts, however, none of that detracts from the achievement it also creates. Why film […]