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 […]

REVIEW: En man som heter Ove [A Man Called Ove] [2015]

“Sometimes, however, honesty needs a little assistance” Despite being rated PG-13 due to a liberal use of the word “shit,” En man som heter Ove [A Man Called Ove] is still one of the most full-hearted family-friendly dramedies of the year. I’d even say it’s the live action version of Up you’ve waited for since […]

TIFF15 REVIEW: Pojkarna [Girls Lost] [2016]

“Can’t you see it’s me?” Writer/director Alexandra-Therese Keining‘s adaptation of Jessica Schiefuer’s 2011 August Prize-winning (Sweden) young adult novel Pojkarna (translated as The Boys but changed to Girls Lost for international release) is deliciously dark and profoundly vital. It definitely lends itself to the genre with overt metaphors between three female classmates finding themselves budding […]

TIFF15 REVIEW: Under Rymdskeppet [Beneath the Spaceship] [2015]

“Don’t change a winning recipe” What’s the age cut-off for friendship? It’s an interesting notion to consider because at a certain point a noticeable difference becomes intrinsically pedophilic in the eyes of society. Where a neighbor can befriend someone young as a babysitter, alternate parental figure, etc., as soon as the child hits puberty the […]

REVIEW: Turist [Force Majeure] [2014]

“You can’t run in snow boots?” Very rarely does an international name change occur for the better, but few titles are more perfect for their respective film than Force Majeure. The original Swedish moniker was Turist, a succinct and appropriate label considering the entire piece portrays a family’s five-day ski vacation in French Alps. Force […]

TIFF14 REVIEW: Knuffen [The Shove] [2014]

“I was sentenced to a shoving last night” With an opening credit sequence recalling a 70s vibe via Quentin Tarantino, My Sandström‘s surrealist take on the paranoia of uncertainty delivers humor rather than the pulpy drama you may expect from the grainy picture and thick yellow text. There is a lot of this sort of […]

REVIEW: Simon och ekarna [Simon & the Oaks] [2011]

“Children forget so fast” A tale about family, its many definitions, and its discovery through the prism of an unstable time, Marianne Fredriksson‘s international bestseller Simon och ekarna [Simon & the Oaks] has found its way to the big screen. Epic in scope and yet pared down to the tumultuous emotions of a young man […]

VIFF11 REVIEW: Till det som är vackert [Pure] [2010]

“Courage is life’s only measure” What’s worse than giving sex to a married man for money? Giving it for love. It’s a tough distinction to delineate for a reformed twenty-year old prostitute whose only role model growing up was a drug-addled, suicidal mother that more or less taught her the business. Hoping for redemption and […]

REVIEW: Luftslottet som sprängdes [The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest] [2009]

“You have been one of the most entertaining patients I’ve had in a long time” While The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was by far the most captivating and unique of the Millennium Trilogy’s installments, the final two—as a pair—officially and successfully close the story of Lisbeth Salander. We’ll never know exactly what author Stieg […]

REVIEW: Flickan som lekte med elden [The Girl Who Played with Fire] [2009]

“You treat your friends like dirt. Its as simple as that.” Taking place more than a year after we’ve left Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) and journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Flickan som lekte med elden [The Girl Who Played with Fire] begins with two halves of a sprawling […]

REVIEW: Män som hatar kvinnor [The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo] [2009]

“They always think I’ll show mercy” There is no better director in Hollywood to helm Stieg Larsson’s Män som hatar kvinnor [The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo] than David Fincher. It is the perfect mix of Zodiac’s journalistic detecting and Se7en’s dark, religious-based murders. I can only see one problem—Niels Arden Oplev has already brought […]