TIFF21 REVIEW: True Things [2021]

You’re my tribe. Kate (Ruth Wilson) is listless. She works a dead-end workers’ claim desk wherein her bosses are so redundant that they don’t think they’re doing their job unless they’re chastising their employees for not bringing in doctor notes. Her best friend Alison (Hayley Squires) is too busy with her kids to provide stimulating entertainment beyond a couple drinks at their local. And the only place she really has at her disposal to escape these doldrums is her parents’ home so Mum (Elizabeth Rider) can remind her about all…

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TIFF21 REVIEW: Ich bin dein Mensch [I’m Your Man] [2021]

Your eyes are like two mountain lakes I could sink into. Writer/director Maria Schrader‘s Ich bin dein Mensch [I’m Your Man] posits the question: What if Weird Science, but real? That’s not to say the conceit she and co-writer Jan Schomburg have created (from a short story by Emma Braslavsky) isn’t science fiction fantasy. I just mean that their romantic comedy isn’t saddled by the puerile male gaze of an 80s sex romp. It uses its skeptical lead character (Maren Eggert‘s ancient language specialist Alma) to confront the scenario she’s…

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TIFF21 REVIEW: Quickening [2021]

You’re doing what you want. Writer/director Haya Waseem‘s feature debut Quickening is not about a pregnancy. Knowing this fact is crucial enough that she opens the film with the definition of pseudocyesis—a false pregnancy wherein the woman experiences all the symptoms of being pregnant without there ever being a fetus. Without it, we would focus too much on what Sheila (Arooj Azeem) having a baby during her freshman year at college would mean for her future rather than accept it as the product of all the stress she’s enduring due…

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