REVIEW: Wild [2014]

“Cold mush dreams” The cinematic adaptation of Cheryl Strayed‘s memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail seems to be getting pigeonholed hard as being solely a tale of female empowerment. It most definitely is, but I’m not sure critics should necessarily call it a day with such a generic categorization. There’s a deeper draw to the author’s solo, one thousand mile journey along the Pacific Crest that hits at a human level way beyond gender. Was Into the Wild only thought of as a tale of…

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Picking Winners at the 84th Annual Academy Awards

For the next week and a half, Spree contributor William C. Altreuter, our online film reviewer Jared Mobarak, and me will share our thoughts on who will take home the Oscars. Let’s kick things off with … Best Supporting Actress. —C. S. BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:Bérénice Bejo – The Artist as Peppy MillerJessica Chastain – The Help as Celia FooteMelissa McCarthy – Bridesmaids as Megan PriceJanet McTeer – Albert Nobbs as Hubert PageOctavia Spencer – The Help as Minny Jackson Christopher Schobert: Bill, it seems like every time you and I tackle…

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INTERVIEW: Emilio Estevez, writer/director of The Way

I walked into the Elgin Theatre a year and a half ago for the Toronto International Film Festival’s screening of Emilio Estevez‘s The Way without knowing exactly what I was in for. I loved his Bobby a few years earlier, but after reading the glossy sheet of information pertaining to the film handed out to all in attendance I knew this was going to be a completely different beast. Spiritual, personal, and a testament between father and son, this new work is an inspirational journey of finding oneself at a…

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REVIEW: Oorlogswinter [Winter in Wartime] [2008]

“Rule one in wartime: keep your mouth shut” War has a way of involving even the most unsuspecting child thought to be safe from the pain of death and destruction left in its wake. It has a way of hardening the most innocent of souls, quickening the pace towards adulthood by exposing all to hard choices, treason, and unfathomable compromise. In Nazi-occupied Holland, a mayor’s son is caught in the middle of his own quest for morality. Michiel (Martijn Lakemeier) is just a boy—horsing around with his friend Theo (Jesse…

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TIFF10 RECAP: The Festival In Photos, Tweets & Reviews

Another year done at the Toronto International Film Festival. It was a pretty uneventful trip into the city—besides a rogue Customs official’s 5 minute power trip before we reached the border—that saw a smooth two hour drive both to and from, a far cry from the parking lot car jams of a few short weeks earlier to hand in film picks for the advance lottery. 2010 saw its fair share of rain, the umbrella while waiting in line for Andrew Lau‘s screening of Jing mo fung wan: Chen Zhen [Legend…

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TIFF10: Day Two Recap

Day Two at TIFF may have started with two junket screenings, meaning there was no chance of seeing any filmmakers/actors, but it also began with what could be my number one film of the year—Never Let Me Go. Amidst the small contingent of press glomming down free danishes and coffee courtesy of Fox Searchlight was a work of art that will devastate even the most cynical of souls. It’s tough to go into detail of the plot, though, without ruining the nuance of the parallel universe world, one where disease…

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TIFF10 REVIEW: The Way [2010]

“You don’t choose a life, Dad. You live one.” When you decide to fit in an almost two and a half hour film about a man hiking an 800 kilometer trail through Spain at the Toronto International Film Festival, you do begin to fear whether the time might be better served elsewhere. Arriving at the gorgeous Winter Garden Theatre to ushers handing out booklets—this film has a guidebook?—only makes you question the decision further. But then director Emilio Estevez came to the stage to help introduce his new work, a…

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TIFF10 PREVIEW: 4 Days, 16 Films, 200 Miles …

September is once more synonymous with four words: Toronto International Film Festival. Fellow Spree’er Christopher Schobert and I will again travel north for a weekend of what could be the top candidates for Oscar gold come next winter. Of course, they could also be films that may hit theater screens within the next two to three years depending on distribution deals. It’s another jam-packed schedule of sixteen films in less than four days. Daunting for sure, but a challenge we rise toward with excitement. Sadly, the most coveted title of…

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