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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REVIEW: Mank [2020]

Sixty days and a noodle. Who wrote Citizen Kane? It’s a question that should have a definitive answer considering it’s hailed as the greatest film of all-time after winning a single Oscar out of nine nominations: for original screenplay. Yet the debate rages on. Or maybe it’s better to say that those who believe there is a debate continue declaring that one exists. Pauline Kael wrote a 1971 New Yorker article that posited how director/producer/star Orson Welles added nothing of value to Herman J. Mankiewicz’s original draft. Many others refuted…

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REVIEW: The Souvenir [2019]

Very much in love. Love is a powerful drug. There’s the unadulterated high when things are going good and the debilitating anguish upon suffering withdrawal. We chase the former and fall into bad habits to avoid the latter—sacrificing everything we want to achieve for ourselves in order to sustain a union we cannot fathom being without. So even though Anthony (Tom Burke) is the only one shooting heroin, he’s not the only addict drawn by The Souvenir‘s writer/director Joanna Hogg. As he constantly asks Julie (Honor Swinton Byrne) for money…

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REVIEW: Only God Forgives [2013]

“No matter what happens, keep your eyes closed” I’ve never seen a film by Alejandro Jodorowsky, but it doesn’t take a long glimpse into the auteur’s internet biographies to understand why Nicolas Winding Refn dedicated his Only God Forgives to the legend. Descriptions are riddled with labels such as “avant-garde”, “violently surreal”, “mystical”, and “religiously provocative”—terms also very clearly formed while watching this newest, meditative jaunt through the stoic minds of morally tortured killers from the critically acclaimed director of Drive. More akin to his ethereal visual poem Valhalla Rising,…

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