Time for a little celebration dance, because 2018 was an incredible year for The GATE. And, yes, this may be a little late, but since I’m proud of all the highlights from last year, it’s taken me a while to write it all up.
Clara is director Akash Sherman’s second feature film, and it’s an impressive, moving, and smart cinematic work with compelling performances by Patrick J. Adams as Dr. Isaac Bruno, and Troian Bellisario as Clara.
One of the most tonally off-putting and frustrating depictions of a family attempting to work through, with, and around the addiction issues of a loved one, Beautiful Boy is a well intentioned, but altogether too earnest, hollow, and baffling assembled melodrama that plays more like a parody of an afterschool special than a serious drama.
An impassioned, emotional, and vital look at a young person of colour growing up in America, George Tillman Jr.s’ The Hate U Give isn’t a perfect piece of cinematic activism or even a narratively balanced bit of storytelling, but it’s still perfect in all the ways that matter most.
A personal, terrestrial, and sometimes even bracingly experimental look at the historical race to reach the moon, Damien Chazelle’s First Man is a technically dazzling and dramatically satisfying work from one of this generation’s finest filmmakers.
Visually bracing and psychologically fascinating in equal measure, Free Solo, Jimmy Chin and Chai Vasarhelyi’s documentary look at risk-taking rock climber Alex Honnold, balances visceral thrills with an in-depth character study of a patently unclassifiable and exceptional human being.
- FilmSpotlightToronto International Film Festival
Renowned British filmmaker Paul Greengrass is no stranger to depicting real life traumas and tragedies on screen, but his latest feature as a writer and director, 22 July (opening in select cities and available on Netflix starting on Wednesday, October 10), finds the Oscar nominee tackling some of his most politically, morally, socially, and emotionally taxing material to date.
If The Old Man & the Gun truly represents veteran actor Robert Redford’s cinematic swan song, then writer-director David Lowery has gifted the performer with charming send off that makes the most of his trademarked suave demeanor.
A unique, beguiling, and subtly humorous take on the western genre, French filmmaker Jacques Audiard’s adaptation of Canadian novelist Patrick DeWitt’s The Sisters Brothers breathes ingenious new life into a cinematic artform that always feels like it’s on perpetual life support.
Actor Bradley Cooper’s feature directorial debut A Star is Born, a retelling of the well worn tale about a relationship between a washed-up performer and an up-and-coming talent, is an assured, electrifying, and expertly crafted motion picture that lives up to nearly every ounce of hype it has received recently.