Joker, director and co-writer Todd Phillips’ dark and violent attempt to tell the origin story of one of the nastiest comic book villains of all time, is, like the character at the centre of it all, hard to define, but leaves an indelible impression.
Not much more than another standard tale of a young person learning to get over a tragic loss and believe in themselves through the help of a magical creature, Abominable doesn’t break any new ground in animated storytelling whatsoever, but at least it’s cute, enjoyable, and has a lot of heart.
Swerving around many of the cliched potholes modern day biopics about famous performers all too frequently and gleefully drive over at full speed, Judy smartly profiles its larger-than-life subject and talent at a couple of fixed, well chosen points in time rather than mounting a standard riches to rags tale.
Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band – which recently became the first ever Canadian documentary to open the Toronto International Film Festival – is a one-sided, boilerplate, but somewhat personable look at one of rock and roll’s most divisive figures.
Austere and restrained almost to a fault, the Danish thriller and family drama Resin is a fairly forgettable tale told with plenty of brooding style, great performances, and not much else worth recommending.
Adapting something as sprawling, highly detailed, strange, and twisty as Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize winning 2014 novel The Goldfinch for the big screen might’ve been an impossible task for anyone to attempt, but director John Crowley and screenwriter Peter Straughan certainly give their all with this uneven, sometimes bizarre, but never boring literary epic.
The Audition has a story that’s bound to draw comparisons to Damien Chazelle’s breakthrough film Whiplash, but director Ina Weisse’s approach is decidedly less showy and melodramatic.
If TIFF is at all consistent in any way, it’s the fact that I almost always start my festival experience with a Canadian film interview, and this year it was for the bloody, intelligent, and culturally significant Midnight Madness opening film, Blood Quantum.
Walk, drive, bus, or bicycle down any road in North America long enough, and you’re likely to stumble upon a church. In some cases, there will be more than one. But few roads compare to No. 5 Road in Richmond, British Columbia, the subject of filmmaker Sandra Ignagni’s short documentary, Highway to Heaven: A Mosaic in One Mile
A unique work of DIY brilliance, trippy visuals, and thoughtful, culturally minded subtext, Nigerian filmmaker Abba Makama’s The Lost Okoroshi gets off to a blazing start before settling into a slower, duller groove.