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.
Hustlers is a real gem. The film is star-studded, earnest and heartfelt, and it’s also a crime-drama about a group of women hustling Wall Street scumbags.
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 German domestic thriller Pelican Blood starts off by employing a more psychologically based approach to a Bad Seed story of a child with violent impulses, but quickly devolves into monotony and cliches, despite the best efforts of all involved.
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.
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.
Clifton Hill, the third directorial feature from Canadian filmmaker Albert Shin, is a chilly, twisty mystery that makes his hometown of Niagara Falls look like a lesser version of Las Vegas or Atlantic City.
Let’s talk about TIFF, shall we? This is my 19th year covering the Toronto International Film Festival, and while it feels slightly different every single time, it’s a great feeling to come back again. Like a friend said to me recently, there’s really nothing like having a press pass to one of the world’s best film festivals.
If you’re ever in the mood to seek out an independent film written or directed by some of the best filmmakers of this new generation, be sure to look for Canadian actress Deragh Campbell’s name in the credits.