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  • Locke

    Locke 2013

    ★★★★★ Watched 06 Oct, 2015 8

    Locke is a fascinating character study about the consequences of making moral choices. The fact that the entire film takes places in a car, in real time, with just one character and a phone is no doubt to highlight the ultimate isolation we face when making moral choices. No matter what co-workers say or even family, the choices are ours and ours alone. And no matter what we decide, life goes on. Time passes. The wheels keep turning. (last bit…

  • 45 Years

    45 Years 2015

    ★★★★★ Watched 15 Sep, 2015 3

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    A wonderful sedate character study of a couple who, even after 45 years together, manage to surprise each other.

    There is no Hollywood here. No melodrama. No strings. Just a raw look at one woman's surprising reaction to a past event, and how she tries to incorporate it into her history with her husband. Re-writing the narrative of 45 years together isn't easy and it is especially untimely with an anniversary party looming around the corner,…

  • Our Brand Is Crisis

    Our Brand Is Crisis 2015

    ★★★ Watched 19 Sep, 2015

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    A friend couldn't see this one so he sold me his ticket the night before (thanks Chris!). I was still recovering from a cold, so a Hollywood film was just what the Doctor ordered.

    This one hit all the standard beats so it was nice and predictable.
    The performances were just alright and the story probably a little bit better than most but we all know it by now. The fact that they set it in…

  • The Witch

    The Witch 2015

    ★★★ Watched 18 Sep, 2015

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    Here are the sorts of things I should say about the Witch:

    It is mesmerizing. It isn't as scary as it is creepy. Very creepy.
    It is incredibly atmospheric and beautiful.

    But for the life of me I couldn't find it all that interesting. I couldn't make out 1/4 of the dialog, so that didn't help, but I don't think that mattered too much because most of it was Doth Ye type of stuff mixed in…

  • The Whispering Star

    The Whispering Star 2015

    ★★★★★ Watched 19 Sep, 2015 13

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    A cyborg Jeanne Dielman delivery person travels for 10 years in a dysfunctional Hal-controlled spaceship that looks like a Japanese trailer to planets that all look like tsunami ravaged and nuclear disaster site Fukushima to deliver parcels.

    It is the most original and quite possibly the most beautiful film I've seen in a very long time.

    Extremely slow paced, every minute of the film is detailed and important.
    Every encounter with the desolate planets is rich…

  • The Lobster

    The Lobster 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 11 Sep, 2015 2

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    The good news - Lanthimos didn't downplay his weirdness for his first English language film.
    The bad news - There is a fantastic film in here somewhere.

    The Lobster is a relationship film. An odd one, but a relationship film nonetheless (this will seem funny to you after you see the film). Lanthimos explores the notions of being single vs being coupled, being sexual vs being chaste, and all the societal rules that make one or…

  • Equals

    Equals 2015

    Watched 13 Sep, 2015 27

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    This isn't about the film.
    I wish it were about the film but I didn't get to see the film.
    I didn't get to see the film because the star-making machinery interrupted the line just ahead of me and the nice TIFF volunteer told me that I would have to wait at least an additional 30 minutes in the rain so that kirsten stewart and whoever else was in the film could stand on a colourful…

  • High Rise

    High Rise 2015

    ★★½ Watched 14 Sep, 2015 9

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    Note: Don't get all wound up over my rating. Wheatley fans will no doubt give this at least 4 stars. I rate from my own perspective, not from an objective one, whatever that means.

    Ben Wheatley and I don't get along too well.
    I respect his originality and am always curious to see how it cashes out, but his films can't quite keep me engaged for more than half of their entire runtime.
    High-Rise is no…

  • Green Room

    Green Room 2015

    ★★★★ Watched 12 Sep, 2015 6

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    Well that was a whole lot of fun! I picked this one based solely on the fact that it was directed by Jeremy Saulnier, because I loved Blue Ruin so much. It did not disappoint.

    It reminded me of Texas Chain Saw Massacre but you have to take that with a grain of salt because I can count the number of horror movies I've seen on one hand. Our small group of punk rocker protagonists get…

  • Son of Saul

    Son of Saul 2015

    ★★★★★ Watched 10 Sep, 2015 4

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    You've never been told this story, and you will never forget it.

    Passenger was the first time I'd seen the horrors of the Holocaust presented as background, which made it so much more horrific. Son of Saul takes a similar approach but intensifies it so much you can barely breathe throughout the film.

    Writers László Nemes (also the director) and Clara Royer take the worst possible moment in recent history, the most degrading, the most humiliating,…

  • Ex Machina

    Ex Machina 2015

    ★★½ Watched 01 Aug, 2015 24

    ... only this time Samantha has a body.

  • Tootsie

    Tootsie 1982

    ★★★½ Rewatched 28 Jul, 2015 21

    I was shocked when I saw that Criterion had selected Tootsie as part of its catalogue. What was so significant about it that it warranted such a distinction? It isn't a question that arises from snobbery. If anything I would guess that it arises from familiarity. I can't imagine too many films I saw in the local movie theatre back in the day being singled out, and if I had to come up with one it would be Saturday Night…