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GIF-able Jessica: Saluting TIFF Tribute Actor, Jessica Chastain

Jessica Chastain knows how to make an entrance. The recipient of TIFF’s Tribute Actor Award has only been in the public eye for a decade. However, she’s produced one of the best bodies of work of any Hollywood actor ever during such a period. Chastain was everywhere in 2011 as the Summer of Jessica touched down and gave audiences oodles of face time with one of the most versatile and consistently likeable performers ever to grace the screen. Chastain is pulling…

TIFF 2021: What We’re Most Excited to See

The countdown begins today! With just one week to go until this year’s Toronto International Film Festival kicks off, movie lovers are running out of time to finalize their must-see movie list. Despite a slightly pared-down slate, largely due to COVID-19 restrictions and logistics, there are still close to 200 titles to choose from over the 10 days of screenings. Then there’s the inevitable, yearly dilemma: do you try to see all the buzzed about biggies or set out to…

The Criterion Shelf: Directed by John Huston

One has a tough time deciding what theme or style to associate with director John Huston (1906-1987). However, one thing that stands out when taking in a number of his films at once is his lack of faith in happy endings. In one of his best works, Heaven Knows Mr. Allison, the American flag that is raised in the final scene doesn’t find its pride of place in the centre of the widescreen frame as a beacon of patriotic glory. Instead, it…

With Friends Like These: Stand By Me at 35

As the old adage goes, wine gets better with age. Sugars, acids and substances known as phenolic compounds (including tannins) perform complex chemical reactions, which result in very expensive bottles of what is essentially grape juice. Temperature, humidity, and, of course, time are also key factors in the final product. Oxygen is bad. Bottles have to be kept cool, but not cold. Humidity and The Cork go hand in hand. This is all a very complicated process.

The Exchange’s Tim Long on His Journey from Springfield to Hobart

Writer Tim Long has been bringing audiences to Springfield for years with The Simpsons. Now he’s taking them to Hobart with The Exchange. The setting of Long’s film, like Springfield, is fictional. But unlike the town from which Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie hail, it’s north of the Canada/US border.

Recent reviews

Juho Kuosmanen‘s Compartment No. 6 (co-winner of the Cannes Grand Prix prize) is an understated yet compelling tale of compassion and mutual understanding. Essentially a road movie, it becomes a wryly observed and intimate character study that breaks down differences of class, nationality, and language.

Compartment No. 6 takes place in a single confined space, a shared compartment on a long train ride north through Russia to the remote city of Murmansk in the Arctic circle. The filmmaker ingeniously builds…

Crossbreed Jodie Foster’s star vehicle Nell with S1m0ne’s character study I Am Pig and the result is Wolf. George MacKay goes full Jodie Foster playing a young man who identifies as a wolf. It’s a wild performance. However, where Foster won accolades for her turnas a feral hermit, MacKay might find himself eating from the trough like the simulated S1m0ne. This peculiar film from Nathalie Biancheri has all the ingredients to be a full-fledged star vehicle. However, Wolf’s study of…

Award-winning filmmaker Liz Garbus (What Happened, Miss Simone?; The Farm: Angola, USA) set about making her latest documentary, Becoming Cousteau, upon realizing her young children had no idea who Cousteau was. Their understanding of underwater exploration and the importance of the ocean did not come via the recognizable Frenchman in the red beanie on the deck of the Calypso. It seemed unfathomable that such a giant figure in her life could be completely absent from theirs.

The resulting film, clocking…

It’s almost unfortunate how familiar The Humans will feel to many. A professional dealing with health issues causing lost opportunities at work. A young couple convincing themselves that a dank, overly priced apartment is a good idea. A long-time married couple constrained by time and obligation.

Stephen Karam, in his directorial debut, adapts his own stage play bringing each of these stories coloured with anxiety, heartbreak, and existential dread into one of the most honest depictions of day to day…

Liked reviews

simultaneously one of the great action parodies because beyond the expertly crafted looney tunes visual gags, on a filmmaking level it's frequently indistinguishable from the real thing (god mctiernan) and one of the best movies about a movie star literally wrestling with their own hollywood fantasy image and myth. "you've brought me nothing but pain."

full discussion on episode 57 of my podcast SLEAZOIDS.

15-YEAR OLD ME: "Oh boy! A RESIDENT EVIL film and a remake of DAWN OF THE DEAD! I hope this means there will be a new wave of zombie films!"

*A FINGER ON THE MONKEY'S PAW CURLS*

Zack Snyder can craft a fun action scene, but I am baffled as to why he wanted to make ARMY OF THE DEAD.

It's a zombie heist film (There's potential there!), with a charming gang of actors (I do love Dave Bautista!), buckets…

So weird, so Danish, and yet, not even Anders Thomas Jensen’s weirdest Danish film.

Being in a hole sounds a lot more fun than watching this movie again