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  • Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

    Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

    ★★★★½

    There is a scene in this film, a background scene, that completely encapsulates the film for me.

    It is a scene of two shopkeepers judiciously sweeping the bits of sidewalk and road immediately in front of their place of business. In between the two sweepers lies a huge mound of sand.

    No matter how many times they sweep, within minutes any trace of their work will have disappeared.
    It will have made no difference.
    They keep sweeping.

    Nuri Bilge Ceylan…

  • The Thin Red Line

    The Thin Red Line

    ★★★★★


    I heard people talk about immortality,
    but I ain't seen it.
    l wondered how it'd be when l died.
    What it'd be like to know that this breath now
    was the last one you was ever gonna draw.
    l just hope l can meet it the same way she did.
    With the same... calm.
    Cos that's where it's hidden -
    the immortality l hadn't seen.

    What's it like to be lying in the middle of an unfamiliar jungle with birds…

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  • South of Wawa

    South of Wawa

    ★★★★★

    South of Wawa has always been my favourite film. The writing is perfect, the story wonderful in its simplicity, and no other film has ever captured small town Ontario at that moment in time as well as this one. It was made 30 years ago, and it just occurred to me now that it is written by a woman, produced by women, the cast is 50/50 women/men and the story is centered on two women. Funny how I never thought…

  • Little Women

    Little Women

    ★★★★½

    Greta Gerwig is on her way.
    I confess I worried a little after Lady Bird. I worried that she might fall into the 'cute indie' category and stay there. That would have been fine, of course. Many directors pick their comfort zone and stay there. It was great to see her tackle a period piece, and she nailed it. She nailed it good.

    The film was vibrant and exhilarating (adjectives one rarely associates with 'period pieces') and busy and calm…

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  • Dogtooth

    Dogtooth

    ★★★★½

    Dogtooth is disturbing. It creeps into your psyche and stays there for days. It plays like an absurdist comedy at first but quickly shows its true colours. It is a gripping, compelling, shocking and extremely sad story of three nameless nearly adult children who live in a world created exclusively by their parents.

    By "nameless" I don't mean that we are never told their names; I mean they have no names. The implications of this are enormous (take a minute…

  • Silver Linings Playbook

    Silver Linings Playbook

    ★★

    My ticket stub says that I saw Silver Linings Playbook but it can't be the same film everyone else has seen. It just can't be. This one was supposed to be charming, enjoyable, fun even. It won the TIFF Audience Award. It was supposed to have great characters. Cooper and Lawrence were supposed to have given wonderful performances. DeNiro, it was said, was back. Jackie Weaver, wait, was she in this?

    The film I saw was bland and boring. I…