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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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  • Where Do We Go Now?

    Where Do We Go Now?

    ★★★½

    This film came out of nowhere to win the TIFF Audience Award, much to the chagrin of TIFF organizers I'm sure, who wanted to keep the "Oscar winner predictor" thing going. Because it won that award I was in no hurry to see it. I figured it would be a tad melodramatic or too light, something the patron Doctors and Corporate Lawyers at Roy Thomson Hall would vote for.

    While I had never seen a Nadine Labaki film before, a…

  • Cold War

    Cold War

    ★★

    TIFF #18

    What is the point of gorgeous cinematography if the film has no soul?

    Cold War is beautiful to look at for sure. No doubt about it. And good thing too because that was all I *could* do - look at it.

    While others saw black and white in all its glory and a romance for the ages, I saw song and dance numbers intermingled with quick tableaux of two characters I was never given time to care for.…

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  • 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…

  • Boyhood

    Boyhood

    ★★

    It is not surprising that so many people identify closely with Boyhood. It hits all the hallmarks of growing up. There is the promise made years ago that the parent forgot but the child did not. There is the incessant fighting between siblings that is forgotten two minutes later, as well as the faking of who is to blame for the fight when the shouts of "MOM!" have been acknowledged. There is the change in address, school and friends, for…