• The Kid Detective

    The Kid Detective

    Throughout The Kid Detective, one question hung in my mind. “Who is this movie for?” I wondered as Abe Applebaum (Adam Brody) bumbled his way through a mystery. The former child gumshoe, who super sleuthed his way through high school, is now a 32-year-old drunk. Abe cusses and mopes around from one pint to the next. Writer/director Evan Morgan (The Dirties) plays the caper with a light touch with splashes of vulgarity and violence. The Kid Detective doesn’t take proud…

  • Wolfwalkers

    Wolfwalkers

    It’s reassuring to see today’s children receive a film like Wolfwalkers. This animated feature isn’t a toy commercial. There are no tie-ins for cereal, candy, or video games. Wolfwalkers is not a sequel, nor does it have one already in the works. It is, however, part three in a thematic trilogy. Wolfwalkers is the final instalment in Tomm Moore and Ross Stewart’s cycle of films inspired by Irish folklore. After their magical adventures The Secret of Kells (2009) and Song…

  • Memory House

    Memory House

    João Paulo Miranda Maria’s Memory House (Casa de Antiguidades) makes for an intriguing feature debut. The film’s slow-as-molasses pacing and surreal dream-logic will leave plenty of folks scratching their heads. But if you’re willing to engage the material on a deeper level, there are plenty of provocative insights to unpack.


    Read Victor Stiff’s full review here: thatshelf.com/tiff-2020-memory-house-review/

  • Saint-Narcisse

    Saint-Narcisse

    Saint-Narcisse gives new meaning to the phrase “go fuck yourself.” This totally twisted tale lets director Bruce LaBruce uphold his title as Canada’s King of Kink. Saint-Narcisse has a hard-on for our self-obsessed selfie culture. It’s a delightfully blasphemous romp for a generation of kids reared on notions of “me, me, me.” LaBruce playfully toys with the idea that everyone is someone special. He twins notions of beauty and obsession through the desire one man, Dominic (Félix-Antoine Duval), holds for…

  • Underplayed

    Underplayed

    Underplayed makes it clear from the jump that the barriers female DJs face are not due to a lack of talent. Following artist such as Rezz, Alison Wonderland, Tokimonstra, Nervo, Tygapaw, Sherelle, Louisahhh and Nightwave as they navigate summer festivals and make or break gigs, Lee constructs a compelling tale of adversity and persistence. Each artist shares insight into how they craft their unique sounds and the hardships that come with being a woman in a male dominated industry. Lee…

  • Good Joe Bell

    Good Joe Bell

    Good Joe Bell isn’t about the hell that Jadin faces, but rather the costs of such intolerance. A major plot twist reframes the story roughly one-third of the way through the film. The turn might prove too emotionally manipulative for some viewers and deeply effective for others. However, it doesn’t come out of nowhere. Director Reinaldo Marcus Green (Monsters and Men) signals the shift appropriately. Note the clothes that Jadin never seems to sully and the silence he keeps while Joe talks.

    Read Pat Mullen's full review here: thatshelf.com/tiff-2020-good-joe-bell-review/

  • The Water Man

    The Water Man

    David Oyelowo’s directing debut, The Water Man, takes the proven Amblin movie formula (right down to the vintage-looking poster) but adds a significant twist. This time, the comic book-loving small-town child with a heart of gold is a person of colour.

    Read Victor Stiff’s full review here: thatshelf.com/tiff-2020-the-water-man-review/

  • Another Round

    Another Round

    Like much of Vinterberg’s filmography, his latest is a sumptuous feast for the senses. Cloaked in warm colours and stylish Danish design, Another Round is as inviting as a glass of whiskey. A truly original story, Vinterberg’s screenplay with The Hunt co-writer Tobias Lindholm brings laughs through whispered conversations and breathalyzer tests and bottles of booze squirrelled away in school locker rooms.

    Read Rachel West’s full review here: thatshelf.com/tiff-2020-another-round-review/

  • Ammonite

    Ammonite

    With a raw depiction of female sexuality that would make even James Ivory blush, Lee manages to avoid sentimentality and melodrama in this fascinating and erotic story of two slow-moving yet mesmerizing opposites who inevitably converge one rapturous moment.

    Read Rachel West’s full review here: thatshelf.com/tiff-2020-ammonite-review/

  • Antebellum

    Antebellum

    When it comes to horror, what has happened throughout history to Black people is far worse than anything that has ever happened in any horror film. Antebellum exploits that true cruelty and uses it as a vehicle for more pain without any notion of commentary or nuance beyond the obvious.

    Read Deirdre Crimmins ’s full review here: thatshelf.com/antebellum-review-empty-gestures-and-hollow-history/

  • Nadia, Butterfly

    Nadia, Butterfly

    Nadia, Butterfly, which was the only Canadian feature selected for Cannes this year, proves Plante a director to watch. The director deftly probes the experiences of young Canadians and shows a remarkable hand with directors. The film features a breakthrough performance from former Olympic swimmer Katerine Savard in the title role. Nadia, Butterfly features an intriguing case of art-imitating life as Nadia wonders about life outside the pool.

    Read Pat Mullen's full review here: thatshelf.com/nadia-butterfly-review-life-in-a-fishbowl/

  • Shadow in the Cloud

    Shadow in the Cloud

    Shadow in the Cloud throws so many abuses at Maude that I lost track. There’s sexual harassment, condescension, objectification, and gaslighting, to name a few. I’m surprised the crew didn’t accuse her of witchcraft. On top of all the toxic male bullshit Maude trudges through, the film emphasizes how women must be twice as competent as men just to receive half the opportunity. Even with the film’s zany genre flick premise, these themes are still quite affecting.

    Read Victor Stiff’s full review here: thatshelf.com/tiff-2020-shadow-in-the-cloud-review/