TIFF 2013: Made in America Review

Made In America Mavericks Director: Ron Howard Set against backdrop of the music festival that he curated and headlined of the same name last year, Made In America chronicles the rise of hip-hop mogul Jay-Z from his humble beginnings to global superstar as his eclectic festival highlights the changes and dropping of boundaries in musical […]

TIFF 2013: Labor Day Review

Labor Day Special Presentation Director: Jason Reitman Since 2005’s Thank You for Smoking, Reitman has produced quirky, critical character studies, each slices of odd, complicated inhabitants in their near-highs and terrible lows. (And usually JK Simmons waves hello). In Labor Day, Reitman travels far outside of his comfort zone for a tense drama about the […]

TIFF 2013: Tom at the Farm Review

Tom at the Farm Special Presentation Director: Xavier Dolan Following up his excellent and highly ambitous Laurence Anyways with something completely different, Dolan delivers a subdued drama and suspense thriller about an outsider, a fracturing family, and lost love, and it’s all set on a farm pretty much in the middle of nowhere. It feels […]

TIFF 2013: 12 Years a Slave Review

12 Years a Slave Special Presentation Director: Steve McQueen A mere capsule review at festival time could never do justice to McQueen’s powerful masterwork that’s not so much an excellent piece of filmmaking, but a landmark cinematic achievement. While no one left alive today could possibly ever be able to relay the atrocities of America’s […]

TIFF 2013: Watermark Review

Watermark Special Presentation Directors: Jennifer Baichwal, Edward Burtynsky How does water shape us and how do we shape it in return?  That’s the question at the heart of this visually stunning film. Photographer Edward Burtynsky and filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal (Manufactured Landscapes) have collaborated again, creating a journey to explore the true value and necessity of […]

TIFF 2013: Rock the Casbah Review

Rock the Casbah Special Presentation Director: Laila Marrakchi Director Laila Marrakchi returns to the festival with an ensemble piece that includes Morjana Alaoui, Nadine Labaki (Where Do We Go Now?), Lubna Azabal (Incendies), and screen legend Omar Sharif. A prominent Moroccan family assembles to mourn the loss of Moulay Hassan (Sharif): husband, father, and grandfather. […]

TIFF 2013: Why Don’t You Play in Hell? Review

Why Don’t You Play in Hell? Midnight Madness Director: Sion Sono Sono goes for broke with a film so gleefully deranged and delightfully nonsensical, but with far too much plot and character to keep things fun. At 127 minutes it could lose about 40 minutes of dead weight in the middle entirely at random and […]

TIFF 2013: All Cheerleaders Die Review

All Cheerleaders Die Midnight Madness Directors: Lucky McKee, Chris Siverston It’s hard to explain in great detail exactly what’s wrong with McKee (May, The Woods) and Siverston (I Know Who Killed Me) remaking their own 2001 team-up because there’s a gem of a good idea buried within their work following a movie changing supernatural twist […]

TIFF 2013: Abuse of Weakness Review

Abuse of Weakness Masters Director: Catherine Breillat Despite an almost terrifyingly realistic leading performance from French cinematic icon Isabelle Huppert and the technically adroit direction of master filmmaker Breillat, Abuse of Weakness is almost dishearteningly repetitive and illogical. Which is all the more upsetting since the film dramatizes an actually heartbreaking moment in Breillat’s life. […]

TIFF 2013: La ultima pelicula Review

La última película Wavelengths Directors: Mark Peranson, Raya Martin In what might be one of the best, highbrow cinematic “X-amount of people walk into a bar” jokes ever crafted, Cinema Scope founder and writer Mark Peranson and Filipino filmmaker Raya Martin enlist the acting services of Mexican actor and frequent Nicolas Pereda collaborator Gabino Rodriguez […]

TIFF 2013: Concrete Night Review

Concrete Night Masters Director:  Pirjo Honkasalo A fourteen year old boy living in lower middle class Helsinki faces down the rest of his life in Honkasalo’s stunning to look at, dreamlike parable. Simo (Johannes Brotherus) spends his days hanging out in the crappy urban haunts in and around the projects where he lives with his […]

TIFF 2013: Empire of Dirt Review

Empire of Dirt Contemporary World Cinema Director: Peter Stebbings Set in motion when First Nations Mother, Lena (Cara Gee), learns her thirteen year old daughter (Shay Eyre) has overdosed, this very Canadian indie film unfolds to reveal an authentic, albeit typical, drama. Fleeing the prying eyes of social services, Lena returns to her estranged mother’s home in rural Ontario. For added discomfort, the reformed addict Lena is faced with addressing her past and facing the mother […]

TIFF 2013: The Unknown Known Review

The Unknown Known TIFF Docs Director: Errol Morris When documentary guru Errol Morris sat down with Robert McNamara to discuss the Vietnam War, the result was the candidly confessional and Oscar-winning The Fog of War. That film offered cathartic closure on the black mark of American history with one of the key players admitting guilt […]

TIFF 2013 Review: Attila Marcel

Attila Marcel Special Presentation Director: Sylvain Chomet It’s always exciting to watch a director try something outside of their comfort-zone, so it’s extremely disappointing to see Sylvain Chomet, the wonderful director behind the animated films, The Triplets of Belleville and The Illusionist, fail to translate his style to live-action. Attila Marcel, the story of a […]

TIFF 2013: Kill Your Darlings Review

Kill Your Darlings Gala Director: John Krokidas Kill Your Darlings is the latest in a recent line of films about the poetic and enigmatic beat generation. Films like like Howl and On the Road portrayed their subjects (Kerouac, Burroughs, Ginsberg et all) like gods, Krokidas’ film focuses on one of the generation’s lowest moments, making […]