Toronto International Film Festival 2014

TIFF 2014: The Cobbler Review

The Cobbler Special Presentations I only have 300 words or less to explain The Cobbler, but I doubt I could adequately convey anything about it in less than 30,000 words. How else would one describe one of the most original and bafflingly crazy misfires you’ve ever seen? Like Ishtar, it’s a film that will someday […]

TIFF 2014: The Theory of Everything Review

The Theory of Everything Special Presentations A mostly well rounded biopic that looks at the relationship between renowned scientific mastermind Stephen Hawking and his first wife Jane Wilde, The Theory of Everything marks a return to fictional filmmaking for James Marsh after his direction of Man on Wire and Project Nim. Eddie Redmayne transforms himself […]

TIFF 2014: Teen Lust Review

Teen Lust Contemporary World Cinema Blaine Thurier’s teen sex comedy Teen Lust is the last thing Canadian film needs right now. The premise has potential, though. Neil (Jesse Carere) just turned 18, is about to finish high school, and is a virgin. That’s fine by his parents (Jon Dore and Emmanuelle Vaugier) who need an 18 year old […]

TIFF 2014: Mavericks: Juliette Binoche

When we think about actors who have been mavericks for their entire careers, blazing their own trails and doing incredible work along the way, Juliette Binoche must come to mind. From her start in film, starring in legendary director Jean-Luc Godard’s Hail Mary through to present day, Binoche has been uncompromising in her quest to […]

TIFF 2014: The Riot Club Review

The Riot Club Gala Hey, you know how there’s some sort of class warfare thing that they do in Britain? Well, so do the people behind The Riot Club and they sure are pissy about it. Perhaps I’m being unkind. It’s not a bad movie by any means. Just one that is very, very on […]

TIFF 2014: Tusk Review

Tusk Midnight Madness A melding of Kevin Smith’s comedic sensibilities with the dark weirdness that permeated his last effort, Red State, Tusk might be the oft hockey jersey clad auteur’s most ambitious and thoughtful project yet. It’s not without its flaws, but Smith has clearly reached the “I just don’t give a fuck” portion of […]

TIFF 2014: Black and White Review

Black and White Gala Kevin Costner reteams with filmmaker Mike Binder (The Upside of Anger, Reign Over Me) for an “inspired by true events” custody battle between members of an extended mixed race family. It’s every bit as manipulative as it sounds, but it works more often than it fails. Alcoholic lawyer Elliott (Costner) now […]

TIFF 2014: Beyond the Lights Review

Beyond The Lights Special Presentations When you get past its standard romantic drama trappings, Beyond The Lights makes some pretty strong statements about the use of women in entertainment and the lack of artistry in the music business. Noni (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), with her power house voice and sexy body, has been groomed from a very […]

TIFF 2014: Men, Women, & Children Review

Men, Women, & Children Special Presentations Despite chronically lapsing into the kind of melodrama that only parents who would bubble wrap their kids to keep them from from getting hurt would love, this story of the internets and the interconnectedness of our daily wired lives told through the microcosm of a small Texas town represents […]

TIFF 2014: Elephant Song Review

Elephant Song Special Presentations In the moment, it’s easy to get a little invested in Elephant Song, a mysterious drama about a senior doctor, Toby Green (Bruce Greenwood) being called in on Christmas to see if a charismatic patient, Michael (Xavier Dolan, acting in a film he didn’t make himself), knows anything about a missing […]

TIFF 2014: ’71 Review

’71 Discovery Not all wars have glory and not all intense war films are glorifying. ’71 is a relentless, impressive and frank film about the IRA conflict, The Troubles at its peak, and moreover how no battles are fought strictly between combative soldiers on isolated battlefields. Gary (Skins’ Jack O’Connell) is an anxious soldier being […]

TIFF 2014: The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness Review

The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness TIFF Docs It’s not often that we as the viewing public get an outside glimpse into a dream factory.  The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, while a bit dry at times, is a unique look inside one of the premiere animation houses on the planet. To the general public […]

TIFF 2014: Revenge of the Green Dragons Review

Revenge of the Green Dragons Special Presentations It’s very easy to see why Martin Scorsese produced the latest film from Andrew Lau. Not only did Lau create the successful Infernal Affairs franchise that would allow Marty to make The Departed, but this decade spanning and thoroughly brutish crime saga (a collaboration with co-director Andrew Loo) […]

TIFF 2014: Cut Bank Review

Cut Bank Contemporary World Cinema Coming down somewhere between a late 90s Tarantino knock-off that has been pulled out of mothballs and a Coen Brothers homage that never should have been made in the first place, the bizarrely atonal and baffling small town crime thriller Cut Bank from first television director Matt Shakman fails at […]

TIFF 2014: Big Game Review

Big Game Midnight Madness A thoroughly over the top and infinitely exciting action romp, the sure to be noticed Finnish import from the man who brought the world Rare Exports (you know, the really wild killer Santa Claus movie) will leave genre fans wishing it never ended by the time the credits roll. When the […]