Toronto International Film Festival 2014

TIFF 2014: An Eye for Beauty Review

An Eye For Beauty (Le règne de la beauté) Special Presentations An Eye for Beauty marks the return of Quebec’s Denys Arcand after a seven year layoff, and it proves that even the greatest of filmmakers can take a simple premise and screw it up beyond belief. It’s an unmitigated disaster. Luc (Éric Bruneau) is […]

TIFF 2014: Leviathan Review

Leviathan  Masters Leviathan is a well acted, beautifully shot film that highlights the best of mother nature and the worst of human nature. Kolya (Alexey Serebryakov), a proud patriarch with a gorgeous Russian seaside property, is rendered helpless when a corrupt city official decides he would like the land for himself. Kolya enlists the help […]

TIFF 2014: Guidance Review

Guidance  Discovery The Discovery programme at TIFF is meant to showcase emerging directors with promising futures, which is the perfect place for Pat Mills’ Guidance.  Mills not only wrote and directed the film, but also plays the lead, David Gold, a down and out actor who lies to get a job as a high school guidance councillor […]

TIFF 2014: Two Days, One Night Review

Two Days One Night  Special Presentations  Two Days, One Night, the latest film by Jean and Luc Dardenne, has one of those tidy premises that lends itself well to a concise pitch: a woman has one weekend to convince coworkers to give up their bonuses so that she may keep her job. To expand on […]

TIFF 2014: Pride Review

Pride Special Presentations The true story of a group of queer folks from London setting out to help a Welsh village during the miner’s strike of 1984-85, Pride is a mash of odd couples and triumphs over oppression that satisfies, but predictable archetypes and glossed-over challenges are a drawback. Mark (Ben Schnetzer) forms Lesbians and […]

TIFF 2014: Songs She Wrote About People She Knows Review

Songs She Wrote About People She Knows Discovery The solo feature filmmaking debut for Vancouver’s Kris Elgstrand – one of the directors of hilariously surreal 2011 TIFF entry Doppelganger Paul – is a similarly off kilter comedy about how everyone has a song in their heart and how sometimes people should learn that they just […]

TIFF 2014: Mommy Review

Mommy Special Presentations Although it’s quite good has been garnering considerable acclaim since its debut at Cannes earlier this year, Mommy might be Quebecois filmmaker Xavier Dolan’s most over thought film to date. In a fictional 2015 where it has become legal for parents facing hardship to place difficult, unruly, or developmentally challenged kids into […]

TIFF 2014: In Her Place Review

In Her Place Discovery Elegantly mounted and austere at the same time, Albert Shin’s debut feature (co-produced by long time filmmaking partner Igor Drljaca, director of Canadian festival favourite Krivina) looks at three generations of women bound by South Korean customs to a terrible situation. A woman seeks to secretly adopt the soon to be […]

TIFF 2014: It Follows Review

It Follows Midnight Madness A suitably atmospheric, but direly serious teen thriller, It Follows takes a somewhat goofy premise and cranks it to eleven but never manages to follow through on a lot of promise at the outset. After making love to her new boyfriend for the first time, nineteen year old Jay (Maika Monroe, […]

TIFF 2014: Big Muddy Review

Big Muddy Discovery With Big Muddy we witness birth to a genre that could best be described as ‘Prairie Noir’ and the feature debut of a burgeoning Canadian talent. In the little Saskatchewan town of Big Muddy, everyone has a secret, each one the dirtier then the next one come home to roost.  Martha (Nadia […]

TIFF 2014: National Gallery Review

National Gallery TIFF Docs Masterful documentarian Frederick Wiseman turns his ever watchful and unwavering eye to the inner workings of London’s National Gallery for one of the finest films of his illustrious career. As is usually with Wiseman’s film, there’s a point to be made and not necessarily a formal plot or any interaction with […]

TIFF 2014: Merchants of Doubt Review

Merchants of Doubt TIFF Docs Food, Inc. director Robert Kenner delves into the world of pundits-for-hire with the goal of pulling the metaphorical wool off of our eyes in this powerful documentary. Based on the work of Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway, the film investigates how a handful of individuals weave confusion and doubt into […]

TIFF 2014: The Guest Review

The Guest Midnight Madness Possibly the most fun film at this year’s festival, this unabashedly hilarious and thrilling mash-up of spy flicks and 80s slashers from director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett, the minds behind previous TIFF crowd pleaser, You’re Next. Dan Stevens stars as David, an amiable and polite soldier just out of […]

TIFF 2014: Heartbeat Review

Heartbeat Contemporary World Cinema Insufferably precious, drowning in quirk, and filled with an astounding amount of thematic mixed messages, Andrea Dorfman’s tale of a wannabe musician overcoming her fears is a painful thing to sit through. Justine (Tanya Davis) is in so much of a depressed rut that she’s essentially becoming her deceased grandmother, right […]

TIFF 2014: Maps to the Stars Review

Maps to the Stars Gala From the cold, calculating, and cynical brain of David Cronenberg comes an unexpected Hollywood satire. At first, it’s jarring to see Cronenberg staging a gleefully foul mouthed and filthy comedy amidst a group of drugged up, self-obsessed, La-La-land phonies. The script from Bruce Wagner is not particularly funny, but an […]