Chicago Film Fest: Galas, Special Presentations

The Gala and Special Presentations lineup were announced last week for the 55th Chicago International Film Festival ahead of this morning’s full lineup. The announcement was made last week by Mimi Plauché, Artistic Director of the Chicago International Film Festival.  While it wasn’t included in the initial wave of announcements, this year’s Opening Night selection is Motherless Brooklyn. Tickets for both the Gala and Special Presentations will go on sale on September 27. “This year’s line-up of…

"Chicago Film Fest: Galas, Special Presentations"

Toronto 2019: Jungleland

Jungleland is a film about about a pair of brothers traveling across the country while also touching upon themes of toxic masculinity. Stanley Kaminski (Charlie Hunnam) and Lion Kaminski (Jack O’Connell) are a pair of brothers living in Massachusetts.  They’re down on their luck with the only hope of making money being a boxing match in San Francisco.  Easier said than done.  Lion is a boxer and Stanley acts as his manager.  If Stanley had…

"Toronto 2019: Jungleland"

Toronto 2019: Bad Education

Bad Education features a star-studded cast and tells the incredible true story about what transpired in a prestigious Long Island school district. When Hilltop Beacon reporter Rachel Bhargava (Geraldine Viswanathan) looks into some expense reports for an upcoming Roslyn School District project, she finds something else.  Together with her dad, David Bhargava (Hari Dhillon), the two of them realize that there’s more here than meets the eye.  Appropriately, they look into it.  One thing leads…

"Toronto 2019: Bad Education"

Toronto 2019: How to Build a Girl

Booksmart‘s Beanie Feldstein delivers another strong leading performance as teenager who becomes a rock music critic in How to Build a Girl. The film isn’t the typical coming-of-age comedy.  Not many people come of age while seeking to reinvent themselves as a rock critic.  This is what happens for Johanna Morrigan (Beanie Feldstein).  Once a bullied high school teenager, Morrigan transforms herself into rock critic Dolly Wilde after taking a job with D&ME.  The opportunity…

"Toronto 2019: How to Build a Girl"

Toronto 2019: Incitement

Incitement may come off as a character study but the film will not change anybody’s mind when it comes to the tragic assassination of Yitzhak Rabin. There’s no telling what could have happened had Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin not been assassinated by Yigal Amir (Yehuda Nahari Halevi).  It’s likely that we could have seen peace in the Middle East.  The reality is that this is such a big what if that we’ll never truly…

"Toronto 2019: Incitement"

Toronto 2019: The Friend

You’re going to need to pull out every Kleenex box you own because you’re definitely going to need it while watching The Friend. While the film may be inspiring, it’s also heartbreaking as we follow the Teague family.  The film goes back and forth in time as it follows Nicole Teague’s (Dakota Johnson) cancer diagnosis.  She doesn’t have long to live so best friend Dane Faucheux (Jason Segel) moves in with the family.  He doesn’t…

"Toronto 2019: The Friend"

Toronto 2019: The Other Lamb

The Other Lamb is a film that follows one young woman being raised in a cult as she starts to question everything that she knows. For Selah (Raffey Cassidy), all she knows is life with Shepherd (Michiel Huisman).  Shepherd is very strict when it comes to rules.  For one, no other men are allowed.  There is no technology allowed within the premises, either.  He takes wives who give him daughters.  As incestuous as it may…

"Toronto 2019: The Other Lamb"

Toronto 2019: Just Mercy

Just Mercy is a star-studded legal drama directed by Short Term 12 director Destin Daniel Cretton and tells an important story. Harvard graduate Bryan Stevenson (Michael B. Jordan) could have gone anywhere after graduating.  After all, he received an array of job offers.  Rather than go for the money, Stevenson ops to help those who need it the most.  In this case, it’s the people sitting on death row in Monroe County.  After setting up…

"Toronto 2019: Just Mercy"

Toronto 2019: The Aeronauts

The Aeronauts is an adventure thriller that takes place in the skies while seeking to soar to the highest heights in history. The film reteams The Theory of Everything stars Felicity Jones and Eddie Redmayne as balloonist Amelia Wren and scientist James Glaisher, respectively.  While Glaisher existed in real life, Wren is made up solely for the film.  I can understand the reasoning behind this even as it takes Henry Coxwell out of the picture. …

"Toronto 2019: The Aeronauts"

Toronto 2019: Proxima

Proxima tells the story of a mother-daughter relationship and the troubles that ensue when said mother is also in the space program. Sarah (Eva Green) raises daughter Stella (Zélie Boulant-Lemesle) with astrophysicist ex-husband Thoma (Lars Eidinger).  It’s one thing to share parenting duties while separated or divorced.  Sharing such duties when one parent is training for the space program let alone in space?!?  It’s out of this world!  Anyway, Sarah is set to join the crew…

"Toronto 2019: Proxima"