Burning – Toronto 2021

Eva Orner follows the devastating Australian wildfires in Burning and how the government is not willing to address the crisis at hand. The year 2020 brought a whole new meaning to the world being on fire. Heck, 2019 also saw several fires breakout in California. Here in the states, wind conditions brought hazy conditions to states that were nowhere near some of the recent fires. While the US was dealing with fires out west, Australia’s…

"Burning – Toronto 2021"

Charlotte – Toronto 2021

Charlotte may be a beautifully animated film but given the setting before and during the Holocaust, this film is emotionally intense. Please stay through the end of the credits. Charlotte Salomon (Keira Knightley in English, Marion Cotillard in French) is a German-Jewish artist with the unfortunate luck of growing up during World War II. Referred to as Lotte by her father and step-mother, she grew up in Berlin with dreams of being an artist. Against…

"Charlotte – Toronto 2021"

The Survivor – Toronto 2021

Ben Foster turns in a career-defining performance in Barry Levinson’s new film, The Survivor, based on the life of Harry Haft. While many perished at Auschwitz, Harry Haft (Ben Foster) found the will to survive. Not so much because of boxing for the Nazis’ amusement–including Nazi camp commander Dietrich Schneider (Billy Magnussen)–but because he wanted to reunite with his girlfriend, Leah (Dar Zuzovsky). If not for boxing, it’s doubtful Harry would have lived. But this…

"The Survivor – Toronto 2021"

Jagged – Toronto 2021

Jagged is a revealing documentary about singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette and focuses on her Jagged Little Pill years. While Morrissette opens up about some of the years that followed, this film is really about her early years. The same years that gave us such hits as “You Oughta Know,” “Hand in My Pocket,” and “Ironic.” If you are wondering, audiences don’t find out who “You Oughta Know” is about either. Chances are likely that we’ll never…

"Jagged – Toronto 2021"

The Eyes of Tammy Faye – Toronto 2021

The Eyes of Tammy Faye, starring Jessica Chastain and Andrew Garfield, is one of many Oscar contenders to launch in Toronto. The film focuses on the rise, fall, and later redemption of Tammy Faye Bakker (Jessica Chastain). Listen, I don’t need to rehash the biography here. If you want to know more, watch the documentary that this film is based on. Or maybe yet, go over to search for her Wikipedia page. The same goes…

"The Eyes of Tammy Faye – Toronto 2021"

The Rescue – Toronto 2021

Three years winning the Oscar for Free Solo, filmmakers E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin return to Toronto with The Rescue. Once again, the filmmakers find a way to keep us on the edge of our seats. It’s a very different film from their Oscar winner in that this film focuses on the Northern Thailand cave rescue mission in 2018. The world was glued to the news as twelve boys and their coach were stuck…

"The Rescue – Toronto 2021"

Lakewood – Toronto 2021

Lakewood is an intense thriller about a mother racing against time to know if her son is okay during an active shooter situation. Amy Carr (Naomi Watts), has been a widowed mother of two going on almost a year. It’s a trying time as the one-year anniversary approaches especially with her oldest son, Noah. With Noah still in bed and not leaving for school any time soon, Amy goes off for a routine jog through…

"Lakewood – Toronto 2021"

Benediction – Toronto 2021

Benediction is a portrait of World War I poet/anti-war activist, Siegfried Sassoon, who lived during an era when being gay was unacceptable. Terence Davies takes a look at Siegfried Sassoon’s life, both as a young man (Jack Lowden) and in his later years (Peter Capaldi). If you were worried that the film might make an attempt to straightwash his life, you have nothing to worry about. This is a complex role in any way you…

"Benediction – Toronto 2021"

The Middle Man – Toronto 2021

Writer-director Bent Hamer brings Lars Saabye Christensen’s novel, Sluk, to the big screen as The Middle Man premieres in Toronto. It’s interesting to see a Norwegian filmmaker, Bent Hamer, base his script on a Norwegian novel and set it in the American Midwest. For a film that doesn’t have any origins in the US, I was honestly surprised to see the American flags. But anyway, this film is a dark comedy. I wouldn’t say it’s…

"The Middle Man – Toronto 2021"

The Wheel – Toronto 2021

Filmmaker Steve Pink, notable for his comedy movies, departs from his usual genre and gives us an intimate drama with The Wheel. This film is about two different couples and it focuses on them over one weekend. Albee (Amber Midthunder) and Walker (Taylor Gray) hope this mountain getaway will help save an eight-year marriage that could be over soon. The two of them got married as teenagers. They take advantage of what AirBnB has to…

"The Wheel – Toronto 2021"