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"
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"
Penny Lane is back with her newest documentary, Listening to Kenny G, which goes into why he’s such a polarizing jazz musician. Lane interviews a number of jazz artists and critics in hopes of getting to the bottom of finding out why Kenny G is so polarizing. She makes sure we here from a wide variety of people. You either like him or don’t. And for some, he’s not representative of what real jazz is–sound…"Listening to Kenny G – Toronto 2021"
Filmmakers Scott McGehee and David Siegel take advantage of the isolation that Montana has to offer with their new drama, Montana Story. With their father in a coma following a stroke, two estranged siblings, Erin (Haley Lu Richardson) and Cal Thorne (Owen Teague), return home to the family ranch. It’s no longer the same place where they grew up. They find Ace (Gilbert Owuor) looking after their dying father. Sure, some people are the same…"Montana Story – Toronto 2021"
Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over might not break new ground but the film is a revealing documentary about the singer/songwriter. “What the World Needs Now,” “Say A Little Prayer,” and “Don’t Make Me Over” are among a number of songs in Warwick’s discography. You might know the songs but do you know who Dionne Warwick is as a person. Do you know how she has used her voice in the name of humanitarian causes?…"Dionne Warwick: Don’t Make Me Over – Toronto 2021"
Becoming Cousteau is Liz Garbus’s new archive-heavy documentary about filmmaker and underwater explorer Jacques-Yves Cousteau. When one thinks of 20th century explorers or adventurers, a few names come to mind: Jacques-Yves Cousteau, Robert Ballard, and yes, even James Cameron. The French adventurer stands out above them all. In fact, it felt like he was a household name when I was growing up. it’s truly hard to believe that next year will mark 25 years since he…"Becoming Cousteau – Toronto 2021"
The Girl and the Spider (Das Mädchen und die Spinne) is a subtle drama that explores the emotions that come when a roommate moves out. Lisa (Liliane Amuat) is finally moving out of the apartment and leaving roommate Mara (Henriette Confurius) behind. There’s a whirlwind of emotions that come with Lisa packing up her stuff. It’s a new start for Lisa, who lived there for years with Mara and Markus (Ivan Georgiev). As this era…"The Girl and the Spider – Toronto 2021"
Olivia Munn delivers a a career-best performance in Justine Bateman’s directorial debut, Violet, making its Canadian premiere during TIFF. Let me tell you right off the bat that you need to be in the right mindset for the film. If you don’t have the right headspace, this film could prove to be problematic. Take it from me: I had major depression hit just before SXSW this year. Because of this, I didn’t review Violet during…"Violet – Toronto 2021"
Dating & New York, the Jonah Feingold film that premiered during Tribeca in June, takes a fairy tale approach to the romantic comedy genre. Not many people can say they hit a home run with their debut feature but this is the case with Jonah Feingold. Feingold knew he wanted to be a filmmaker when he first saw Hook. If you notice, the film’s score pays homage to the Peter Pan film during one of…"Dating & New York: A Fairy Tale Approach"
Warrior marks the tenth anniversary of its theatrical release and in a perfect world, this film should have garnered many Oscar nominations. U.S. Marine Tommy Riordan Conlon (Tom Hardy) starts training for a mixed martial arts tournament shortly after reuniting with his father, Paddy (Nick Nolte). Paddy wasn’t the best father when Tommy was growing up. He was both a drunk and abusive. While he’s training Tommy, his other son, Brendan (Joel Edgerton), has turned…"Warrior Is Still An Underappreciated Masterpiece"