Toronto 2019: The Rest of Us

When a single mom invites her ex-husband’s wife and daughter to live with her, a rather interesting family dynamic begins to form in The Rest of Us. Aisling Chin-Yee makes her feature directorial debut with a story about a complex relationship.  When Cami’s (Heather Graham) ex-husband, Craig, tragically passes away, she invites Rachel (Jodi Balfour) and her young daughter, Talulah (Abigail Pniowsky) to move into her house.  If it must be said, Rachel is much…

"Toronto 2019: The Rest of Us"

Toronto 2019: The Barefoot Emperor

The Barefoot Emperor is a satirical film about forming a new Europe and is very fitting given the current political climate. Nicolas III (Peter Van den Begin) is so close to being able to get back home to Belgium.  The only thing standing between him and members of the Belgian military retrieving him is a re-enactment of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s 1914 assassination.  Anything that can go wrong will go wrong!  Of course, he gets…

"Toronto 2019: The Barefoot Emperor"

Toronto 2019: Coppers

Coppers is an informative film with regards to the psychological toll that police officers undergo but the film doesn’t break new ground in the genre. Thirteen retired police officers share stories from their careers working the beat.  Some of them share stories about their home life as result of growing up in a cop house or serving on the force themselves.  One retired woman said that police officers tend to be “control freaks.”  Should they…

"Toronto 2019: Coppers"

Toronto 2019: Sea Fever

Sea Fever offers viewers a genre hybrid but the film is more so on the thinking person’s level than being an action-packed adventure. Siobhán (Hermoine Corfield) is a solitary marine biology student.  Because of her studies, she soon finds herself on a fishing trawler for a week.  She’s a student who generally feels more at home when she’s working in the lab.  Regardless of what her preferences may be, she is a redhead and this…

"Toronto 2019: Sea Fever"

Toronto 2019: Clifton Hill

Clifton Hill is a psychological thriller that strangely enough also serves as a love letter of sorts to the city of Niagara Falls (Canada). Memory can be an interesting thing.  When Abby (Tuppence Middleton) returns to Niagara Falls after her mother’s death, it leads to some stressful relations with sister Laure (Hannah Gross).  It’s already bad enough that their mom’s hotel, The Rainbow Inn, is likely to be closed.  Neither Abby nor her sister, Laure…

"Toronto 2019: Clifton Hill"

Toronto 2019: Tammy’s Always Dying

Amy Jo Johnson’s sophomore feature, Tammy’s Always Dying, follows a working-class daughter as she cares for her alcoholic mother. Catherine “Cathy” MacDonald (Anastasia Phillips) works at a hotel bar to make ends meet.  When she isn’t doing this, she is taking care of her alcoholic mother, Tammy (Felicity Huffman).  It isn’t the best way to go about life but Cathy does her best.  At the bar, Cathy has the freedom to be whoever she wants…

"Toronto 2019: Tammy’s Always Dying"

Toronto 2019: Pain and Glory

Antonio Banderas delivers a stand-out performance as filmmaker Salvador Mallo in Pain and Glory as the film hits up the fall film festivals. A winner of Best Actor at Cannes, Pain and Glory hits both Telluride and Toronto on its way to a theatrical release in October.  Pedro Almodóvar turns in a bold script here.  Put it this way–hours after watching the film, I still struggled with what to say about it.  On the one…

"Toronto 2019: Pain and Glory"

Toronto 2019: The Father

The Father is about as dark and comedic as a film could possibly be when it comes to a husband suffering from the loss of his wife. I watched a number of films going into the festival but what struck me the most is the number of films dealing with death.  Everyone responds to death differently.  While one family member can go into a depression, another will go about their life acting as if nothing…

"Toronto 2019: The Father"

Toronto 2019: Love Me Tender

Love Me Tender follows the point of view of a woman suffering from agoraphobia and the film doesn’t make light of mental health. Some forms of one’s mental health are visibile while others are not.  In Seconda’s (Barbara Giordano) case, she suffers from acute agoraphobia.  This means that she suffers from panic attacks and anxiety in large open spaces.  It is important that writer-director Klaudia Reynicke doesn’t make fun of those who are suffering.  While…

"Toronto 2019: Love Me Tender"

Toronto 2019: Collective

Alexander Nanau’s documentary, Collective, shows the importance of the media especially when it comes to exposing corruption. No matter what country you live in, the freedom of press is important.  Certainly, the man living in the White House would beg to differ.  But we’re not talking about him, are we?  No, the topic at hand is the fire that took place at the Colectiv club in Bucharest on October 30, 2015.  What happened on that…

"Toronto 2019: Collective"