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 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"
Barry Levinson, Ben Foster, and Vicky Krieps spoke about their new Holocaust drama, The Survivor, premiering tonight in Toronto. Levinson previously won an Oscar for Rain Man and the filmmaker could very well find himself in the race once again. Foster is Oscar-worthy in delivering a career-defining performance as Holocaust survivor and boxer Harry Haft. Krieps joins him in the cast as Haft’s wife, Miriam Wofsoniker, although she initially is the woman helping him search…"Barry Levinson, Ben Foster, Vicky Krieps talk The Survivor"
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"
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 is an intense thriller about a mother racing against time to know if her son is okay during an active shooter situation. (The film was titled as Lakewood upon its world premiere but will be released under A Desperate Hour). 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…"A Desperate Hour (aka Lakewood) – 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"
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"