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"

A Desperate Hour (aka 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. (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 – 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"

Listening to Kenny G – 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"

Montana Story – 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 – 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"

The Girl and the Spider – 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"

Violet – 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"