Essays

‘West Side Story (2021)’: The Dazzled and the Damned

The original West Side Story, as a musical film and a cultural touchstone, is strangely both tied to the time period it was made in (seen by the fact that many of the actors were white folks in brownface), and also progressive and timeless and provocative in its message, craft, and presentation.  A loose adaptation… Continue reading ‘West Side Story (2021)’: The Dazzled and the Damned

Reviews

‘CODA’: A Harmony Between Opposite Worlds

Spoilers ahead. Best Picture winner CODA trails the life of Ruby Rossi, a CODA or “Child of Deaf Adults,” currently a high schooler standing as an interpreter for her deaf family. After joining the school choir and discovering her talent for singing, she finds herself torn between chasing her dreams and staying for her family. … Continue reading ‘CODA’: A Harmony Between Opposite Worlds

Festivals, Reviews

TIFF 2022: ‘Broker’ – a Light, Heartwarming Found Family Film from Hirokazu Kore-eda

Hirokazu Kore-eda has returned with his first feature after three years with Broker, his first Korean feature.  Kore-eda explores the theme of found family and adoption with colourful characters.  Sang-hyun (Song Kang-ho) is a laundry shop owner swimming in debt. He is in cahoots with Dong-soo (Gang Dong-won), a worker at the baby box facility… Continue reading TIFF 2022: ‘Broker’ – a Light, Heartwarming Found Family Film from Hirokazu Kore-eda

Festivals, Reviews

TIFF 2022: ‘Women Talking’ — a Compelling Film filled with Tour de Force Performances

In 2011, eight men were convicted of committing sexual assault on the women of their Mennonite colony in Bolivia. These assaults have been happening for years, and the men of the colony dismissed the women who came forward. Leaders of the colony deemed the assaults the work of the devil or “wild female imagination.” These… Continue reading TIFF 2022: ‘Women Talking’ — a Compelling Film filled with Tour de Force Performances

Festivals, Reviews

TIFF 2022: ‘The Son’ — a Brazen Attempt to Depict Mental Illness Onscreen

Following the success of The Father, French stage director and playwright-turned-film director Florian Zeller adapts for the screen the last part of his trilogy: The Son.  On paper, it seems like the perfect melodrama to come after the critically acclaimed The Father, which got Anthony Hopkins his second Oscar. Sadly, The Son is Zeller’s sophomore… Continue reading TIFF 2022: ‘The Son’ — a Brazen Attempt to Depict Mental Illness Onscreen

Festivals, Reviews

TIFF 2022: ‘The Eternal Daughter’ — an Eerie yet Heartwarming Take on the Mother-Daughter Tale

In Joanna Hogg’s sixth feature and fourth collaboration with the great Tilda Swinton, the filmmaker takes on the familiar mother-daughter story with her own twist. The Eternal Daughter follows Julie and her mother Rosalind (both women played by Swinton) as they take a trip to the Welsh countryside. The hotel they are staying at has… Continue reading TIFF 2022: ‘The Eternal Daughter’ — an Eerie yet Heartwarming Take on the Mother-Daughter Tale

Reviews

TIFF 2022: ‘Decision to Leave’ ⁠— One of the Most Creative Hitchcock-Inspired Films in Recent Memory

After the critical success of The Handmaiden and his English television debut The Little Drummer Girl, Korean director Park Chan-wook is back with Decision to Leave, which got him the Best Director award at Cannes. A police procedural turned romance film, it follows detective Hae-joon (Park Hae-il) as he investigates the death of a man… Continue reading TIFF 2022: ‘Decision to Leave’ ⁠— One of the Most Creative Hitchcock-Inspired Films in Recent Memory

Festivals, Reviews

TIFF 2022: ‘Triangle of Sadness’ — a Raunchy, Fun Critique of the Super-Rich and Beautiful

Following his 2017 critically-acclaimed film The Square, Ruben Östlund has returned with another Palme d’Or-winning film, this time set on a cruise ship for the uber-rich and beautiful. Triangle of Sadness, which is also a beauty industry term for the wrinkles between one’s eyebrows, continues to prove Östlund’s mastery of satire.  While collaborating with a… Continue reading TIFF 2022: ‘Triangle of Sadness’ — a Raunchy, Fun Critique of the Super-Rich and Beautiful

Festivals, Reviews

TIFF 2022: ‘My Policeman’ — a Beautifully Shot yet Average Gay Movie

Adapted from the novel of the same name, My Policeman centers on three individuals in 1950s post-war Britain: Marion, a schoolteacher played by Emma Corrin; Patrick, a museum curator played by David Dawson; and Tom, a policeman played by Harry Styles. What seems like a love triangle on the surface is a much more complicated… Continue reading TIFF 2022: ‘My Policeman’ — a Beautifully Shot yet Average Gay Movie

Festivals, Lists

TIFF 2022: A Return to the Pre-Pandemic Festival + Films to Watch Out For

In Schitt’s Creek, Alexis asks Moira, “What is your favorite season?” She takes a deep breath before answering, “Awards.”  It is the most wonderful time of the year for cinephiles and culture vultures, and the fall film festival circuit kicks it off. After two years of taking safety measures due to the pandemic, the Toronto… Continue reading TIFF 2022: A Return to the Pre-Pandemic Festival + Films to Watch Out For