Parent-Child Day at TIFF17
Three movies the the Toronto film festival present different versions of the cinematic parent — Interfering Mother, Distant Father — with varying success
By Jay Stone
TORONTO — It was parent-and-child day at the Toronto International Film Festival, which is always interesting for those of us who are parents and wonder which of several cinematic categories we might fall into: Distant Father, Interfering Mother, Demanding Taskmaster (or –mistress), Indifferent Hippie or Kooky Eccentric. I think that’s all of them.
We began with a terrific little coming-of-age title called Lady Bird, starring Saoirse Ronan — heroine of yesterday’s movie marathon and providing further proof here that she can do no wrong — as a rebellious high school student growing up in terrifyingly unhip Sacramento, Calif. She laughs with her best friend, dumps the friend for some new rich kids, dumps the rich kids for the old friend, meets a couple of boys who are variously ...
TIFF diary: My day in Auditorium 12
What's it like to spend the entire day in one cinema, watching whatever comes along? Jay Stone sets out to find out at the Toronto film festival
By Jay Stone
TORONTO — Today I decided to test the fates by spending the entire day in one movie theatre at the Toronto International Film Festival. Most of the press and industry screenings are held at the Scotiabank cinema on Richmond Street, and I chose Auditorium 12, for reasons that will become more obscure as we go on.
The result was a kind of mini-film festival, with all the delights, disappointments — and meals of dry popcorn — that one associates with the glamorous life of the freelance film critic. This is what I saw:
On Chesil Beach: The first film of the day in Auditorium 12 — which turns out to be the Imax theatre, so you get a nice big screen — is this adaptation of what is, frankly, a rather thin 2007 novella by the otherwise estimable Ian McEwan. It stars Saoirse Ronan (whose appearance in ...
TIFF17 Opens with an Overhead Smash
Festival's opening movie, Borg/McEnroe captures, an epic battle at Wimbledon and the two contrasting personalities — the emotional American and the cool Swede — who fought it out
By Jay Stone
TORONTO — A magazine called Screen has a special edition at the Toronto film festival, and it runs capsule reviews of some of the movies showing that day. Wednesday’s edition included a review of Miracle, a Lithuania/Bulgaria/Poland co-production, in which “the owner of a struggling post-Soviet pig farm finds a surprising benefactor in a visiting American investor, whose ‘good’ intentions upend the gentle rhythms of small-town life.”
And that’s the film festival for you: it might be a warm and wonderful comedy, or it could be what you might later describe as the best Lithuania/Bulgaria/Poland co-production of the month. You can’t tell without actually going to watch it, and who has time for that?
As it happens, I was reading this while seated next to ...
The Square and Loveless Share Responsibility for Eye-Opening Day
Ruben Östlund's Palme D'Or winning satire of the art world and Andrey Zvyagintsev’s peek into a Loveless Russia address issues of social responsibility in our generic age of self-absorption
By Katherine Monk
TORONTO — One man was lying face down on a street grate to keep warm. He wore no shoes. His feet were blistered and gangrenous black. He was eating what appeared to be a discarded salad with his hands, dirty, swollen, cracked. I walked by him, and about a dozen other bodies wrapped in soiled sleeping bags, on my way to festival headquarters on King Street where the freshly laid red carpet curls out its tongue, anticipating the glitterati.
As a Vancouverite, walking past homeless people is routine. Turning a deaf ear to the person with the glazed eyes and a feeble hand stretched into the moving stream of sidewalk treading humanity is such a regular exercise, it doesn’t even register. It’s considered part of the urban experience.
Yet, on day one ...
Patti Cake$ takes Rocky Road to Success
Movie Review: Patti Cake$
Geremy Jasper cooks up Hollywood's sweetest formula in his debut feature about a young woman from New Jersey who craves to make it big in the rap game
Only Living Boy in New York Only Halfway There
Movie Review: The Only Living Boy in New York
Marc Webb returns to the world of oddball romance in an underwhelming Woody Allen wannabe that features a dependable A-list cast including Jeff Bridges, Pierce Brosnan, Cynthia Nixon and Kate Beckinsale
Good Time… Or Is It?
Movie Review: Good Time
Robert Pattinson doesn't need fangs to sink his teeth into the role of a perpetual loser trying to be his brother's keeper in Josh and Benny Safdie's gritty indie that keeps you guessing
Finding the Real Mensch in Menashe
Movies: Interview with Joshua Z. Weinstein
A documentary filmmaker explores the closed world of New York's Hasidic community in his first narrative feature shot entirely in Yiddish with amateur actors and a leading man who'd never set foot in a cinema
By Katherine Monk
There are approximately 330,000 Hasidic and Ultra-Orthodox Jews living in New York City, yet, the community remains largely closed and somewhat mysterious to outsiders. Filmmaker Joshua Z. Weinstein wanted to know more, so he focused his documentary skills on the world at his doorstep in the boroughs and neighbourhoods of his native New York City.
The result is Menashe, a narrative feature shot entirely in Yiddish with an amateur cast of community members — some of whom had never set foot in a theatre until the film’s debut at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
Weinstein says the experience was rich and memorable, but it’s not something he’ll do again — if only because as a director, he’d like ...
Diamonds Are a Woman’s Friend
News: Birks Diamond Tribute to Women in Film
It's not about square cut or pear-shaped, the Birks Diamond Tribute honours the unsung contributions of women in Canadian film, where the female sex is still grossly under-represented
By Katherine Monk
It started with a tribute to two actors in 2012: Emily Hampshire and Sarah Gadon. This year, the Birks Diamond Tribute will honour a full dozen women in Canadian film, including actors, directors and screenwriters.
Slated for celebration at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival are directors Alethea Arnaquq-Baril, Ashley McKenzie, Catherine Bainbridge, Chloé Leriche, and Mina Shum; actors Amanda Brugel, Ellen Wong, Kawennáhere Devery Jacobs, Mylène Mackay, and Shailyn Pierre-Dixon; and screenwriters Joanne Arseneau and Sherry White.
With a few exceptions, such as Vancouver’s Mina Shum (Double Happiness) and newcomer Ashley McKenzie (Werewolf), they are not household names — yet. The whole point of the Birks ...