Jay Stone 62 results

Jay Stone has been a fixture in Canadian media for decades, and one of the most beloved movie critics in the country. He worked at the Ottawa Citizen and Postmedia News service until he retired.

Between the lines: Delicate tragedy of Manchester by the Sea

Interview: Kenneth Lonergan on Manchester by the Sea Kenneth Lonergan makes a triumphant return to movies with a story about a solitary man who must go back home to face his family and the events that changed his life By Jay Stone TORONTO — There’s a scene in the penetrating and devastating drama Manchester by the Sea where Casey Affleck, playing a loner with a crippling secret in his past, stands in front of a burning building. It’s defining tragedy in the film: the Affleck character, named Lee, has just been to the grocery store to buy some 2 a.m. snacks and beer, and he has returned to find his life going up in flames. It’s the kind of moment that would call — in a lesser film — for a lot of outsized emotions. But Manchester by the Sea is too quiet and controlled for that: it’s written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan, a master of understated sadness, and has in Affleck a leading man whose own work (he’s the younger, less famous brother of Ben) reflects a ...
2.5Score

Elle and the politics of rape

Movie Review: Elle Paul Verhoeven's provocation gives Isabelle Huppert a difficult and complex role, but the movie itself is a confused series of disturbing incidents about the meaning of sexual assault

Leonard Cohen and me: A reminiscence

By Jay Stone   Even if we stated our case very clearly and all those who held as we do came to our side, all of them, we would still be very few. -- Leonard Cohen, Parasites of Heaven When he died last week his constituency emerged, thousands, millions perhaps, smitten, devoted, some with stories of how they had gone to his house in Montreal and he had made them egg salad sandwiches. He was gracious, modest, haunting, and with the key to something we thought was ours alone. “Have you ever noticed how private a wet tree is, a curtain of razor blades?,” he wrote (in A Cross Didn’t Fall On Me), and suddenly you did notice. A poem is something that everyone knows but no one ever said before. I found him by accident. When I was a teenager, there was a copy of his first novel, The Favourite Game, on the bookshelf in my father’s den when we lived in north Toronto. I don’t know how it got there, but my father got a lot of books from publishers because he was on the ...
4Score

Movie review: The Handmaiden is a mysterious seduction

Park Chan-wook's new movie is a tale of sex and betrayal that takes the erotic games of Dangerous Liaisons and transfers them to occupied Korea  
2.5Score

Movie review: The Dressmaker just doesn’t fit

This eccentric comedy/drama features Kate Winslet as a fashion designer who returns to her Australian home town to learn about her past — only to find the charms of Liam Hemsworth
2.5Score

Jack Reacher comes up short

Movie review: Jack Reacher Tom Cruise returns as the peripatetic vigilante in a straightforward, if preposterous, adventure whose simplicity reveals how unsuitable the actor is for the role  
3Score

An okay film, Unless you read the book

Movie review: Unless This disappointing film adaptation of Carol Shields' final novel turns a meditation on who we are into a melodramatic puzzle with a conventional solution
3Score

The Lovers & The Despot a bizarre thriller

Movie review: The Lovers & the Despot Documentary tells how a South Korean movie star and a director were kidnapped by North Korea's autocratic leader to help kick start his nation's film industry

The Promise not worth keeping

#TIFF16: Critic's Dispatches A bad old-fashioned historical drama about the Armenian genocide revisits final days of Ottoman Empire while La La Land and few gin and gingers quench artistic thirst By Jay Stone TORONTO — They threw a party last night at the Toronto International Film Festival where they served a delicious drink made of gin and ginger ale, and you could have as many as you want. When I regained consciousness, it was time for The Promise, a bad old-fashioned historical drama in which the troubles of three little people — in this case, an Armenian apothecary (Oscar Isaac), a comely dance teacher (Charlotte Le Bon) and an American journalist (Christian Bale) — don’t amount to a hill of beans when they’re cast across the vast and clichéd canvas of tragedy during the First World War. Fusillades of exposition fly across the screen, capturing our doomed heroes in a crossfire of clunky dialogue, tired movie tropes, and earnest over-acting. Pass the gin and ...

Three at-bats, but no TIFF hits on this day in cinema sports

#TIFF16: Critic's Dispatches Seasoned critic sacrifices a Blue Jays game to take in The Queen of Katwe, Planetarium and The Bleeder but finds little to celebrate beyond a sweet mid-movie slumber By Jay Stone TORONTO — I went to three films today, which means I didn’t get to watch the Toronto Blue Jays game on television. The films weren’t great as cinema, but they were excellent as distractions from the Toronto Blue Jays. For the record, the Boston Red Sox beat the Jays 11-8, and I went 0-for-3. The first movie was The Queen of Katwe, a Disney movie based on a true story about a teenage Ugandan girl who lives in dire poverty on the bad side of a small African village — mud streets, bare shacks, a cacophony of people trying to sell maize to people in cars stuck in monumental traffic jams at red lights — and becomes a chess champion. Yes, it’s that movie, which suited my fellow movie-goers to a T. They laughed and applauded on cue, which makes me think The Queen ...