War, Disasters and Quiet Passions: Jay Stone’s Top Ten Movies of 2017
Movies: Top Ten 2017
Greta Gerwig's coming-of-age gem, Lady Bird, garners big Stone praise amid a cluster of small diamonds about outsiders, loss and the elusive power of hope
By Jay Stone
Lady Bird: Pretty well the best time I had at the movies this year came from this small, exquisitely observed story that we’ve seen a million times: a young woman comes of age in a small town, fights with her parents and dreams of glory in the big city. But writer/director Greta Gerwig — drawing on her own life — turns this familiar material into a sweet, caustic, and authentic tale of growing up, aided by great performances from Laurie Metcalfe as the exasperated mother and Saoirse Ronan as the complicated young woman. A true gem.
The Florida Project: Filmmaker Sean Baker takes a step up from his previous movie (Tangerine, which was shot on an iPhone) but doesn’t sacrifice any of the grit in the story of people living on the edge of the American dream, in every sense: they ...
Battle of the Sexes Rages On
Stories about strong women continue to struggle for popular approval while movies about middle-aged men absorbed in their own search for success are celebrated for brave storytelling
By Katherine Monk
TORONTO (September 11, 2017) — Battle of the Sexes is the title of one of the bigger buzz movies at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival, but four days into this exhaustive and exhausting celebration of cinema, it may as well be a central theme.
On one side, the festival is showcasing films featuring strong women with the courage to pursue their dreams. On the other, it’s awash in the insecurities of middle-aged men terrified by the prospect of being forgotten. Or, worse yet, being altogether average.
Maybe it was just the course of my day that kicked off with the press and industry screening for Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton’s take on the famous 1973 tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King. I thoroughly enjoyed their period ...
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 ...
Emory Cohen finds his inner Tony
The young co-star of Brooklyn says he was inspired by his colourful New York City uncles in creating the role of the gentle plumber who courts Saoirse Ronan
By Jay Stone
TORONTO — Emory Cohen is explaining how he creates characters in his movies. Stealing has a lot to do with it.
For instance, for his role in the melancholy love story Brooklyn — in which he plays Tony, a 1950s Italian plumber in love with a lonely Irish immigrant named Eilis (Saoirse Ronan) — Cohen was inspired by Marlon Brando’s working-class character in the drama On The Waterfront, as well as the naturalistic performances in the Italian neo-realist classic The Bicycle Thief.
“That’s what I do,” Cohen says. “I basically steal ideas from different performances and try to take on little bits and do it in an Emory Cohen kind of way and see what happens.”
What happened in Brooklyn, which is based on a novel by Colm Toibin, is a bit of throwback magic. Tony is an unusual kind of movie ...