Jay Stone’s Top 10 movies of 2019
(Along with one honourable mention and one movie that every one else loved conspicuous by its absence)
By Jay Stone
Here are my favourite movies of 2019, in alphabetical order:
Honeyland: An amazing documentary, filmed in Macedonia, about a female beekeeper who lives with her ailing mother in rocky isolation, and harvests honey in a way compatible with her deep understanding of the life of bees. This hard-scrabble harmony is disrupted by a family of raucous nomads who move next door. The result is a galvanizing drama about society, greed, culture and, well, bees.
Gloria Bell: Sebastián Lelio’s remake of his own 2013 Spanish-language movie Gloria stars Julianne Moore as a divorcee who assuages her loneliness at dance clubs, and John Turturro as the constricted man who falls for her. The final scene, with the magnificent Moore dancing to the titular disco hit, is one of the great cinematic shouts of joy of the year.
Jojo Rabbit: New ...
At #TIFF18, it’s all about the music
Movies: #TIFF18, Toronto International Film Festival
The soundtrack of movies can leave you with the exhilaration of the dance floor, or bring you down into the existential angst of neo-noir
By Jay Stone
(September 8, 2018) TORONTO — There was a great moment at the movies this morning, near the end of Gloria Bell, Sebastian Lelio’s English-language remake of his own 2013 drama Gloria. Julianne Moore, replacing Chilean actress Paulina Garcia in the original, stars as a 50ish divorcee — are they still called that? — who has a productive but somewhat lonely life that she spices up by going to dance clubs and letting herself get lost in the candy sounds of disco. A romance with a divorced man (John Turturro), who seems not quite totally divorced, disrupts her balance, but in the final scene, we see Moore back on the dance floor, raising her arms and swaying from side to side as Laura Branigan sings the old hit Gloria.
You can sometimes forget the importance of music in ...
Kingsman: Golden Circle a Misogynist Swirl
Movie Review: Kingsman — The Golden Circle
Director Matthew Vaughn loses the satirical dimensions of the graphic novel in this second live-action adaptation of Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons's sendup of the gentleman spy archetype, and not even the A-list cast of Colin Firth, Julianne Moore and Jeff Bridges can save this vulgar parade of obscenity
Rebecca Miller gets screwball
Interview: Rebecca Miller
She may be the daughter of the man who penned Death of a Salesman, but Rebecca Miller reveals an undeniable talent for thoroughly goofy comedy in her latest film, Maggie's Plan
By Katherine Monk
Rebecca Miller’s intellectual pedigree cannot be argued: daughter of Pulitzer-winner Arthur Miller, graduate of Choate and Yale, and married to the towering dramatic talent named Daniel-Day Lewis. But speaking to Miller over the phone, the legacy of Willy Loman walks out the door and the inner goofball emerges.
It’s a side of Miller that’s on full display in her latest work, Maggie’s Plan, a feature film that charmed audiences at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and opens theatrically this week. A full-on comedy that’s been drawing comparisons to Woody Allen’s witty dissections of the academic elite, Maggie’s Plan stars Greta Gerwig as a modern gal looking to enhance her life in a millennial way.
Maggie wants to have a baby without ...
Truth is stranger than TIFF
Real-life dramas make their appearance at the Toronto film festival, but sometimes in the movies, facts get in the way of a good story
By Jay Stone
TORONTO — Truth occasionally makes an appearance at a Toronto International Film Festival, although usually not in the presence of a movie star (“You were great, Kevin!”) It pops up in a few movies, more or less; not just in documentaries, its natural home, but in the Hollywood versions of real-life stories, usually twisted ever so slightly to make it more interesting, or cinematic, or sellable. Sure, truth is stranger than fiction, but the challenge is to make it more lucrative.
The biggest “true” story at TIFF is Spotlight, the Tom McCarthy version of the real-life expose by the Boston Globe of the scandal of sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests (the Globe won the 2003 Pulitzer prize for the story.)
Spotlight — the name of the four-person investigative team at the Globe that ...