Toronto International Film Festival

True Things is a diverting yet ultimately inconsistent look into the allure of physicalised love and self-discovery: TIFF 2021 Review

October 3, 2021

True Things is the sophomore effort from filmmaker Harry Wootliff, whose first film was Only You (not the film with Marisa Tomei); a romantic drama about the trials and tribulations of a couple who have to contend with adulthood, parenting and generational differences due to their distance in age. For her latest film, Wootliff is […]

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France is an amusingly quixotic journey from Bruno Dumont, led by a stellar Lea Seydoux: TIFF 2021 Review

October 3, 2021

France is the latest film from filmmaker enfant terrible Bruno Dumont; whose filmography is, for the lack of a better term, peculiar. His body of work shifts into many forms of storytelling in ways that they can never be encapsulated in restricted genre terms. From films exploring the idiosyncrasies of life with his debut film […]

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Mad Women's Ball

The Mad Women’s Ball is a satisfying hybrid tale of psychological drama and friendship: TIFF 2021

September 22, 2021

Set in 19th century France, The Mad Women’s Ball follows Eugenie (Lou de Laage), a young, wealthy lady of the manor who feels institutionalized within family and gender expectations. Her father expects her to be married off to a husband while she wants to travel, go on adventures and learn new things like her brother […]

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You are not my mother

You Are Not My Mother is an extremely effective horror flick that blends filial drama and powerful frights: TIFF 2021 Review

September 22, 2021

You Are Not My Mother tells the story of Char (Hazel Doupe), a struggling teenager who is living a self-sheltered life, drifting through school with good grades despite the bullies, all while having to take care of her mother Angela (Carolyn Bracken) and grandmother (Ingrid Craige). Her relationship with her mother is distant, after a […]

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Murina is an assured feature-length directorial debut from Antoneta Alamat Kusijanovic: TIFF 2021 Review

September 20, 2021

Murina follows Julija (Gracija Filipovic), a 16-year old girl living with her parents on an island that many would consider to be a heavenly paradise. With an endless summer maintained by daily chores of fishing in beautiful vistas, it sounds like the perfect place to live. But underneath the façade lies something that is anything […]

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Saloum

Saloum blends action, comedy, horror and drama into a satisfying thrill-ride: TIFF 2021 Review

September 16, 2021

Saloum tells the story of three mercenaries Chaka (Yann Gael), Rafa (Roger Sallah) and Minuit (Mentor Ba) who are tasked to extract a Mexican drug dealer Felix (Renaud Farah) and his cargo of gold and drugs away from the chaos of the government overthrow of Guinea-Bissau and transfer to Dakar, Senegal. But when their means […]

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The Rescue is an emotionally rousing & suspenseful documentary about the Tham Luang cave rescue: TIFF 2021 Review

September 16, 2021

“There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.” This is a quote from the 1999 sci-fi hit The Matrix by the Wachowskis. Why is this being quoted, you ask? This quote was stuck in this critic’s mind as he was watching the latest project from documentary filmmakers by Jimmy Chin and […]

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Zalava is an engaging mix of genre thrills, social commentary and potent drama: TIFF 2021 Review

September 16, 2021

Set in 1978, the film tells the story of a mountain village of Zalava in Kurdistan that is supposedly plagued by an ancient curse. The villagers are so drawn into the story of the curse that they have been driven into the ways that veer into levels of superstition, involving the use of metals as […]

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Vengeance is Mine, All Others Pay Cash is a bewildering but worthwhile genre-mashup: TIFF 2021 Review

September 15, 2021

Set in ‘80s West Java, Indonesia, Vengeance Is Mine, All Others Pay Cash tells the story of Ajo Kawir (Marthino Lio), a tenacious street brawler who is famous for his fearless attitude. Through his many manly acts of destruction and machismo lies a condition that fuels it all – his sexual impotence. Even with numerous […]

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Encounter is an intentionally ambiguous sci-fi drama that furthers Riz Ahmed’s star quality: TIFF 2021 Review

September 14, 2021

There’s a consistent thrill to Encounter, Michael Pearce‘s ambitious science fiction-leaning effort that delights in its ambiguous nature.  At least, for the most part.  Seen through the eyes of an unreliable narrator (an as expected stellar Riz Ahmed), Pearce’s film is better when it’s holding on to its secrets.  There’s something deeper and darker at […]

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The Starling squanders any of its emotional potential with lazy manipulation: TIFF 2021 Review

September 14, 2021

There’s a hopeful message about tackling grief in a healthy manner and how there’s the possibility of light at the end of darkness present in the core of The Starling.  With so many promising ingredients too, Theodore Melfi‘s feel-good dramedy is likely to lure audiences in with a false sense of security, promising potential but […]

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The Guilty is an intense showcase for the ever commanding Jake Gyllenhaal: TIFF 2021 Review

September 13, 2021

The 2018 Danish thriller The Guilty was riveting, ruthless material.  This American remake, coming courtesy of director Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, The Equalizer), is much of the same, which means those who have seen the original will find the plotting all too familiar, yet those uninitiated are likely to be wholly swept up in its […]

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All My Puny Sorrows tackles its raw subject matter with a heightened honesty: TIFF 2021 Review

September 13, 2021

There’s a quirky, indie comedy vibe that initially laces the opening minutes of All My Puny Sorrows that deceptively suggests what will take place over the coming 103 minutes will be an airier approach to incredibly sensitive material.  Character names are unusual – to say the least – and the dialogue is heightened, presented in […]

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10 Films Not To Miss at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival

September 6, 2021

This year’s Toronto International Film Festival is welcoming back a sense of normalcy after the year that wasn’t.  Ticket buyers – both those attending TIFF in person and those staying at home with TIFF’s virtual platform – are spoilt for choice, with over 100 films on the line-up, ranging from blockbuster special events, gala screening […]

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TIFF Review: Spring Blossom is a striking directorial debut from writer/director Suzanne Lindon

September 26, 2020

Writer/director Suzanne Lindon stars as Suzanne, a 16-year old student who is starting to feel a sense of ennui as she trudges through her daily routine of high school adolescence. Her mingling with her friends is becoming tedious and boring – evident in an amusingly awkward party sequence – and her outside life feels constrained […]

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TIFF Review: Director Francois Ozon returns to his roots with Summer of 85

September 24, 2020

Queer cinema has come through quite well over these past few years. We have had great examples like Call Me By Your Name, Love, Simon and Moonlight; foreign entries like BPM (Beats Per Minute), the Oscar-winning A Fantastic Woman and BAFTA-winning The Handmaiden and hidden indie gems like Princess Cyd, Beach Rats and God’s Own Country. All of these films have had critical acclaim and they […]

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TIFF Review: Those who are adventurous horror seekers would do quite well with Violation

September 21, 2020

Trigger warning: Sexual abuse One of the reasons why cinema is so well received is that it can figuratively transport you into another world. In addition to that, it can be a way of wish fulfilment. Who wouldn’t want to be a kick-ass hero? Who would not want to be in a fairy tale romance? […]

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TIFF Review: Shadow in the Cloud is an exhilaratingly silly yet undeniably entertaining genre mashup from writer/director Roseanne Liang

September 21, 2020

Trigger warning: Sexual abuse and some coarse language Before we start off this review, let’s point out the elephant in the room. The film was co-written by Max Landis, who is now known for the various accusations of emotional and sexual abuse from eight separate women. Since then, lead actress Chloe Grace Moretz has said […]

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TIFF Review: The magnificently mesmerizing Wolfwalkers will have audiences howling with joy

September 18, 2020

Whenever one thinks of animation studios, the main ones one would think of would be either Disney and Pixar from the West and Studio Ghibli overseas. Then on the lesser known side, there would be studios like Laika and Aardman studios. But there is one that is even more obscure and that is called the […]

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TIFF Review: Pieces of a Woman is a moving drama and stellar acting showcase for Vanessa Kirby and Ellen Burstyn

September 18, 2020

The filmography of playwright/director Kornel Mundruczo is quite interesting from a first glimpse. The standout feature is the fact that his works are usually political parables disguised as genre fare. His last two films White God and Jupiter’s Moon delved into the horror/sci-fi genre but were more about the examination of the inner workings of […]

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TIFF Review: Naomi Watts is the best thing in the underwhelming Penguin Bloom

September 17, 2020

Penguin Bloom follows the story of the Bloom family, a happy and adventurous troupe who are led on many treks by the outgoing matriarch Sam (Naomi Watts). All appears well as they are holidaying in Thailand until a once-in-a-lifetime accident occurs; leaving Sam paralysed and confined to a wheelchair.  Seen as a shadow of her former […]

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TIFF Review: Get the Hell Out is an exhausting yet ultimately amusing zombie horror comedy

September 13, 2020

There are genre conventions that we see all the time in film that whenever they show up, we cannot help but smile at the sight of it. One of them is seeing the hero succeed in their journey; another is seeing the protagonist triumph over oppression and adversity and another is seeing a zombie getting […]

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TIFF Review: A Good Man is an empathetic and understanding look into the life of a trans man wanting to have a child

September 13, 2020

When news of the latest project by writer/director Marie-Castille Mention-Scharr was announced, this reviewer was intrigued yet quite trepidacious [sic]. The premise of the story itself is inspiring but the casting of the titular role can be seen as quite problematic. The major reason for being is because of the lack of proper representation for […]

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TIFF Review: One Night in Miami is an electrifying film directorial debut for Regina King

September 12, 2020

In America 1964, the audience is introduced with its four main players. Renowned boxer Cassius Clay (Eli Goree) had just defeated Sonny Liston to become heavyweight champion of the world; Muslim minister and human rights activist Malcolm X (Kingsley Ben-Adir) is still fighting for the cause for Black people; pop musician Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom […]

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TIFF Review: Holler is a remarkable coming-of-age drama and directorial debut from Nicole Riegel

September 11, 2020

Jessica Barden stars as Ruth Avery, a high school student who lives in Jackson, Ohio with her older brother Blaze (Gus Halper). She is intelligent and resilient but due to her living conditions, she is looked down upon by people at school to the point that she has to resort to stealing books (i.e. Madame […]

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Here’s a look at the six Australian films to screen at TIFF 2018

August 27, 2018

Six Australian films have been chosen for the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). As one of the biggest publicly attended film festivals the TIFF has close ties to the US film industry. This poses a good chance of expanding the range of Australian film making to a world-wide audience, like former Toronto premieres (e.g. […]

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Simon Baker’s directorial debut to premiere at TIFF in Toronto

August 21, 2017

Aussie actor Simon Baker’s feature film and directorial debut Breath will have its world premiere at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), featuring as part of the event’s Contemporary World Cinema program. Breath stands alongside Warwick Thornton’s Sweet Country and Violeta Ayala’s Cocaine Prison, two competing Australian films. “There is no doubt that TIFF sets Australian films on the […]

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Sharmill Films to bring three films from the Toronto International Film Festival to Australian cinemas

October 13, 2016

Australian distributor Sharmill Films has revealed they will be bringing three more films from the Toronto International Film Festival to Australia: Frantz, The Ornithologist, and Heal The Living, will join Lady Macbeth on the Sharmill Films 2017 release slate. Frantz is the latest film from French director François Ozon. The film is set in the wake of the […]

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Australian distributor Sharmill Films acquires Lady Macbeth in Toronto

September 30, 2016

Australian distributor Sharmill Films have acquired standout Toronto Film Festival offering Lady Macbeth.  The film is a Gothic tale of a young woman trapped in a marriage of convenience in 19th century England. Much like the original Lady Macbeth, her actions leave in their wake a maelstrom of murder, mayhem and mystery on a country estate. […]

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Illumination’s new animated film Sing celebrates its premiere in Toronto

September 13, 2016

Sing, the latest film from Illumination Studios (Despicable Me, The Secret Life of Pets) had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Sunday, ahead of its Boxing Day release. The animated film sees Buster, a koala, holding a singing competition in his home town in order to save his theatre. Sing stars Matthew McConaughey, Reese […]

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