Festivals: Toronto Film Festival Reviews

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Toronto 2015 Review: ANOMALISA Considers The Human Condition With No Strings Attached

When the philosopher says, "Hell is other people," he perhaps means that in trying to figure ourselves out, we are beholden to our reflections and interactions with other people. Or maybe he is talking about the modern customer service experience. In...

Toronto 2015 Review: TALVAR (GUILTY), An Indictment Of Indian Justice

In 2008, Aarushi Talwar, 14, the daughter of middle class parents, was found dead in her Mumbai home with her throat slashed. Suspicion quickly fell upon the family's servant, a Nepali migrant named Hemraj, but when he was found dead...

Toronto 2015 Review: THE MARTIAN, A Thrilling, Entertaining Space Flick

The Martian concept is a delight, stranding an astronaut millions of kilometers from home, where he has to "science the shit" out of the situation in order to find a way back. Implicit in the concept, however, is that...

Toronto 2015 Review: SHERPA Scales A Different Side of Everest

On May 29th,1953, Nepalese guide Tenzing Norgay brought New Zealand philanthropist mountaineer Edmund Hillary to the summit of Mount Everest. The very idea of crawling to the top of the highest mountain on earth, with its punishing temperatures and near...

Toronto 2015 Review: THE WAVE Delivers Large Scale Spectacle

Since first appearing on the scene with Cold Prey in 2006, Norwegian director Roar Uthaug - not pronounced how it looks to English speakers but an awesome name, nonetheless - has earned himself quite a reputation, thanks to his ability...

Toronto 2015 Review: THE CLAN Is Technically Impressive But Emotionally Distant

It should be noted right from the outset that Pablo Trapero's latest, The Clan, both is and is not exactly what you expect it might be. The true story of a notorious kidnapping ring active in Buenos Aires throughout the...

Toronto 2015 Review: SOUTHBOUND Delivers Equal Parts Serling And Splatter

A lonely stretch of highway through the middle of nowhere provides ample fodder for the directors of Southbound, a new anthology project that reunites much of the creative team behind previous anthology hit VHS with a similarly high quality result....

Toronto 2015 Review: COLLECTIVE INVENTION Asks The Right Questions, But Has None Of The Answers

Wrapping a raft of social issues plaguing modern Korean society into a simple allegory, Collective Invention, a quirky new comedy-drama with dashes of the same humor found in Bong Joon-ho's work, is a succinct but relatively straightforward affair. The setting...

Toronto 2015 Review: EQUALS, A Romantic LOGAN'S RUN For Millennials

In the future envisioned in Equals, it is as if Jony Ive ended debates on industrial design and all we are left with is Apple monoculture. Everything is white and smooth surfaced. The architecture is soothingly clean concrete. The film opens with...

Toronto 2015 Review: Sono's WHISPERING STAR Is A Hushed-Tone Oddity, Even By Sono's Standards

In a career positively littered with oddball entries, Sono Sion's The Whispering Star may very well prove to be the most oddball, the most niche entry in the director's lengthy canon. And, surprisingly, this is because he chooses the path...

Toronto 2015 Review: THE ENDLESS RIVER, A Gorgeously Rendered But Emotionally Distant Portrait Of Loss

South African festival darling Oliver Hermanus continues his remarkable run of international acclaim with his third effort, The Endless River. Selected in competition in Venice before coming here to Toronto Hermanus delivers a thematically challenging and gorgeously rendered yet emotionally...

Toronto 2015 Review: In LEGEND, Double The Tom Hardy Is Double The Fun

From his star-making role in Bronson to his box office busting turn in Mad Max: Fury Road, Tom Hardy has quickly established himself as one of both the most bankable and most well respected actors working today. So what could...

Toronto 2015 Review: Broken Loyalties Breed Betrayal And Violence In THE ARDENNES

A man crashes into water and hauls himself to the side, heavy breathing puffing through his nylon mask as he throws himself into the waiting car. "Just drive," he wheezes to the waiting driving. "There was nothing I could do."...

Toronto 2015 Review: RIVER, Man On The Run, But Not A Typical Chase Thriller

As children, we are often taught that, when someone is in trouble, we should try to help, or if someone is being bullied, we should intervene. But sometimes, there can be unforeseen consequences that would endanger ourselves. Jamie M. Dagg's first...

Toronto 2015 Review: THE DEVIL'S CANDY Is A Sweetly Horrifying Confection

It was back in 2009 that Australian writer-director Sean Byrne burst on to the scene with his debut feature film, The Loved Ones, igniting a firestorm of positive praise that seemed poised to light the world on fire for this...

Toronto 2015 Review: MY BIG NIGHT, Splendidly Controlled Chaos

Alex de la Iglesia is a filmmaker who delights at putting mayhem up on the screen, be it clowns with machetes fighting in the Spanish Civil War or the painted living-statues on La Puerta Del Sol knocking off a bank...

Toronto 2015 Review: HIGH RISE Throws A Lot Of Stuff Off The Ledge

As audience empathy tests go, killing the dog is perhaps the most capital of movie-crimes. Here it is gleefully committed in the opening minutes; a bellwether for the casually curious to beware. Several other canine-murders are peppered throughout the film, each...

Toronto 2015 Review: REMEMBER, A Darkly Humorous Nazi Hunt

It's been a while since one can be super excited about a new Atom Egoyan film. His last two, Devil's Knot, a film about the West Memphis Three case and Captive, a chilly thriller about a child sex ring,...

Toronto 2015 Review: INTO THE FOREST, A Masterful Portrait Of The Family Bond

What will we all do when the lights turn off? Wait impatiently for them to come back on, trying to maintain a normal existence and the planned future? Begin raiding other people's homes? Go off in search of some semblance...

Toronto 2015 Review: BANG GANG, Teen Sex Without The Histrionics

There is something refreshing about teenage drama cum neo-Bechdel test, Bang Gang. The film seems to be on a conscious mission to smash any and all notions of how these films are done. From John Hughes' The Breakfast Club with...