• Cyrano

    Cyrano

    ★★★

    Let me get this out of the way.

    There is the play by Edmond Rostand.
    Then there is a 2018 stage musical written by Erica Schmidt.
    Then there is this, the movie, which is Schmidt's screenplay version of her musical.

    So we are thrice removed from the original play. In that sense, we can, and should, expect quite a few differences with the original play. I realize this probably doesn't matter to most people, as I'm quite certain most have…

  • Belfast

    Belfast

    ★★

    It is nice that Branagh had a story to tell and wanted to tell it. And it could have been a good story. Unfortunately, he couldn't read the room, probably because he was too invested. There were so many elements in this film that could have created some drama, that could have led the audience into ups and downs. That's not what happened. Instead, we are given a story about what it was like at the time, without really going…

  • Happening

    Happening

    ★★★

    I'm glad this important film was made.
    Our history requires it. The film canon needs redressing.
    And I'm glad I saw it. Everyone should see it.
    It is not an enjoyable film, nor is it entertainment, and while those things shouldn't really matter, we do have to read the room, and in the age of Covid a little entertainment can go a long way. So am I really going to accuse this film of not being 'enternainment'? No. I do,…

  • Language Lessons

    Language Lessons

    ★★★★

    The Duplass brothers. You ask me, they are the ones that count more than any other set of relatives in the film industry. Why? Because they can tell a story with no budget. And again. And again. And they just keep doing it. And I honestly think that even if the had a bigger budget it would make no difference to them.

    So when the shit hits the fan, as Covid has done, you can always rely on getting a…

  • Hereditary

    Hereditary

    Hereditary. A terribly uninteresting drama about a screwed up family. Oh, and in the last 30 minutes or so, it includes a "horror" part:
    - the incantation of foreign words
    - a 19th century book with a drawing of some sort of creature
    - lots of candles
    - a few things are moved on the table by spirits
    - a picture where someone's eyes are cut out.

    I might get it if this were a 2nd year film project. But…

  • Billy's Balloon

    Billy's Balloon

    ★★★★½

    Nothing makes me laugh as hard as this short film.

    I would have preferred that it stop before it's additional 2-3 endings, but that's just my preference. It's still gold.

  • The Undoing

    The Undoing

    ★★

    I would recommend skipping this one. It's one of those mini-series that should have been half it's length. Lots of walking around to violins. Most of the suspense is created by the score because, well, the script just doesn't do the trick.

    It doesn't help that I was devastated to see Nicole Kidman wrecking her face with plastics. It's very sad. Doesn't she understand that while she sees her face every day in a mirror and gets used it, others…

  • Jack Reacher

    Jack Reacher

    ★★★

    A solid thriller with a few bumps along the way. The thing is that I don't believe Tom Cruise as Jack Reacher. He does a good job, but he isn't Jack Reacher. I would believe Joel Kinnaman. I mean I would buy every film unseen and every series unseen starring Kinnaman. If you have no clue what I'm talking about, you haven't seen The Killing, and you should. Kinnaman created such a unique character that is nothing like whatever else…

  • Dream Horse

    Dream Horse

    ★★★½

    Sudbury Film Festival No 6

    Ok, look. You know from the description what you are in for. Personally I try to avoid these sorts of pictures because they are formulaic, you can predict everything, and they usually have way too much schmaltz for my taste.

    But damn, this one got me. Maybe I was in the mood, maybe after almost 18 days of two to four festival films/day I needed a simple feel-good story, I don't know. I *do* know…

  • The Middle Man

    The Middle Man

    ★★

    Sudbury Film Festival No 5

    It is such a shame. Such a darned shame. My husband and I laughed pretty much during the entire first 20-30 minutes. So deadpan. So funny. A hardly recognizable Paul Gross as the sheriff was hilarious. And then bang, it turns into a drama, and a not a good one. It broke my heart. How can a film with a title like this, where everyone in town knows you are the "middle man" like they know what it means, how can that not be funny throughout?

  • As in Heaven

    As in Heaven

    ★★★★

    Tiff Film No 3

    It's a tough watch. Bleak. Very bleak. But necessary. For too long the story of women has been glossed over or just plain untold. Their responsibilities in the family, on a farm, their experiences of taking care of large number of children, their ways, the lineage, the grandmother who can no longer cry for having buried 10 children in her life... how some might have wanted to escape that life for themselves and how one came…

  • Aloners

    Aloners

    ★★★★

    TIFF 2021 #1

    I've always admired people who could eat alone, or sit alone, or just be alone. I spent a huge portion of my youth being alone, but always with distractions. I would spend long afternoons in a café, with a book or a journal. I could go to the cinema alone because of its built-in distraction. I could even go to a Fair or Carinal alone, because I would be moving: walking, or playing games, or going on…