You Are Not My Mother – Film Review | TIFF ’21

With its strong attention to female filmmakers this year, TIFF offers us Kate Dolan’s feature debut ‘You Are Not My Mother’. An Irish psychological horror film with a twist steeped in lore. Char (Hazel Doupe) lives in a Dublin housing estate with her grandmother, father and her troubled mother Angela (Carolyn Bracken). The woman is …

Yakuza Princess – Film Review

In 1999, during a family gathering in Japan, Akemi’s family was gunned down by a hidden assassin. She was whisked away for protection and never knew what happened to her family. 20 years later in Brazil, Akemi (MASUMI) lives a quiet life, training in self defense, working her mediocre job, and singing karaoke with her …

The Starling – Film Review | TIFF ’21

The process of grieving is a thankful subject for a drama and for any actor to sink their teeth in. But does Theodore Melfi’s ‘The Starling’ have anything fresh to add? Lilly (Melissa McCarthy) and Jack (Chris O’Dowd) are set for a happy life when tragedy strikes. Reeling from the loss of their baby, both …

Zalava – Film Review | TIFF ’21

While investigating a town with a shared belief in demonic possession, military sergeant Massoud’s (Navid Pourfaraj) beliefs are challenged by the zealous exorcist, Amardan (Pouria Rahimi Sam). Demonic possession films are fairly commonplace in the world of horror and thrillers. Many of them as derivative as the next. More often than not, this type of …

Reflection (Vidblysk) – Film Review | Venice 2021

Serhiy (Roman Lutskyi), a Ukrainian surgeon captured by Russian soldiers at the beginning of the Russo-Ukrainian war, is subjected to witnessing the inhumane treatments of fellow Ukrainian captives while serving as medic for the Russian military. Upon release, Serhiy must put together the pieces of his now shattered life and learn how to cope with …

The Guilty – Film Review | TIFF’21

Huis-clos thrillers aren’t the easiest to pull off. But when you want to make a movie during a pandemic, it might be your best bet of getting something made. Antoine Fuqua takes a stab at remaking the Danish movie ‘Den Skyldige’ and comes out mostly unscathed. Officer Joe Baylor (Jake Gyllenhaal) has issues. Plenty of …

Violet – Film Review | TIFF’21

Depending on our age, we all know Justine Bateman from somewhere. Whether it be next to Michael J. Fox in ‘Family Ties’ or guest starring in everything from ‘Desperate Housewives’ to ‘Arrested Development’. Turns out this familiar face also has a knack for filmmaking, as her feature film debut ‘Violet’ is released to the world. …

As In Heaven – Film Review | TIFF ’21

As a cis-gender male, I feel somewhat uncomfortable reviewing a film that so obviously deals with the plight of women. But to simply reduce Tea Lindeburg’s debut feature to a feminist pamflet would be doing it a grave disservice. Lise (Flora Ofelia Hofmann Lindahl), a teenage girl growing up among her many siblings on a …

Dating & New York – Film Review

DATING & NEW YORK Still 2 Once upon a time in New York City….they swiped right. After directing a bunch of short films and working on some tv-series, it’s time for Jonah Feingold’s feature film debut, Dating & New York. A clever mix of classic & modern romcom tropes that explores both cheesy & everyday …

Promises (Les Promesses) – Film Review | Venice 2021

Clémence (Isabelle Huppert) is a soon to be retired mayor of a small, French town outside of Paris. Together with her Chief of Staff, Yazid (Reda Kateb), Clémence is faced with the choice of becoming a Minister in Paris or following the path already set out in front of her. Despite its seemingly uninteresting plot, …