Tag Archives: Best of 2015

January 20

The Revenant

Alejandro González Iñárritu latest film, The Revenant, is a dramatization about a particular period in the life of legendary American frontiersman Hugh Glass. Based on a novel by Michael Punke, and set in 1823, the film opens with Glass (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) and his son Hawk (Forrest Goodluck) leading Captain Andrew Henry’s (Domhnall Gleeson) […]

January 14

Mustang

There is a poignant moment in Deniz Gamze Ergüven’s wonderful debut Mustang where Lale (Güneş Şensoy), the young narrator of the tale, tries desperately to sabotage her sister Ece (Elit İşcan) as she prepares treats for their guest. A traditional act of hospitality in most households, Lale’s actions seem like nothing more than an act […]

January 01

Bajirao Mastani

Bollywood received a stunning jolt at the end of December with the release of Bajirao Mastani. There’s a lot that the film offers, but its cinematography undoubtedly walks off with the game. Finding creative ways to use lighting and colour to make sets look both flamboyant and stoical is tough feat in itself, however, cinematographer […]

December 18

Call Me Lucky

In the basement that has haunted Barry Crimmins since he can remember, the acerbic comedian’s tongue falters for a moment as he hums and haws in the darkness. Eventually, unrehearsed words pour out and assemble themselves into a poignant reminder of why he is the perfect subject for Bobcat Goldthwait’s documentary Call Me Lucky. Though […]

December 10

Carol

Many marriage courses like to emphasize the importance of hands in a relationship. Often taken for granted, hands can reveal a lot about people. They can signify a couples’ bond when held together, or be subtly used in a flirtatious way to indicate attraction. Clearly the significance of touch is not lost on Todd Haynes, […]

December 08

Goodnight Mommy

Humans seem to possess an innate aversion to change. As adults, we understand we must fight stagnation, but children rely on routine and the familiar for comfort and learning. To a child, even the most subtle shifts or recontextualization can become a source of terror, particularly when they threaten said child’s sense of safety. In Goodnight […]

December 07

Carol and Sicario Lead the 19th Online Film Critics Society Nominations

The awards season train keeps on rolling. The Online Film Critics Society, the oldest and most prominent society for online film critics in the world, of which myself and fellow site contributor Daniel Lackey are members of, have recognized the year’s best films with nominations for their 19th annual awards. Carol and Sicario led the […]

December 05

The Second Mother

“They are not my bosses” shouts a frustrated Jéssica (Camila Márdila) to her estranged mother Val (Regina Casé). The “they” in this conversation is the wealthy São Paulo couple who Val works for. Believing in the unspoken rule that servants, and in this case their offspring, do not co-exist within the same space as their […]

December 01

Creed

Backed by the thunderous roar of the motorbikes that follow him, Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) runs through the streets of Philadelphia like a man possessed. He is in the midst of training for a fight in which the odds are stacked against him in more ways than one. However, in this moment, with his […]

November 19

James White

In hindsight, watching James White on the same day that I found out that a family member had passed away was probably not a wise move. It not only stirred up thoughts of the cancer that impacted my family on that day, but also the ways the illness has wrapped its vile claws around those […]

November 18

Beast of No Nation

Walking across a field with gun in hand young Agu (Abraham Attah) begins to hallucinate. Seeing visions of tribal men marching alongside him, as the land around him turns a vivid fuchsia, he can no longer stave off his descent into madness. The horrors of war have taken their toll one him and there are […]

November 06

3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets

Marc Silver’s latest documentary, 3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets, tells a story that has become all too familiar in America these days. A random altercation between strangers erupts into violence and leaves an unarmed black teenager dead. The shooter, a middle-aged white male, claimed it was self-defense, and a community is left forever divided. The […]

October 28

Steve Jobs

Based on the biography by Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs is an unconventional bio-pic about the co-founder of Apple Computers. The film is told in three different time periods, around three different landmark products being unveiled between 1984 and 1998. Directed by Danny Boyle and written by Aaron Sorkin, the film explores the life of Steve […]

October 25

TADFF 2015: Nina Forever

Nina Forever, the debut film by Ben and Chris Blaine, may be draped in the ghostly bloodstained sheets of a horror-comedy, but it refuses to play by the conventions of the genre. Underneath its off-beat exterior, is a searing and painfully honest portrait of the emotional baggage that often burdens relationships. In the bold hands […]

October 20

Crimson Peak

Like any storyteller, visionary filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has a set of themes and ideas that recur throughout his body of work. Children, lacking at least one biological parent if not both, forced to confront dangerous circumstances intertwined with secrets from a past not wholly dead. It’s easy to see how these fit into del […]

September 30

Jafar Panahi’s Taxi

One of the things that will strike audiences immediately about Jafar Panahi’s Taxi is the film’s surprisingly light tone. Considering that it is the third film Iranian director Jafar Panahi has defiantly made since being sentenced to six years of house arrest and a twenty-year ban on making films back in 2010, it is easy […]

September 21

TIFF 2015: The Witch

Set in 17th-century New England, Robert Eggers’ The Witch tells the haunting tale of a family who is exiled from their village and forced to live on the outskirts of a dense forest. When William (Ralph Ineson) refuses to acknowledge the rules of the town, specifically the words of those who he considers false prophets, […]

September 21

TIFF 2015: Hurt

Is life easier if you have a predefined path to follow? This is the central question that Alan Zweig’s remarkable film Hurt attempts to answer. The documentary profiles Steve Fonyo, once considered a Canadian hero, but whose fall from grace is just as meteoric as his rise. Gaining fame for raising millions for cancer research […]

September 21

TIFF 2015: Victoria

There is a heart-pounding moment in Victoria where Victoria (Laia Costa) and her new friend Sonne (Frederick Lau) find themselves trapped in an apartment complex surrounded by police. The camera follows the panicked pair as they proceed to force their way into one of the residences unaware that the tenant’s wife and newborn baby are […]

September 20

TIFF 2015: Chevalier

In Athina Rachel Tsangari’s wonderfully pointed absurdist comedy Chevalier, a leisurely fishing trip severs as the setting for the deconstruction of the male ego. When the harmless banter between six Greek men on a yacht gets a bit too personal, the men decide to take part in a game, “Chevalier,” in which one of them […]