TIFF 14: ‘Shrew’s Nest’ and ‘Spring’ tackle the complex nature of femininity and love, in their own twisted ways
Over the years, TIFF’s Midnight Madness programme has lost some of its grit. Once upon a time, a film as bodacious as Shrew’s Nest would have graced its lineup. Now, the Vanguard programme seems to have stepped up to take its place. Where Madness highlights trendier, more easily digestible content, Vanguard takes on the more obscure. Sexy, gritty, dirty, and horrific, Vanguard’s content is far more outlandish than its older, now slightly more restrained, cousin. Odd when you consider both programmes are curated by the jovial horror fanatic Colin Geddes.
Whiplash offers stellar performances and a powerful, morally ambiguous plot.
Heaven Knows What is a horrifying and remarkable piece of cinema that feels both alarmingly alive and alien.
While Spring does not necessarily live up to the promise of its premise, it is without a doubt one of the most original monster features in recent years.
TIFF 2014: ‘Foxcatcher’ a dark spin on the American dream with engrossing uses of sound and performance
With Foxcatcher, Bennett Miller (Capote, Moneyball) directs a tragic tale of American ambition gone awry. It’s a grave and stately undertaking that’s based on the real story of John du Pont, heir to one of the richest families in America, who dreamed of building a wrestling team around the talents of two gold medal wrestlers that came from modest means. The inequality of power pushes the tension between the three over the edge. Although the film isn’t an awe-inspiring achievement as a whole, the performances and atmosphere stimulate the senses and hold a firm grip on the viewer’s attention.
With Top Five, Chris Rock is standing firm that audiences deserve better than what they’re getting
Benoît Jacquot’s 3 Coeurs is one of the weaker entries in this year’s TIFF line-up.
TIFF 2014: Adam Driver dominates Noah Baumbach’s ‘While We’re Young’ and Saverio Costanzo’s ‘Hungry Hearts’
Adam Driver is hilarious in Noah Baumbach’s latest, and also carries Saverio Costanzo’s more cerebral drama about child neglect.
Luna is, without a doubt, one of the most evocative cinematic works of the year.
Bird People winds up functioning as a film that wants to soar high with its energetic spirit but winds up feeling far less daring in the process.
Two Days, One Night is one of the year’s essential films, and may also be the greatest work yet from the Dardenne brothers
TIFF 2014: Jon Stewart’s ‘Rosewater’ is a cogent, entertaining commentary on an isolated hell and the power of information
Rosewater is a competent and well-made depiction of Maziar Bahari’s ordeal that holds promise for Stewart in terms of its ideas and earnestness.
Tusk is ultimately little more than a gimmick touched with Kevin Smith’s brand
Based on a popular novel by Lisa Genova, Still Alice is a weepy portrait of a linguistic professor, Dr. Alice Howland, battling early onset alzheimers shortly after turning 50 years old. Boasting a cast that includes Alec Baldwin, Kirsten Stewart, Kate Bosworth and the always electric Julianne Moore, above all else this is a film that leans on strong performances. This is not a film about script, ideas or even direction, it is about the intimacy of faces and the passion of performers.