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Eddie Redmayne talks Stephen Hawking, preparing for the role, and shooting out of order
Film / Interviews

Eddie Redmayne talks Stephen Hawking, preparing for the role, and shooting out of order

In “The Theory of Everything,” Eddie Redmayne (“My Week with Marilyn” and “Les Misérables”) gives an impressive and detailed performance as cosmologist Stephen Hawking. The biopic chronicles several decades in Hawking’s life – and his relationship with his wife Jane (Felicity Jones) – from his time as a Physics PhD student at Cambridge, where they … Continue reading

“Dear White People”: a must-see biting satire about so much more than race
Film Reviews / Highly Recommended

“Dear White People”: a must-see biting satire about so much more than race

But Simien’s film is far too smart to be about stereotypes: everyone’s identity, and in particular, how they see themselves, gets complicated by multiple factors. By looking specifically at “being a black face in a white place”, the film resonates more universally about the malleability of identity and personal mythology, and how we deal with not quite fitting in. Continue reading

Director Damien Chazelle talks jazz drumming, the bubble of big band jazz, and the genesis of “Whiplash”
Film / Interviews / Jazz / Music

Director Damien Chazelle talks jazz drumming, the bubble of big band jazz, and the genesis of “Whiplash”

Director Damien Chazelle’s second feature, “Whiplash,” takes a look inside the world of big band jazz through the lens of a 19-year-old drummer and his relationship with his abusive teacher. The 29-year-old Chazelle bears an uncanny resemblance to the star of his film, Andrew, played by Miles Teller: dark haired, lanky, and excited to talk … Continue reading

Best of TIFF14: “The New Girlfriend” is François Ozon in top form – whimsical, funny, thoughtful about gender and sexuality
Film Festivals / Film Reviews / Foreign film / Highly Recommended

Best of TIFF14: “The New Girlfriend” is François Ozon in top form – whimsical, funny, thoughtful about gender and sexuality

The list of generally accepted labels may have expanded in the last thirty years, to comfortably include gay and trans, but the need to label hasn’t become obsolete yet. With “The New Girlfriend,” Ozon reminds us that defying labels isn’t something we outgrow, but often a natural part of a person’s identity, of any age. Continue reading

“The Guest”: Dan Stevens’s charisma carries an otherwise flimsy genre film
Film Reviews / Independent film

“The Guest”: Dan Stevens’s charisma carries an otherwise flimsy genre film

Fresh from getting himself killed off of “Downton Abbey” so he could explore other acting opportunities, Dan Stevens plays a soldier with a penchant for killing in “The Guest.” Fueled entirely on Stevens’s charisma and its synthpop score, “The Guest” starts out intriguing until you realise the film and its protagonist are utterly vacant. But … Continue reading

“Gone Girl”: a feminist book gets watered down to a thrilling piece of pulp fiction
Film Reviews / Recommended

“Gone Girl”: a feminist book gets watered down to a thrilling piece of pulp fiction

You’d be hard-pressed to find a more faithful screen adaptation of a novel than David Fincher’s film “Gone Girl,” which was also written by the book’s author, Gillian Flynn. From its pitch-perfect casting – Rosamund Pike as the icily sophisticated and gorgeous Amy, and Ben Affleck as her husband Nick, a man with frat boy … Continue reading

“Pride”: a beating heart can change the world
Film Reviews / Highly Recommended

“Pride”: a beating heart can change the world

Sentimental without being drippy, rollicking and rousing without being over-the-top, Matthew Warcus’s “Pride” is the epitome of a feel good movie. With its bopping soundtrack of 1980s pop hits, sweeping camera, and bright colours – there’s even a fabulous dance number – the film remains buoyant throughout even as it tackles tough issues and hard … Continue reading

Best of TIFF14: “The Tribe” is beyond words
Film Reviews / Foreign film / Highly Recommended

Best of TIFF14: “The Tribe” is beyond words

After picking up all the awards in the Critics’ Week Sidebar at the Cannes Film Festival in May, Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s Ukrainian crime drama – told entirely in sign language, no translation, no subtitles – already had plenty of buzz surrounding it by the time of its North American Premiere at TIFF. Of course, this didn’t stop someone, at the second public screening, from blurting out a loud “WHAT?!” when the title cards announced it would be in sign language: a very, very hearty laugh from the rest of the audience followed.
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