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Julianne Moore and Atom Egoyan - Julianne Moore, Atom Egoyan Toronto, Canada Toronto, Canada - 'Chloe' premiere held at Roy Thompson Hall - 2009 Toronto International Film Festival Sunday 13th September 2009

Julianne Moore and Atom Egoyan
Julianne Moore and Atom Egoyan
Julianne Moore and Atom Egoyan
Julianne Moore and Amanda Seyfried
Julianne Moore
Julianne Moore and Atom Egoyan

Speaking Parts Review


Excellent
With Speaking Parts, Atom Egoyan showed that his long-simmering promise as a great filmmaker had finally been fulfilled. Early movies like Family Viewing were earnest but rough. Here, Egoyan crafts a meticulous and dazzlingly confusing tale of love, prostitution, obsession, technology, coldness, death, and potential incest, all wrapped into a tight 90 minutes. A plot synopsis would consume the better part of your afternoon, and would spoil too much for you -- just figuring out what's going on is have the fun of the film. Solid performances by a band of unknowns improve the film beyond typical low-budget experiences.

The Sweet Hereafter Review


Excellent
It's been over two years since Canadian auteur Atom Egoyan first came to my attention with his breakthrough film Exotica. Since then, I've become something of an aficionado of his works through home video, and it was with breathless anticipation that I awaited what was sure to be the movie that pushed him into the mainstream: The Sweet Hereafter.

Maybe I over-hyped it in my mind, becoming too hopeful in the face of overwhelming praise for the film. Or maybe I know Egoyan's tricks too well by now. Either way, I left the film extremely pleased but depressed: partly because the movie is such a downer, and partly because I know Egoyan can do even better.

Continue reading: The Sweet Hereafter Review

The Adjuster Review


Excellent
He's an insurance adjuster willing to do anything to make his clients feel better -- even if that means sleeping with them.

She's an adult movie censor that surreptitiously videotapes the screenings so she can get off to them after hours.

Continue reading: The Adjuster Review

Exotica Review


Essential
Exotica is a new dramatic thriller from Canadian director Atom Egoyan, who brings us this fascinating glimpse into the life of Francis Brown (Bruce Greenwood), a Canadian tax auditor whose life intertwines with a his brother and niece, an exotic animal smuggler, and, most importantly, the denizens of a strip joint called Exotica.

The action in Exotica jumps from one character to another, from location to location, and back into Brown's past occasionally, teasing the viewer with bits of information about how these people's lives are eventually going to gel into a cohesive story. As the story progresses, there are plenty of blanks left for the viewer to fill in as the action springs around. The seamless editing makes this seem natural, albeit a bit overdone at times, but eventually it all comes together to make perfect sense in the end.

Continue reading: Exotica Review

Felicia's Journey Review


Good
Atom Egoyan is no stranger to the top ten lists of filmcritic.com. The Adjuster (#7, 1991), Calendar (#6, 1993), Exotica (#7, 1995), and The Sweet Hereafter (#3, 1997) attest to some amazing staying power over our minds. And while Egoyan's latest effort, Felicia's Journey, is certainly a watchable film, it's likely to be his first of the decade that doesn't make the cut.

Why? While Egoyan is a master at working with cryptic source material, Felicia's Journey lends itself more to its source as a novel than the big screen. Basically, this is the story of two people. First is Felicia (Cassidy), an Irish lass who's travelled to the U.K. to search for the father of her unborn child. Along the way she encounters Joseph Hilditch (Hoskins), a sweet and friendly "catering director" who hides a secret that other critics will undoubtedly reveal, but I won't.

Continue reading: Felicia's Journey Review

Next Of Kin Review


Excellent
23-year-old Peter is bored. How bored? So bored he'll take a trip simply to pretend he is the long-lost son of an Armenian family whom he learned about by surreptitiously viewing their videotaped therapy session. Soon he is on the brink of getting involved with his "sister," and things start to get a bit hairy as Peter (Patrick Tierney in a perfect performance) gets close. This is vintage Egoyan -- his debut -- made when he was only 23 and merely 72 minutes long, an ironic and darkly comedic look at the idea that maybe you can choose your family after all. Egoyan's DVD commentary track is remarkably candid in his feelings about the film's shortcomings and is definitely worth a listen.

Continue reading: Next Of Kin Review

The Saddest Music In The World Review


Excellent
The Saddest Music in the World starts off in the style of a dream, with impressionistic sets that are obviously stage props, grainy, low resolution black and white images obscured even further by fog or filtration, and stylized dialogue that seems more representational than real. But, about the time you expect the dreamer to awake and the film quality to revert to a slick 35mm normality, it doesn't. If this is a dream, or a vision, or the manifestation of a mind driven by mad storytelling technique, it's all part of the concept.

All of which seems to further 2003 as the year of the outlandish fantasy. As Sylvain Chomet's singular vision brought us a work derived purely from an irrepressibly inventive mind with The Triplets of Belleville, here Canadian director Guy Maddin (Dracula: Pages from a Virgin's Diary, Fleshpots of Antiquity) works from a co-authored original screenplay with Kazuo Ishiguro (The Remains of the Day) in a manner that combines the storytelling and musical vitality of Topsy-Turvy with the visual imagery out of the German expressionism of F.W. Murnau (Nosferatu, The Phantom) but with its own richness of character. I call it "high concept 8mm."

Continue reading: The Saddest Music In The World Review

Calendar Review


Extraordinary
You've probably never even heard of Atom Egoyan's (The Sweet Hereafter) early work Calendar, but you should: It's one of his best to date. Egoyan stars as a calendar photographer whose wife has left him, dumping him while he was on assignment in Armenia (and choosing their tour guide!). The next year of his life is spent on dates arranged by a dating service and carefully watching his old video footage for signs of his wife's falling for the tour guide. Powerful, quirky, strange, twisted, excellent.

Family Viewing Review


Good
Early Atom Egoyan, before he quite figured out his style and before he had much of a budget. This is the story of a family obsessed with video -- and obsessed in general -- we've got a kid involved with his father's girlfriend and his father's phone-sex girl (he doesn't know about the latter coincidence -- it's just that both his grandmother and her mother are in the same room at the local nursing home). Not sure how well this succeeds in its quest to damn contemporary communication breakdowns, but it sure is screwed up. Shot partly on various video formats -- a sort of testament to how the then-nascent format (this was 1987, for Pete's sake!) was making relationships impersonal and generally screwing up life (dad erases childhood videos to make room for his homemade sex tapes). The DVD includes Egoyan's Next of Kin as well as a handful of his very early short films -- all very amusing and curious.
Atom Egoyan

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Ararat Movie Review

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The Sweet Hereafter Movie Review

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Felicia's Journey Movie Review

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