Murray French is a resident in a seaside village that is struggling desperately in the face of unemployment. They have only one hope; they can have a factory built which will provide the majority of the townsfolk with income. However, to secure the permission for it to be built, they must have a doctor living nearby. Luck seems to come their way when a young medic named Dr. Paul Lewis makes his way over to the town for a month-long stay and Murray and the other villagers set about trying to indirectly convince him to stay permanently; whether that is trying to get the local postlady to flirt with him or leaving him welcome gifts. But the more they try to give him reason to stay there, the more Paul starts to feel it's not his idea of home.
Continue: The Grand Seduction Trailer
Don McKellar - In conversation with Sensitive Skin's Kim Cattrall, Don McKellar and Bob Martin at the inaugural Canadian International Television Festival (CITF) at TIFF Bell Lightbox. - Toronto, Canada - Sunday 17th November 2013
Callum Keith Rennie, Bruce McDonald, Daniel MacIvor, Don McKellar and Molly Parker - Callum Keith Rennie, Don McKellar, Bruce McDonald, Daniel MacIvor , Molly Parker, and Charlie McDonald (front) Toronto, Canada - The 35th Toronto International Film Festival - 'Trigger' premiere arrival at the TIFF Lightbox on the grand opening day of the new TIFF headquarters in the entertainment district of Toronto. Sunday 12th September 2010
The woman (Julianne Moore) tags along with her ophthalmologist husband (Mark Ruffalo) when he is struck by the blindness and sent to the initial holding facility for the infected. Visually plagued by random flashes of pure white, the film hams up Saramago's eloquent metaphor as the wards of the facility become factions. One splinter supports a dictator (Gael García Bernal) and an accountant (Maury Chaykin) who garner the entirety of the rations supplied by the army. Possessions and eventually women are traded for meager portions as the nameless woman begins to consider her tolerance in the face of a shadowy, violent orgy that even Argentine provocateur Gaspar Noé might find a little too much.
Continue reading: Blindness Review
There is one scene in Clean that sticks out to me. A supremely-groggy Nick Nolte sits at a small fast food joint and gets a small salad and water while Maggie Cheung (playing his widowed daughter-in-law) goes up to the counter and orders a monster burger, french fries, and onion rings with a large coke. It's her first real meal since getting out of prison and it's his first meal with her for god knows how long. There's a lot of symbolism, even though it's simple, being used in the scene, and it gives depth to a complicated relationship (everyone thinks she Courtney-Loved her rocker boyfriend). How did director Olivier Assayas, a seasoned pro, allow this to be one of the scant few scenes that hold any real fascination? Furthermore, how did he allow himself to write something so damn drab and insipid?
Emily (Cheung) spends the first 15 minutes of the film being the annoying Yoko to Lee (Nick Cave dead ringer and cohort James Johnston), an aging rocker trying to get a deal for his anthology. She gets nabbed for heroin possession just when she finds Lee's body but is saved by Lee's manager. Out of jail after a quick stint, she meets with Albrecht (Nolte), her father-in-law who has been raising her son Jay with his wife. It's apparent to all involved (besides Jay) that Emily needs to get clean, get a job, and take custody of her child. The journey is held up by a brief stint in Paris where she still takes pills, gets fired from a job and finally begins to detox after her musician friend Tricky (playing himself) ignores her requests for help with the custody issue.
Continue reading: Clean Review
Continue reading: The Red Violin Review
I rarely read film production notes, but writer/director/star Don McKellar's introduction to Last Night caught my eye this time. I quote, "The world is ending, once again. But this time, in my movie, there is no overburdened loner duking it out with the asteroid, no presidents or generals turning the tables on extra-terrestrials. Those heroes are out there, somewhere, one hopes, but I was interested in the rest of us suckers--hapless individuals who, with limited access to nuclear resources, would have to come to terms with the fast-approaching finale."
Continue reading: Last Night Review
The story is straight outta modern/near-future pop culture: Using a "bioport," you can jack your body and mind into an immersive game world--a world served up by a handheld bio-engineered creature called a "game pod" that is essentially a blood-pulsing Nintendo. There are no computers in the film: just the mutated organisms that are Cronenberg's trademark. And oh does he put them to good use.
Continue reading: Existenz Review
Having conceived the idea for Childstar after a chance Oscar party conversation with Haley Joel Osment, McKellar stars as Rick, an experimental filmmaker who becomes the limo driver for Taylor Brandon Burns (great name!) a spoiled 12-year-old American superstar (Mark Rendall) shooting a new film in Canada. That movie, The First Son, is a ridiculous piece of jingoistic drivel where the President's son kicks some terrorist ass in order to save Dad, the White House and the whole damn country.
Continue reading: Childstar Review
Following in the tradition of such odd traveling yarns as Jim Jarmusch's Down by Law comes Bruce McDonald's (Hard Core Logo) low-budget rock and roll odyssey.
Continue reading: Roadkill Review
Tom (Fabrizio Filippo), Sandra (Marya Delver), Randy (Tobias Godson), and Curt (Gordon Currie) are, possibly due to boredom, in the midst of a bet to see who can survive the longest without leaving the corridors and buildings that connect their downtown area. A month's worth of salary is at stake to prove their stubborn will surpasses their peers. What helps is that most of the area near their office is connected to life's necessities though passages that join one building to the next. Hence, they are able to go home at night, eat food at the mall, and so on without having to actually encounter the great urban outdoors.
Continue reading: Waydowntown Review
Although director and co-writer Thom Fitzgerald sets us up for a mystery at the beginning of the film - Who is Matt? Did he commit suicide? What will Nick find? - the story quickly derails into an extremely sappy and self-indulgent amble through Matt's life, which didn't seem to be terribly interesting. We are given hardly anything of Matt prior to his disease, he is only presented as an AIDS victim, and one particularly prone to flights of self-pity. While The Event is refreshingly candid about many of the particulars of the disease, resisting the melodramatic impulse to keep the more physically unpleasant aspects of it hidden away, it is much less honest and forthcoming about Matt's relationships.
Continue reading: The Event Review
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
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