Posts by Andrew Parker

TIFF 2014: Bang Bang Baby Review

Bang Bang Baby Discovery One of the most delightfully loony movies to come out of Canada in ages, this assuredly kooky, gorgeous, and surreal take on 1960s values is unlike anything you’ve ever seen. It’s a perfect example of a completely original film that has no comparison and throws everything at the audience including several kitchen […]

TIFF 2014: The Last Five Years Review

The Last Five Years Special Presentations One of the festival’s biggest surprises is Richard LaGravanese’s sparsely staged, but lushly orchestrated and perfectly acted adaptation of Jason Robert Brown’s tightly constructed off-Broadway musical. Jumping back and forth through time between ages 23 to 28 for a pair of young lovers – budding novelist Jamie (Jeremy Jordan) […]

TIFF 2014: Songs She Wrote About People She Knows Review

Songs She Wrote About People She Knows Discovery The solo feature filmmaking debut for Vancouver’s Kris Elgstrand – one of the directors of hilariously surreal 2011 TIFF entry Doppelganger Paul – is a similarly off kilter comedy about how everyone has a song in their heart and how sometimes people should learn that they just […]

TIFF 2014: In Her Place Review

In Her Place Discovery Elegantly mounted and austere at the same time, Albert Shin’s debut feature (co-produced by long time filmmaking partner Igor Drljaca, director of Canadian festival favourite Krivina) looks at three generations of women bound by South Korean customs to a terrible situation. A woman seeks to secretly adopt the soon to be […]

TIFF 2014: Mommy Review

Mommy Special Presentations Although it’s quite good has been garnering considerable acclaim since its debut at Cannes earlier this year, Mommy might be Quebecois filmmaker Xavier Dolan’s most over thought film to date. In a fictional 2015 where it has become legal for parents facing hardship to place difficult, unruly, or developmentally challenged kids into […]

TIFF 2014: It Follows Review

It Follows Midnight Madness A suitably atmospheric, but direly serious teen thriller, It Follows takes a somewhat goofy premise and cranks it to eleven but never manages to follow through on a lot of promise at the outset. After making love to her new boyfriend for the first time, nineteen year old Jay (Maika Monroe, […]

TIFF 2014: National Gallery Review

National Gallery TIFF Docs Masterful documentarian Frederick Wiseman turns his ever watchful and unwavering eye to the inner workings of London’s National Gallery for one of the finest films of his illustrious career. As is usually with Wiseman’s film, there’s a point to be made and not necessarily a formal plot or any interaction with […]

TIFF 2014: The Guest Review

The Guest Midnight Madness Possibly the most fun film at this year’s festival, this unabashedly hilarious and thrilling mash-up of spy flicks and 80s slashers from director Adam Wingard and writer Simon Barrett, the minds behind previous TIFF crowd pleaser, You’re Next. Dan Stevens stars as David, an amiable and polite soldier just out of […]

TIFF 2014: Heartbeat Review

Heartbeat Contemporary World Cinema Insufferably precious, drowning in quirk, and filled with an astounding amount of thematic mixed messages, Andrea Dorfman’s tale of a wannabe musician overcoming her fears is a painful thing to sit through. Justine (Tanya Davis) is in so much of a depressed rut that she’s essentially becoming her deceased grandmother, right […]

TIFF 2014: Foxcatcher Review

Foxcatcher Gala Certain to get noticed for its trio of electrifying leading performances, this unnerving and stylish true life tragedy still feels a bit off thanks to director Bennett Miller (Moneyball, Capote) overcompensating where he doesn’t need to. Olympic gold medal wrestler Mark Schultz (Channing Tatum) has just come back from the 1984 Olympics and […]

TIFF 2014: Short Cuts Canada Program 3 Reviews

The third program of the Short Cuts Canada series is a stellar line-up of shorts about various forms of societal marginalization or the awkwardness felt by being an outcast. There isn’t one out of the bunch that doesn’t muster up true emotion or deeply contemplative thoughts about how we approach and deal with people who […]

TIFF 2014: Whiplash Review

Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons deliver the best leading performances of their careers in this intensely heart-pounding game of musical one-upmanship.

TIFF 2014: Short Cuts Canada Program 1 Reviews

Considering that the major showpieces of this year’s opening Short Cuts Canada program are a restorations of a pair of iconic national classics, it only stands to reason that the rest of the films should fall in nicely behind them. Recently restored to its 3D glory for the digital age, Norman McLaren’s stereoscopic opus Around […]

Interview: Jeff Baena

Talking with Life After Beth writer and director Jeff Baena about crafting a grounded romantic comedy with zombies and empathy.

TIFF 2014: Preggoland Review

Preggoland Special Presentations A charmingly foulmouthed, bad taste comedy that can do for faking a pregnancy what Bridesmaids did for bachelorette parties, the latest film from Canadian filmmaker Jacob Tierney (The Trotsky, Good Neighbours) benefits from a stellar script and a star making performance from writer and lead Sonja Bennett. Ruth (Bennett) is in her […]

TIFF 2014: Short Cuts Canada Program 2 Reviews

The deeper meaning of human interaction and personal relationships seems to be the unifying concept behind the shorts in this year’s second, Quebec filmmaker heavy Short Cuts Canada package. In the best of the shorts, Elizabeth Lazebnik’s Russian language meditation Liompa, an old man on his death bed realizes that not only will be not […]

TIFF 2014 Interview: Colin Geddes

It’s a sweltering late July afternoon, but I’m still sitting down over a cup of warm tea at Canteen in the lobby of the TIFF Bell Lightbox and talking to Colin Geddes the day after most of his choices for the heavily watched and buzzed about Midnight Madness and Vanguard sections had been announced. (Really […]

TIFF 2014: Infinitely Polar Bear Review

Infinitely Polar Bear Gala Although somewhat awkwardly mounted by first time director Maya Forbes, her retelling of her own childhood with a bipolar father in late 70s Boston holds a wealth of empathy and emotion that more than makes up for any technical shortcomings. Not long after suffering a severe manic episode, Cameron (one of […]