TIFF ’22: Women Talking

Writer-director Sarh Polley lends her powerful voice to bringing Miriam Toews’ brilliant and acclaimed novel to the screen. What Polley delivers is a stunning, conversation-starting piece that examines patriarchy, power, faith, hope, and dreams for the future. In a remote Mennonite community, a gathering of women takes place to figure out their future. They’ve been…

TIFF ’22: On the Come Up

Sanaa Lathan delivers a powerful and emotional directorial debut with On the Come Up. Based on the novel by Angie Thomas, who also penned the powerful The Hate U Give, On the Come Up is a powerhouse coming of age featuring a strong leading performance by Jamila C. Gray who shines as Bri. Growing up…

Empire of the Sun (1987) – Steven Spielberg

Spielberg’s next project was an adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s memoir of his time as a boy growing up in Japanese occupied China during World War II. Christian Bale, in one of his earliest roles, plays young Jamie Graham, an arrogant young English boy who is fascinated by planes, and whose life is upended in the…

The Da Vinci Code (2006) – Ron Howard

Director Ron Howard pairs with Tom Hanks to bring Dan Brown’s incredibly popular novel, The Da Vinci Code to the screen. Hanks portrays symbologist Robert Langdon, who previously popped up in Brown’s novel Angels and Demons, but it was the subject matter, and the way it tied into art and some historical moments that really…

The Color Purple (1985) – Steven Spielberg

Was Steven Spielberg the right person to shoot the film adaptation of Alice Walker’s powerful novel? He was an interesting choice for the project, and it definitely wasn’t the dramatic material that he was associated with in the 80s, having delivered a number of blockbusters at that point. And while there were a number of…

The Incredible Journey (1963) – Fletcher Markle

Based on the novel by Sheila Burnford, Walt Disney brought The Incredible Journey to audiences in 1963, playing like one of their nature films with the occasional foray into the human characters, the tale follows a trio of household pets, Luath, Bodger, and Tao Cat as they head through the wilderness of Ontario, Canada to…

Nightmare Alley (2021) – Guillermo del Toro

Based on the novel of the same name del Toro’s latest is a lush, shining example of the noir genre, and features strong performances and visuals. I loved how faithful it was to the spirit of the novel, there were a few necessary changes, but none that change any of the overall arcs for any…

The Natural (1984) – Barry Levinson

Barry Levinson and Robert Redford deliver one of the all time great baseball fairytales with their adaptation of Bernard Malamud’s stirring novel of the same name. Set in a gloriously rendered version of yesteryear, the film follows Roy Hobbs (Redford) the best ball player that ever was. The film gives us this hazy beautiful look…

The Lovely Bones (2009) – Peter Jackson

Director Peter Jackson adapted Alice Sebold’s heartbreaking novel, The Lovely Bones, to the big screen alongside his collaborators Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, and while there are a lot of differences from the book to film (the novel definitely has more adult themes, and things were toned down for the teen, twenty-something audiences), and some…

Greyhound (2020) – Aaron Schneider

Tom Hanks not only stars in this World War II naval thriller, but he also wrote the script, using the novel The Good Shepherd by C.S. Forester to tell the tale of Captain Krause (Hanks) guiding a multi-national convoy of supplies and men across the Atlantic to England. There are fifty hours when the convoy…