TIFF 2021: Saloum dir. Jean Luc Herbulot

The frenetic, genre jumping Saloum from Jean Luc Herbulot combining action beats with a revenge thriller, and dancing on the line of supernatural horror. Three bad-ass mercs, Chaka (Yann Gael) Rafa (Roger Sallah), and Minuit (Mentor Ba) who each exude a laconic cool in their own ways, are guns for hire, and getting a drug…

TIFF 2021: Where is Anne Frank? dir. Ari Folman

Waltz with Bashir directot Ar Folman delivers a poignant animated feature, that touches on some important concepts, and ideas. Kitty is the imaginary friend that Anne Frank wrote to in her diary, pouring her thoughts and feelings, while documenting the events of her life, including two years of living in hiding from the Nazis during…

TIFF 2021: The Mad Women’s Ball dir. Melanie Laurent

Poignant and emotionally satisfying, Laurent’s film, The Mad Women’s Ball is a lush period piece that resonates with impactful themes and understated performances. Based on the novel of the same name by Victoria Mas, the film’s narrative follows Eugenie (Lou de Laage), a woman who suffers from visions that may be spiritual visitations. Very much…

TIFF 2021: The Devil’s Drivers dir. Mohammed Abugeth and Daniel Carsenty

Shot over the course of eight years, The Devil’s Drivers is a fascinating documentary that ends up feeling incomplete. Revving and running between the borders of Palestine and Israel, the film feels constrained by its 90 minute time. Brushing gently against the political and religious situations that permeate the area, the narrative elects to follow…

TIFF 2021: Jagged dir. Alison Klayman

Alanis Morissette. Heralbum Jagged Little Pill is practically synonymous with the 90s. And so many of us can’t help but remember where we were when we heard it, bought it, played it over and over. Critics talked about how angry it sounded, while I remember thinking how human it sounded, how relatable, and how it…

TIFF 2021: Belfast dir. Kenneth Branagh

Kenneth Branagh delivers a stand out event at TIFF with his beautifully and lovingly made, Belfast. Featuring a gorgeous score by Van Morrison, this cinematic jewel is something to behold. Equally awash in nostalgia as it is with the realities of the time, Belfast guides us to a little street that is the midst of…

TIFF 2021: The Eyes of Tammy Faye dir. Michael Showalter

Jessica Chastain harnesses an effervescent, electrical whirlwind in her transformative, new career best role of Tammy Faye Bakker. Bringing to life the eccentricities, the faith, and the person behind those permanently made up features. Using the documentary film of the same name as its launching point, Showalter’s film, laced with humour, and drama guides us…

TIFF 2021: The Guilty dir. Antoine Fuqua

Jake Gyllenhaal leaves it all on the screen when he steps into the role of Joe for Antoine Fuqua’s North American remake of the Danish thriller. On screen for almost all of the film’s hour and a half runtime, we are trapped with Joe as he serves as a 911 operator while his performance in…

TIFF 2021: The Rescue dir. E. Chai Vasarhelyi and Jimmy Chin

2018. Thailand. The world was watching. Documentary filmmakers Vasarhelyi and Chin takes us back and put us in the caves that trapped twelve boys, who formed the Wild Boars football team, and their coach for almost three weeks. Volunteers and aid came from the world over, descending on the country to help the Thai’s Navy…

TIFF 2021: The Electrical Life of Louis Wain dir. Will Sharpe

If one could transmute joy and tears of a life, or transform a dew dropped ray of sunlight, into a film, then the result may very well be Will Sharpe’s biopic on English artist (you know his work, whether you recognize the name or not), Louis Wain (a fantastic turn by Benedict Cumberbatch). Sharpe’s tale…

TIFF 2021: Encounter dir. Michael Pearce

From the beginning of the film, thanks to the way the film is told, and the willing suspension of disbelief that is inherent with cinema, we believe Malik (Riz Ahmed) and his conviction that a microscopic parasitic alien organism has come to the planet and is slowly taking over, manipulating people to their own end….

TIFF 2021: Hold Your Fire dir. Stefan Forbes

New York. 1973. While it looks like a different time on film, not everything has changed, and consequently, Forbes documentary, which looks at a hostage situation that featured around the clock coverage at the time is just as relevant today as it was then. There’s errors on both sides, accusations, instituionalised racism, redemption for some,…