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TIFF Review: Nick Cassavetes' ‘Yellow’ Is Daring, Bold And Just What The Doctor Ordered

  • By Nikola Grozdanovic
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  • September 10, 2012 10:20 AM
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  • 4 Comments
Officially the most refreshing breath of air at this year’s TIFF, Nick Cassavetes’ new feature ‘Yellow’, is a step into crazy terrritory, far from his recent romantic comedy fare and "Alpha Dog." Away from traditional ways of telling stories, and towards a different type of perspective, a very different type of view, as he admitted to in the Q&A. You can’t but feel almost like a child trying to talk or review this movie because of how infectiously zany it is; think "Young Adult" on Vicodin and acid. Leading lady Heather Wahiquist puts her all into a truly memorable leading performance, and no wonder; she co-wrote the screenplay with Cassavetes. But the winner has to be the imagination behind the trippiness.

TIFF Review: Joss Whedon's 'Much Ado About Nothing' Is An Unexpected Delight

  • By Christopher Schobert
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  • September 10, 2012 10:02 AM
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  • 8 Comments
How does one follow the biggest superhero film in box office history? Perhaps a better way to phrase it is, how does the man behind some of the most beloved cult TV series and characters in recent pop history follow the biggest superhero film in box office history? If we're talking about the much-loved Joss Whedon – who else? – you decamp to your home, grab a camera, invite over your friends, and create a delightful, DIY, modern-day black-and-white adaptation of Shakespeare's "Much Ado About Nothing." Duh.

TIFF Review: 'Berberian Sound Studio' Is An Unnerving, Original Psychological Horror Anchored By The Great Toby Jones

  • By Oliver Lyttelton
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  • September 10, 2012 9:00 AM
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  • 0 Comments
People love movies about the making of movies. Well, that's perhaps an exaggeration -- general audiences have a history of some apathy towards the genre. But filmmakers certainly love films that go behind the scenes of their own business, from "8 1/2" to last year's Oscar winner "The Artist," and cinephiles tend to eat them up as well. But most examples of the type tend to focus on the making of the movie, with a handful, like "Adaptation," following the gestation and writing of a film, but very few have ever focused on the point at which many filmmakers say their movies actually come together: post-production.

TIFF Review: Robert Redford's 'The Company You Keep' Is An Unconvincing Bit Of Agitprop

  • By Simon Abrams
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  • September 9, 2012 8:43 PM
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  • 8 Comments
The third film in Robert Redford’s recent series of stillborn, bleeding heart dramas, "The Company You Keep" is a busy but inert civic-minded thriller. As a director, Redford has yet to break his recent habit of using hackneyed dialogue to talk down to his audience with Aaron Sorkin-esque dialogue that authoritatively spells out his talking points. But unlike "Lions for Lambs," an impressively incensed civics lesson that thinks it’s a drama, "The Company You Keep" is too cool of a film to be admired for its creator’s chutzpah alone. In fact, it’s probably the most frustrating of Redford’s recent films because it has a pseudo-contemplative atmosphere to it, one that superficially begs viewers to reflect upon how far they would go for their convictions. Political apathy is the real enemy in "The Company You Keep," making it pitiably ironic that Redford’s latest is as unmoving as it is.

TIFF Review: 'Thanks For Sharing' The Uneven Dramedy Version Of 'Shame'

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 9, 2012 8:12 PM
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  • 0 Comments
It's safe to say that sex addiction is no longer the misunderstood step-brother to alcohol and drug addiction. Thanks to reality television, cable shows like "Californication" and last year's awards season contender "Shame," the stigma around sex addiction, of it not really being a problem or something that only affects scuzzy perverts, has long since evaported. Which makes Stuart Blumberg's directorial debut "Thanks For Sharing" all the more curious. An uneven, somewhat out-of-time dramedy, the film takes great pains to confirm that sex addiction is just like any other addiction, but isn't sure what to say beyond that.

TIFF Review: Big-Hearted & Hilarious 'Silver Linings Playbook' A Touchdown From David O. Russell

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 9, 2012 12:17 PM
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  • 20 Comments
Life hasn't been too kind lately for Pat Solitano. He's just been released from a court ordered stint in a mental hospital after severly beating the man he caught cheating with his wife. Diagnosed as bipolar with mood swings, Pat has a difficult journey ahead of him but he's optimistic. With a rallying cry of "Excelsior," he believes that you can take "all negativity and make it a silver lining." His outlook is positive and he hopes to rebuild himself to win his wife back who has a restraining order out on him. And so begins David O. Russell's "Silver Linings Playbook," an enormously entertaining, crowd-pleasing winner from the director whose comedic edge has never been sharper.

TIFF Review: ‘Tabu’ Is Magic Realism In Rapture, As Only The Language Of Cinema Can Tell It

  • By Nikola Grozdanovic
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  • September 9, 2012 10:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments
It’s been known that a singular moment during a brilliant film can make you realize you’re watching something special, something that will be deposited into your memory bank with a very high interest rate. In Miguel Gomes’ third feature film, "Tabu," this moment comes while you’re still getting comfortable in your seat. A film-within-a-film begins proceedings, in which we are introduced to an ‘intrepid explorer’ who, heartbroken over the one he lost, commits suicide and gets eaten by a crocodile. Then something strange happens, the narrator says: this crocodile adopts the melancholic state of the explorer and, as the film comes to a close, spends his time with the ghost of the explorer’s lost ladyfriend. Welcome to movie magic.

TIFF Review: 'Imogene' Is A Big-Screen Sitcom, But Elevated By Kristen Wiig & Annette Bening

  • By Christopher Schobert
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  • September 9, 2012 9:30 AM
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  • 9 Comments
"Imogene" finds Kristen Wiig in victory lap mode, and that suits her just fine. Perhaps the most likable comedic actress to come down the pike since Diane Keaton threw on a Civil War-era vest and floppy hat, Wiig finds herself, post-"Bridesmaids," in rarified company. She is a beloved, in-demand actress and comedienne, and a star who has something Kristen Stewart and Angelina Jolie would maim for: likability.

TIFF Review: Chest-Beating LAPD Cop Drama 'End Of Watch' Is Clichéd & Monotonous

  • By Simon Abrams
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  • September 8, 2012 10:46 PM
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  • 5 Comments
Like "Harsh Times" before it, police drama "End of Watch" conflates realism with sensationalism. In fact, writer/director David Ayer sustains an abrasive tone throughout "End of Watch" in a number of ways. Firstly, Ayer gives his buddy cop drama a cheap kind of immediacy by having his macho, Alpha male Los Angeles cop protagonists film their lives as police officers. Button-sized cameras and hand-held digital cameras aren’t however just used by the police: both the local Mexican drug cartel members and the black gang-bangers that the 13th district cops have to keep an eye out for use cameras to document and valorize their activities too.

TIFF Review: 'Cloud Atlas' Is Bold, Messy & Disappointingly Unimaginative

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 8, 2012 10:07 PM
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  • 53 Comments
With The Wachowskis and Tom Tykwer literally throwing a critic off the roof of a building to his death in the opening moments of the nearly three-hour "Cloud Atlas," it's clear that they aren't concerned in the slightest with how this ambitious effort will be received. And you certainly have to give the trio of directors some respect for their approach, which tag teams an all-star cast, gives them multiple roles and spreads the story across nearly a half dozen time periods. But for all their boldness in narrative approach, "Cloud Atlas" is also a mess, with an attempt to mix its various genres under a universal thematic banner that never quite coheres.

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