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The Playlist

TIFF Review: 'Therese' Starring Elizabeth Olsen, Oscar Isaac & Jessica Lange

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 13, 2013 1:36 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Therese, Oscar Isaac, Elizabeth Olsen
What a tangled web we weave when with heaving bosoms and pained looks of longing we deceive, and Charlie Stratton's adaptation of author Emile Zola's "Therese Raquin" certainly features enough scenes of both of those. It's a story that's been brought forth in a number to TV productions and most notably on the big screen in Marcel Carné's 1952 effort, and while this latest attempt at the material doesn't do anything strikingly radical, it does allow the lead trio of Elizabeth Olsen, Oscar Isaac and Jessica Lange take thoroughly decent, if unexceptional, material and make it more compelling and dramatic than it has any right to be.

Interview: Nicole Holofcener Talks Working With The Late James Gandolfini & Julia Louis-Dreyfus For 'Enough Said'

  • By Kristin McCracken
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  • September 12, 2013 2:33 PM
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  • 0 Comments
Enough Said, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Gandolfini
Writer/director Nicole Holofcener has only made five movies since 1996 (including “Walking and Talking,” “Lovely and Amazing,” “Friends With Money,” and “Please Give”), but each is an insightful, smart, female-centric gem about modern human connections.

Interview: Jonathan Glazer Talks The Guerilla Shoot Of His Bold 'Under The Skin' Starring Scarlett Johansson

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 12, 2013 1:26 PM
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  • 3 Comments
Under The Skin
It has been close to a decade since commercials and music video director turned filmmaker Jonathan Glazer released his sophomore feature film, “Birth.” Following his slick and stylish debut, the gangster flick “Sexy Beast,” the film marked a leap forward stylistically, with longer takes, a bold visual approach and a carefully considered integration of narrative and score. And now with his third film, “Under The Skin,” Glazer has again pushed the language of his filmmaking into bold and truly exciting places.

Kelly Reichardt Talks Her Eco-Thriller ‘Night Moves,’ The Mysteries Of Co-Star Dakota Fanning & More

  • By Kristin McCracken
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  • September 11, 2013 3:38 PM
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  • 2 Comments
Night Moves, Kelly Reichardt
Director Kelly Reichardt (“Wendy and Lucy,” “Meek’s Cutoff’) has an eye for vast American landscapes, in which she deliberately places lonesome, trudging souls who are continuously searching—for connections, for new lives, for meaning.

Interview: Steve McQueen Talks '12 Years A Slave,' 'Django Unchained', Pitt & Fassbender & More

  • By Kristin McCracken
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  • September 11, 2013 2:37 PM
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  • 9 Comments
Steve McQueen, 12 Years A Slave
With “Hunger,”his feature debut in 2008, Turner Prize-winning artist-turned-director Steve McQueen made a bold statement right out of the gate: he was a filmmaker to watch. Three years later, “Shame” solidified his reputation as an audacious director with an unflinching eye. And now, with “12 Years a Slave,” which screened this week at the Toronto International Film Festival after premiering at Telluride, McQueen has made what is destined to become the definitive film about slavery in the American South (you can read our review of the film here).

Interview: Mia Wasikowska Talks Working With Richard Ayoade & Jesse Eisenberg In "The Double'

  • By Kristin McCracken
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  • September 11, 2013 1:44 PM
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  • 3 Comments
The Double
At just 23, Australian actress Mia Wasikowska has already proven her impressive range. In roles spanning “In Treatment,” “Jane Eyre,” “Alice in Wonderland,” and “The Kids are All Right,” audiences have come to appreciate her gentle and elegant thoughtfulness, mixed at times with a wisdom seemingly beyond her years.

TIFF Review: Eli Roth's Cannibal Horror Tale 'The Green Inferno'

  • By Cory Everett
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  • September 11, 2013 12:06 PM
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  • 11 Comments
When Eli Roth first appeared on the scene a decade ago, he looked like he might just be the savior the horror genre was looking for. A wave of hype preceded his debut "Cabin Fever," thanks to a raucous reception at TIFF Midnight Madness, a seal of approval from David Lynch and from Roth himself, who name dropped "Evil Dead" and "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" as influences and promised a return to the glory days of '70s/'80s horror. In the post-"Scream," pre-"Saw" early aughts, that seemed like a hell of a good proposition for most horror fans. When the film was released the following year, it couldn't help but come as a bit of a letdown (especially when held next to the aforementioned classics) but by that point, Roth had already gotten his audience in the door. Perhaps sensing he had made his audience a promise he didn't fully deliver on, he pushed things further with 2005's "Hostel," a truly scary and original horror premise though it was not without its issues, at the very least it seemed as if Roth was reaching for the brass ring of making a truly great horror film and inching a little closer towards it.

TIFF Review: 'Hateship Loveship' Starring Kristin Wiig, Guy Pearce, Hailee Steinfeld & More

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 11, 2013 10:50 AM
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  • 0 Comments
Hateship, Loveship
Following the smash success of "Bridesmaids," Kristen Wiig has actively subverted the obvious expectations of the career choices that would follow a hit film. Aside from this winter's "The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty," the actress has largely gravitated toward small-scale projects ("Girl Most Likely," "Friends With Kids"), in roles that still fit within her wheelhouse, but also allow an opportunity for Wiig to exercise the kind of acting chops that more mainstream fare doesn't afford very often. But "Hateship Loveship" is Wiig's most atypical role and turn to date, leading an ensemble cast in a drama about a family adrift in the wake of death, and the one woman who manages to keep them from completely splitting apart.

TIFF Review: Paul Haggis' 'Third Person' With Liam Neeson, James Franco & Olivia Wilde Is Ludicrously Awful

  • By Kevin Jagernauth
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  • September 10, 2013 5:33 PM
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  • 19 Comments
We're coming on a decade since Paul Haggis' "Crash" won Best Picture at the Oscars, and it's still one of the most divisive victories in recent memory. Detractors of the film are quick to point out the flaws in the L.A.-set drama, citing what they perceive to be the film's crass manipulativeness, one-dimensional characters, clumsy hand with racial politics and eye-rolling core of sentimentality. But frankly, you haven't seen anything yet. Haggis' return to the ensemble drama in "Third Person" makes "Crash" look like a work of understated, subtle art. A disastrously and ludicrously awful effort from the writer/director, absolutely nothing works in this facile, cliche-filled and astoundingly dull film that trades in cheap drama and soap opera theatrics.

Watch: Richard Ayoade Talks His Unsettling (And Awesome) TIFF Drama 'The Double' Starring Jesse Eisenberg

  • By Kristin McCracken
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  • September 10, 2013 5:15 PM
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  • 7 Comments
The Double, Richard Ayoade
At the world premiere of “The Double,” British director Richard Ayoade’s second film, Toronto International Film Festival Artistic Director Cameron Bailey called Ayoade “one of the sharpest wits” in filmmaking, and the audience reacted with unbridled glee. New directors are rarely so well known, but Ayoade is also a comedic actor—most notably as “Moss” in the TV series “The IT Crowd”—who made his directorial debut three years ago at Toronto with the cult favorite (and critically admired) “Submarine,” a coming-of-age tale about an eccentric outsider.

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