Steve McQueen swerves for the mainstream with the kickass heist thriller Widows

There are lots of reasons why Best Popular Film is a dumb idea. The biggest may be that such an Oscar category would reinforce the fallacy that there’s a hard line separating art from entertainment. Popcorn movies can be thoughtful, finely crafted, even profound. And supposed “art movies” can be a blast. The…

Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci and the team behind The Children Act on what makes this story special

Named for the landmark 1989 Parliamentary Act (but not based on a true events), The Children Act follows British High Court judge Fiona, played by Emma Thompson, who must rule on a case concerning the survival of a teenage boy. The boy (Dunkirk’s Fionn Whitehead), who is a Jehovah’s Witness, and just months short of…

Lady Gaga is as great as you’ve heard, even if the rest of A Star Is Born isn’t

There’s one truly great, chills-inducing scene in Bradley Cooper’s directorial debut, the latest Hollywood remake of A Star Is Born (Grade: B). It’s the moment when all the pent-up crowdpleasing catharsis the movie has been withholding under its ramshackle, dive-bar minimalism comes erupting out of it like a geyser of…

Gravity director Alfonso CuarĂłn returns to Earth for an intimate period-piece shot like an epic

In the months to come, you’re going to be hearing a lot about Roma (Grade: A-). Alfonso Cuarón’s visually sumptuous, intimately epic (or is it epically intimate?) return to the Mexico City of his youth won the top prize at Venice a few days ago, just as the last movie from the director’s buddy and countryman,…

Ryan Gosling and Robert Pattinson blast off into two very different outer space movies

There’s an escalator at the Scotiabank Theatre, the venue where just about all of the TIFF press and industry screenings are held, that’s notorious for breaking down. It goes several stories up at a steep angle, like the long slope of a particularly extreme rollercoaster, and its habit of grinding to a halt (of…

David Gordon Green’s Halloween is just another inferior Michael Myers rampage

The best thing about the latest, 11th by a comprehensive count, and (let’s be honest here) probably not final Halloween movie is John Carpenter’s new score. The director-composer has returned to the franchise to offer a fresh arrangement of the iconic tinkle of piano he laid down for his 1978 slasher masterpiece, and…

Robert Redford takes one last ride in a nostalgic true-crime yarn from the director of A Ghost Story 

What do we see when we look at Robert Redford? Now in his 80s, the actor has reached that moment of his career, familiar only to performers of a certain age and legacy, when his mere presence confers the weight of history. Redford’s never been much of a chameleon; even when he was young, it was usually just him up…

Toronto opens with the unofficial Braveheart sequel/rebuttal that no one needed

“This year, we have one of the strongest lineups we’ve ever had.” That’s what Piers Handling, retiring director and CEO of the Toronto International Film Festival, told those of us in the audience at last night’s opening-night screening at the almost cathedral-like Princess Of Wales Theatre. It’s the kind of thing…

Rian Johnson and Daniel Craig are making a murder mystery inspired by Agatha Christie

Now that Rian Johnson’s disrupted the Force of Star Wars fans with his excellent The Last Jedi, the filmmaker is now preparing to piss off yet another fanbase: Agatha Christie loyalists. Deadline reports that Johnson has recruited Daniel Craig for a contemporary murder mystery entitled Knives Out. The original script…

Haifaa al-Mansour hopes to inspire women with the story of Mary Shelley 

Haifaa al-Mansour’s new film, Mary Shelley, tells the story of the world-famous novelist when she was know as Mary Godwin. Starring Elle Fanning as the titular author, the film begins when Godwin is just 18, and follows the events in her life that inspired her to write Frankenstein, jump-starting the science fiction…

Director Susanna White brought her love of Westerns to Woman Walks Ahead 

Director Susanna White’s new film, Woman Walks Ahead, follows the relationship between famed warrior and holy man Sitting Bull (Michael Greyeyes) and his confidant and portrait painter Catherine Weldon (Jessica Chastain). Set in the late 19th century, Woman Walks Ahead uses the dispossession of the Lakota people’s…

Director Susanna White recreated Sitting Bull's cabin for the new biopic, Woman Walks Ahead 

Director Susanna White’s new film, Woman Walks Ahead, follows the relationship between famed warrior and holy man Sitting Bull (Michael Greyeyes) and his confidant and portrait painter Catherine Weldon (Jessica Chastain). Set in the late 19th century, Woman Walks Ahead uses the dispossession of the Lakota people’s…

Mary Shelley's Haifaa Al-Mansour isn't sweating the title of "first female Saudi film director"

Filmmaker Haifaa al-Mansour is Saudi Arabia’s first female director. Her feature film debut, 2012’s Wadjda, received critical acclaim and became the country’s first official Oscar submission (for Best Foreign Language Film) although it wasn’t nominated. Al-Mansour’s follow up is Mary Shelley, the story of the…

From Fargo to Napoleon Dynamite: Haifaa Al-Mansour picks the 5 films that influenced her the most

Filmmaker Haifaa al-Mansour is Saudi Arabia’s first female director. Her feature film debut, 2012’s Wadjda, received critical acclaim and became the country’s first official Oscar submission (for Best Foreign Language Film) although it wasn’t nominated. Now al-Mansour’s following up her debut with Mary Shelley, the…

Elle Fanning and the cast of Mary Shelley didn’t know much about the author before reading the script

Haifaa al-Mansour’s new film Mary Shelley tells the story of the world-famous novelist when she was know as Mary Godwin. Starring Elle Fanning as the eponymous author, the film begins when Godwin is just 18, and follows the events in her life that inspired her to write Frankenstein, including her relationship with…

The Carter Effect director Sean Menard on how Drake got involved with the project

Sean Menard calls his new documentary, The Carter Effect, a love letter to Toronto, one that examines how the culture in Canada’s biggest city was changed by the presence of the Toronto Raptors and NBA All-Star Vince Carter. In the video above, Menard tells us how he got de facto Toronto ambassador Drake to appear in…

Advertisement