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Entries in Canada (44)

Saturday
May182019

Xavier Dolan

by Samantha Craggs

It's been 10 years since Xavier Dolan, age 20, burst out of the gate at the Cannes Film Festival with his first ever movie, I Killed My Mother. It was a raw, imperfect effort. The deeply autobiographical narrative rambled at times. A plethora of shots framed the subject in the middle lower third of the screen, leaving space for blank white walls and reams of extraneous information. But it was a first-hand look at being a queer teenager fighting with his parents in the new millennium. For taste-makers at Cannes, it was more than enough. His movie showed in the Director's Fortnight, and Dolan, a former Québecois child actor who'd never even directed a short film, became the arthouse's youngest rock star. 

We've watched him learn the craft in two-hour intervals ever since. He works at a frantic clip, so he's made eight movies in 10 years. The now 30 year old filmmaker will premiere that eighth feature Matthias et Maxime at Cannes on May 22nd. Love or hate his offerings so far, one thing is guaranteed – this one will look nothing like I Killed My Mother. Let's do a ranking of his movies so far, after the jump... 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Apr282019

Review: "Little Woods"

by Tony Ruggio

Little Woods, North Dakota: not far from our border to the north, and a poster child for the death of the American Dream. Tessa Thompson is Ollie, a woman hardened by a life selling oxy and a an allergy to hope. Her adopted mother has passed and she and her younger sister Debbie (Lily James) are left to pick up the pieces, namely a pittance of a house and what’s left of Ollie’s former life. She’s nearing the end of her probation and you know what that means. Life’s about to throw her a curveball, sending her back to the wheelin’ and dealin’ trenches, where seedy characters and searing guilt are part of the job. Debbie needs help and Ollie’s good at doing, so she’s back at it to pay the mortgage and get her sister the medical care she needs. It’s all very predictable, but it hardly matters...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Sep212018

Strong Contenders from Iceland, Denmark, and Lebanon

by Nathaniel R

We're now up to 67 entries for Oscar's Best Foreign Language Film category. We're about two weeks away from the official announcement from the Academy which is typically about 90 films long. The latest announcements:

  • Bulgaria - Omnipresent 
    Drama about a man spying on neighbors and employees with hidden cameras. No US distribution yet.
  • Canada - Watch Dog 
    This drama stars French-Canadian actor Théodore Pellerin, who has a romantic scene with Lucas Hedges in Boy Erased. This is a very different performance as he's playing a violent troubled young criminal here. No US distribution yet but playing at Chicago Film Festival next month.
  • Denmark - The Guilty
    A crime drama about a kidnapped woman and a police office. Opens in the US on October 18th.
  • France - Memoir of War
    Sad news for the very passionate fans of French family drama Custody. They went with this WW II drama instead. The film stars Melanie Thierry and Benoît Magimel. In limited release in US theaters now.
  • Iceland - Woman at War 
    You already know I love this oddball environmental activist movie! It's from Benedict Erlingsson, a former actor, who with his second film, confirms that he's Iceland's most exciting new director. Magnolia Pictures will release in the US...date TBA
  • Lebanon - Capernaum
    This is widely expected to be Oscar-nominated. But a word of caution always with the foreign category: there are regularly surprises. Nadine Labaki's previous Lebanese submission Where Do We Go Now? was expected to be Oscar-nominated after winning prizes at Cannes and TIFF's People's Choice Award in 2011...but had to settle for a Critics Choice nomination only when the mainstream awards season hit. Opens in the US on December 14th
  • Macedonia - Secret Ingredient
    Dramedy about a man who makes his father a pot cake and soon has neighbors and criminals after him. I believe this is available on HBO Go but will have to double check.
  • Nepal - Panchayat
    Panchayat refers to an old style of local political systems in South Asian countries in which five elders would settle disputes between individuals and villages. No US distribution yet.
  • South Africa - Sew the Winter to my Skin
    An "existentialist-adventure" set in the 1950s about a Robin Hood like outlaw who steals from white settlers and becomes a hero to the indigenous population. No US distributor yet.

If patterns from past years hold we'll see one switcheroo with a different title than was previously announced and one other title will be mysteriously missing due to disqualification or whatnot. So these charts are accurate from press announcements until they're not should unforseen circumstances occur.

FOREIGN PREDICTIONS
Submissions pt 1 - Austria through Estonia
Submissions pt 2 - Finland through Montenegro
Submissions pt 3 - The Netherlands through Venezuela

Sunday
Sep162018

TIFF Delivers an Oscar bound-surprise with "Green Book" 

by Nathaniel R

Go figure. The winner of TIFF's "Grolsch's People's Choice Award" is a film that literally none of my TIFF airbnb troupe (Joe Reid, Chris Feil, Nick Davis and I) saw during our 10 day stretch in Ontario. Green Book by Peter Farrelly (yes, of Dumb and Dumber and There's Something About Mary fame) took TIFF's most coveted prize. (the runners up were Barry Jenkins' If Beale Street Could Talk and Alfonso Cuarón's Roma). So we'll have to add it to the Best Picture chart when we update this week (we're looking at probably Wednesday night for across the board updates to reflect all the festival madness).

In the entire 40 year history of this prize, stretching From Girlfriends (1978) through Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017), 16 of the winners went on to Best Picture nods at the Oscars. The 40 winners also include 7 future Best Picture winners, 6 future Best Foreign Language Film winners, and 2 future Best Documentary Feature winners. The Oscar correlation is getting stronger all the time, too...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul242018

TIFF Galas & Special Presentations Announced

by Nathaniel R

TIFF is around the corner y'all. Excited we are since it means the prestige film season and another round of Oscar madness is about to begin. For the first time TIFF has allowed The Film Experience two press passes so Chris Feil and Nathaniel R (that's me) will both be covering in real time for the whole fest from September 6th through the 16th. Today TIFF has announced the 47 films that will be featured in their Galas and Special Presentations sections. These are the two sections wherein you'll usually find the mainstream awards hopefuls shoulder-to-shoulder with more traditional festival fare and world cinema premieres. TIFF usually has hundreds of films so this is just the first announcement. 

The full list containing masterpieces and duds and everything inbetween (though we won't know which-is-which-is-which until we see them) is after the jump!

Click to read more ...

Monday
Apr232018

Bingelinking

Since we haven't done a link roundup in too long, here are way too many of them for your clicking pleasure and general infotainment.

Screens
Cartoon Brew Freshly Oscared Guillermo del Toro is taking active role in Dreamworks Animation going forward
Vulture "I ate like Olivia Pope for a week, and didn't die" - a hilarious journal/tribute to Scandal in its last season
NYT a profile of Rachel Weisz. It opens with beauty tips, pregnancy, and lesbian sex and I shuddered thinking we were going to get a deluge of thinkpieces about editors assigning sexist men to write about actresses but we are saved from the thinkpieces because it turns out it's a Maureen O'Dowd article
Playbill Amazon is launching a new short form series After Forever about a 50something gay couple tomorrow. Lots of theater folks are in it

More after the jump including Michelle Pfeiffer's Janet van Dyne, Isle of Dogs charity mission, Drag Race revelations, auctions of the unwanted (Ghost in the Shell and Weinstein Co), and lots of Avengers and Westworld... 

Click to read more ...