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TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL Day 7 Capsule Reviews: “Paterson” & “The Salesman”

Posted September 14, 2016 by Mitch Salem

  Note:  this will be our final installment of Toronto reviews, although the festival runs on until Sunday. It’s been a good if not classic festival, with a trio of legitimately great presentations in La La Land, Jackie and Moonlight, as well as the enormously fun if not particularly artistic Sing, and other strong titles […]

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TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL Day 6 Capsule Reviews: “La La Land,” “Deepwater Horizon, “Brimstone” & “Wakefield”

Posted September 14, 2016 by Mitch Salem

  LA LA LAND (Summit/Lionsgate – December 2):  No film arrived at Toronto this year with more hype to live up to than Damien Chazelle’s La La Land, the follow-up to the filmmakers’s Oscar-winning Whiplash and the recipient of white-hot raves in Venice (where Emma Stone won the Best Actress award) and Telluride.  Chazelle’s rapturous […]

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TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL Day 5 Capsule Reviews: “Jackie,” “Arrival,” “Loving,” “Blue Jay,” & “Black Mirror”

Posted September 12, 2016 by Mitch Salem

  JACKIE (Fox Searchlight – December 9):  The most impressive film of the festival thus far is director Pablo Larrain’s jewel-like examination of the realities and artifices behind our perceptions of history, viewed through the prism of Jackie Kennedy, who is played by Natalie Portman in a performance that goes beyond (brilliant) impersonation to deliver […]

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TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL Day 4 Capsule Reviews: “Sing,” “Denial,” “Nocturnal Animals,” “Moonlight” & “Queen of Katwe”

Posted September 12, 2016 by Mitch Salem

  For this audience member, it was the day Toronto moved into high gear. MOONLIGHT (A24 – October 21):  Barry Jenkins’s second film, after his little-seen but much-praised Medicine For Melancholy, is a validation of film festival culture and a reminder of the power of film as personal expression.  (Although the source material is a […]

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TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL Day 3 Capsule Reviews: A Monster Calls, Lion, The Bleeder, Colossal & Elle

Posted September 10, 2016 by Mitch Salem

  COLOSSAL (no distrib):  Well, you haven’t seen this take on sci-fi spectacles before.  In Nacho Vigalondo’s whatzit, party girl Gloria (Anne Hathaway) and her hometown friend Oscar (Jason Sudeikis) discover that they can cause their actions to be mirrored by a giant sea monster and robot terrorizing Seoul.  In other words, if one of […]

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TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL Day 2 Capsule Reviews: “Snowden,” “American Pastoral” & “Carrie Pilby”

Posted September 9, 2016 by Mitch Salem

  SNOWDEN (Open Road – Sept 16):  Oliver Stone’s return to politically-charged biography is subdued by the standards of his Nixon or W.  It’s a hagiography that follows the character arc of his Born of the Fourth of July (true believer finds his ideals crushed by political reality and transforms into a revolutionary agent against […]

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TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL Day 1 Capsule Reviews: “The Magnificent 7″” & “Free Fire”

Posted September 9, 2016 by Mitch Salem

  THE MAGNIFICENT 7 (Village Roadshow/MGM/Columbia/Sony – Sept 23):  Cinema survived in 1960 when Akira Kurosawa’s masterpiece The Seven Samurai was transformed into an American western, and it will survive this new adequate but uninspired remake of the remake.  Despite a script co-credited to True Detective‘s Nik Pizzolatto (with Richard Wenk), and a promising match-up […]

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SHOWBUZZDAILY Toronto Film Festival Capsule Reviews

Posted September 20, 2015 by Mitch Salem

  A week at the Toronto Film Festival added up to 24 screenings–a decent pace, but not an outstanding one.  Blame some vagaries of the festival’s scheduling, and a baseline decision that Midnight Madness was too much midnight and maybe even too much madness.  The potential awards contenders I wasn’t able to get to included […]

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