Film Festival

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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Film Festival

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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Film Festival

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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Film Festival

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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Film Festival

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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Current Release

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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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Toronto Film Festival/Series Premiere Review: “Casual”

Posted September 16, 2015 by Mitch Salem

  CASUAL:  October 7 on Hulu Hulu has included some original programming in its inventory for a while now, but it’s signaled its intention to join Netflix and Amazon in that realm in a more serious way with its order of new Mindy Project episodes, and production of a Stephen King minseries, The Way from […]

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Film Festival

SHOWBUZZDAILY Toronto Film Festival Review: “Room”

Posted September 16, 2015 by Mitch Salem

  Despite its compact scale, Emma Donoghue’s bestselling novel ROOM was a daunting candidate for film adaptation, because so much of its impact depends on its very specific narrator’s voice, a 5-year old named Jack who has lived his entire life in the shed where his Ma (whose other name is Joy) was taken captive […]

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