TFCA Friday: Week of December 6th, 2019

December 6, 2019

Welcome to TFCA Friday, a weekly round-up of film reviews and articles by TFCA critics.

Opening this Week

Antigone (dir. Sophie Deraspe) 🇨🇦

Freely adapts and modernizes Sophocles’ play of the same name, transposing characters from ancient Greece to the streets of Montreal. This makes for a magnetic and also winning combo” — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

This is powerful stuff with a quietly arresting performance by Ricci whose character’s strength shines through again and again” — Anne Brodie, What She Said!

Deserving of the distinguished honour of being selected as Canada’s entry for the Best Foreign Film Oscar” — Gilbert Seah, Toronto Franco

Brotherhood (dir. Richard Bell) 🇨🇦

Re-creates the Ontario camping getaway for teenage boys that turned into a terrifying test of will and strength when their war canoe capsized in Balsam Lake, stranding a dozen people in freezing water far from shore… Maybe it should have been a radio play” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

An entertaining survival adventure, even if you don’t entirely buy its subtext” — Jim Slotek, Original-Cin

The film’s non-chronological order removes the suspense and continuity when the segments are intercut with those before and after its central tragedy” — Gilbert Seah, AfroToronto

Code 8 (dir. Jeff Chan) 🇨🇦

Chan’s screenplay, co-written with Chris Pare, struggles with whether it wants to craft a social commentary about the way minorities are marginalized, or an exciting bank-heist flick. Either way, it’s a lot of future to absorb in 98 minutes. But in the spirit of the movie I say: More powers to him” — Chris Knight, The National Post

Not a standard sci-fi as it addresses real global issues like joblessness, marginalisation, automation and political fascism” — Anne Brodie, What She Said!

In Fabric (dir. Peter Strickland)

A trippy horror flick that seems to have fallen through a time warp from the early Thatcher era – think Suspiria but wincingly British” — Chris Knight, The National Post

This elaborately constructed and utterly astounding story jettisons horror into chaos where intellect, strong character and the desire to be desired prove deadly. Strickland’s genius shines brightly in this mad, bad and dangerous to know gem” — Anne Brodie, What She Said!

One turn and you’re into the social realism of Mike Leigh and Ken Loach, another takes you to the absurd antics of Guy Maddin, another to the horror thrillers of Dario Argento” — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

Possibly the only film in cinema history to ever feature a credit for “mannequin pubic hair.” But that detail, like everything in Strickland’s retro thriller about a cursed red dress that causes its wearer to die is stylish, campy fun” — Glenn Sumi, NOW Magazine

A film capitalizing on what could be cinema’s most extreme case of wardrobe malfunction. What’s more, Strickland doesn’t feel the need to provide an audience with any explicit reasons as to why the garment would have such a mean streak” — Thom Ernst, Original-Cin

This delightfully sinister art-house horror flick is very much en vogue… a dazzlingly stylish affair that’s a cut above the rest. Say yes to the dress!” — Pat Mullen, That Shelf

Odd, delicious, totally evil” — Gilbert Seah, AfroToronto

Off the rack: At Film Comment, José Teodoro interviews director Peter Strickland

Peter Strickland sits down with Nathalie Atkinson to talk about his movie’s weird retail, ASMR, and haunted fashion

The Kindness of Strangers (dir. Lone Scherfig)

A bad movie, but it’s nobody’s fault. You can feel that people believed in it at one point or another in the process; it just didn’t come together. I could say a lot of other stuff, but that’s the gist of it. The notes don’t play” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

It’s not enough. The film totters on a pair of crutches that are unlikely coincidences and simple characters” — Chris Knight, The National Post

Will quickly be forgotten. The inevitable indifference with which this Christmas turkey will be received should be a blessing to everyone involved” — Pat Mullen, That Shelf

Raise Hell: The Life and Times of Molly Ivins (dir. Janice Engel)

The film celebrates the life and work of a voice that captured the attention of readers across America. With her thundering voice, unfiltered views, and dogged determination to hold the establishment to account, Ivins represents an outspoken point of view that anticipated the state of journalism today” — Pat Mullen, POV Magazine

She Never Died (dir. Audrey Cummings) 🇨🇦

Violence is done, heads roll and fingers are eaten – that’s kind of Lacey’s thing – and if the movie loses its momentum in the last act so it can set up another instalment, at least that stuff is played with some measure of panache” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

A supernatural story with comic overtones about a super-strong and invulnerable “fallen angel” with off-putting habits, foremost among them: eating people’s fingers for the marrow” — Jim Slotek, Original-Cin, including an interview with Audrey Cummings, auteur of horror

The Ten Best Films of the 2010s

NOW Magazine’s Norm Wilner lists his top 10, which is topped by Barry Jenkins’ Moonlight

The National Post’s Chris Knight has the ten best films of the decade, the best sci-fi of the decade, and a wrap-up of the decade in moviegoing

The Ten Best (Toronto) Films of the 2010s

Haven’t you heard? We make movies in this town! And the NOW team listed the best of the best.


Peter Howell, the Toronto Star: “Here’s the question clawing the mind of every moviegoer this holiday season: Will “Cats” be a meow-sterpiece or cough up a furball?”

The Paradise Theatre — No Longer Lost

In the Toronto Star, Peter Howell discusses the return of the glorious theatre — and what to expect from it

Lady Crawley Talks Downton Abbey

In Zoomer, Lady Crawley — aka actress Elizabeth McGovern — tells Nathalie Atkinson why she thinks the Downton Abbey movie was one of the biggest box office success stories of 2019