TFCA Friday: Week of August 26

August 26, 2022

Three Thousand Years of Longing | Elevation Pictures

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


This Week in Movies!


Adieu Godard (dir. Amartya Bhattacharyya)


“[C]harming little tribute but do not expect anything miraculous,” writes Gilbert Seah at Afro Toronto. “The best thing about the film is the depiction of the simple folk in the Indian village and how these people think and go about their lives.”


“All plot and character elements pay tribute to Godard, and the ending, well, I’m speechless, but it fits,” admits Anne Brodie at What She Said.


After Blue (dir. Bertrand Mandico)


“It all does not make much sense and trying to follow the convoluted plot can be quite frustrating,” sighs Gilbert Seah at Afro Toronto.

Funny Pages (dir. Owen Kline)


“The humour here is as dark as printer’s ink, its pinball-ricochet timing a hallmark of producers Benny and Josh Safdie (Good Time, Uncut Gems),” notes Chris Knight at the National Post. “And it may not be to all tastes – there’s an undercurrent of violence in Maher’s performance that is clearly designed to make audiences squirm.”


The Good Boss (dir. Férnando de León Aranoa)


“Bardem’s extraordinary performance allows us to understand his character by degrees – we are as charmed as anyone else initially,” notes Anne Brodie at What She Said. “And Bardem keeps us in the palm of his hand as he crosses moral, racist and sexist lines again and again. And yet. Miraculous work, Mr. B!”


The Good Boss is an absorbing satire that draws the audience into the story and then shakes them up at the same time – as all good satires do,” chuckles Gilbert Seah at Afro Toronto.


“[W]hether a critique of Spain’s modern capitalist socialist system or just an excuse to watch Bardem’s character come apart at the well tailored seams, The Good Boss delivers some fun laughs and more than a little thoughtful commentary,” observes Chris Knight at the National Post. “It’s not a perfect film – the ending feels a little weak, the status a little too quo ante – but it is, on balance, a success.”


The Good Boss is a fine satirical comedy, and how often do you get to see that?” asks Marc Glassman at Classical FM. “Perhaps it’s too exemplary; if you know this genre, you can see de Aranoa manipulating situations so that didactic points can be made. However, Bardem’s performance is exemplary.”


“Aranoa has pulled together an excellent cast. But holding it all together is the formidable and always watchable Bardem,” notes Karen Gordon at Original Cin. “His performance makes this satire also a character study. In his hands, Blanco is as easygoing and appealing as he is manipulative. His smile doesn’t change as the film goes on. Our way of relating to that smile might, but he’s hard to completely dislike. He’s not a cartoon cliché of a villainous capitalist. Not even close. And he’s not the only manipulator in the group.”


“[T]here’s a great moment when Blanco notices some scales outside the factory off balance,” writes Pat Mullen at That Shelf. “As he steps closer and sticks his hand in the plate, he learns it’s full of shit. No matter how furiously Bardem scrubs his hands or how ferociously he commands the foul stench of Blanco’s sins to be washed away, the smell just never comes off. It’s a wonderfully olfactory feat. One can rarely compliment a film by saying it stinks, but here we are.”

Loving Adults (dir. Barbara Topsøe-Rothenborg)


Loving Adults is a compelling watch – exciting, dramatic and well delivered in direction and performances – proving the fact that love should come with a warning,” says Gilbert Seah at Afro Toronto.


Me Time (dir. John Hamburg)


“[N]othing special in the story or plot, but easy going uninspired entertainment and entertainment for the family, just beware of the few lewd jokes,” admits Gilbert Seah at Afro Toronto.

Three Thousand Years of Longing (dir. George Miller)


“Director Miller has had the rights to Byatt’s story for more than 20 years,” writes Karen Gordon at Original Cin. “But it’s interesting that it became a COVID project for him. The themes of the film – story-telling and its transcendent power to lift the human spirit,  how it can reach us in ways that go beyond logic and open doors that we didn’t know were shut – seem particularly appropriate after two years of lockdown. Its emotional impact addresses our widespread sense of isolation and being cut off.”


“A fascinating story from, of all people, George Miller (three Mad Maxes and there’s another one coming!!!, Happy Feet, Babe: Pig in the City),” exclaims Anne Brodie at What She Said. “There is a lot of talk, much of it interesting, vignettes of ancient myths, and fun special effects but the greatest special effect is the chemistry between the two “giants” of the screen Swinton and Elba.”


“I’m disappointed,” admits Marc Glassman at Classical FM. “This film suffers from what the great Palestinian writer Edward Said called ‘Orientalism.’ Miller’s version of “Arabian Nights” may seem positive but its depiction of the Ottoman Empire is transparently false. Then, there’s the often-naked Black actor Elba being the object of fetishization by women of Arab and Caucasian descent. Is that OK? I felt queasy watching some scenes.”


So Vam (dir. Alice Maio MacKay)


“The film should be praised for being so trans and gay positive, aided by the fact that the director is only 17 and knows her material well,” writes Gilbert Seah at Afro Toronto, “an impressive feel-good transgender and gay movie.”

Canadiana: Oscars, Ahoy!


At POV Magazine, Pat Mullen reports on the selection of Eternal Spring as Canada’s official submission in the Best International Feature race, which marks the first time we’ve sent a documentary to the Oscars in this category. “Despite having one of the richest histories in documentary, Canada has never submitted a non-fiction film until today’s announcement,” writes Mullen. “Eternal Spring is also the first film submitted by Canada to feature a significant portion of animation and the first Mandarin production. Loftus said that he hopes the recognition helps shine a light on Canada’s documentary scene, as well as upon artists working in animation. ‘This film is a product of Canadian diversity,” said Loftus…‘It shows how art can bring us a greater understanding of one another and great catharsis.’”

TV Talk/Series Scribbles


At What She Said, Anne Brodie finds the Netflix series Partner Track eerily relevant. “It’s upsetting that sexism and racism are alive today in the workplace we can’t look away,” notes Brodie. “Look at the case of Bell firing Lisa LaFlamme. You’ll want to see if Ingrid makes it to the upper echelons, if her antagonists get theirs, if she can find someone to love, and find better office mates.” Meanwhile, the “creepy” series The Patient is perfectly binge-able: “Ten episodes, intriguingly only 25 – 30 minutes each, giving us small but powerful doses of this weirdo situation.” Jason Momoa, finally, is back in action with See: “Baba Voss continues his quest to save the world and the people he lives in a primitive society crippled by hundreds of years of blindness,” writes Brodie.