TFCA Friday: Week of December 7th, 2018

December 7, 2018

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

Opening this Week

Almost Almost Famous (dir. Barry Lank)

Does an okay job weaving together the narratives of three subjects who make their living largely by pretending to be someone else” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

There’s no real insight … just the use of survival common sense. The most exciting segments of the doc are, expectedly, the lively performances” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

Anna and the Apocalypse (dir. John McPhail)

I see a lot of zombie movies, and weirdly enough I also see a lot of musicals. My standards are fairly high for both genres. So believe me when I tell you Anna And The Apocalypse is a bloody good time” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

A gleefully off-beat mash-up of teen angst, jabs at yuletide cheer, horror movie gore, and show-stopping song and dance numbers” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

There’s musical novelty, but it runs out of steam quickly” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

Divide and Conquer: The Story of Roger Ailes (dir. Alexis Bloom)

A detailed, albeit dry and sanitized, look at one of the most controversial and disgraced figures in media and political history” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

A doc difficult to dislike by carefully crafting [its] subject as a bully, womanizer, sexual abuser, racist and all-around bloody bastard — and then tracking his deserved downfall” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

As this doc shows, he went as low as he could possibly go, until his repugnant behaviour finally caught up with him — as it must to all such men” — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

This stomach-churning disturbing doc on the late ultra-right wing conservative …goes a long way to explain what we’re seeing today in American politics” — Anne Brodie, What She Said!

One wishes that Bloom had been tougher with her subject but Divide and Conquer is a worthwhile effort and certainly interesting for liberals to see” — Marc Glassman, POV Magazine

Audio: If you’re interested in media and politics, this is an interesting one” — Karen Gordon, CBC

The Favourite (dir. Yorgos Lanthimos)

A magnificently pissy comedy of manners set in the early 18th century” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

Elevates the art of backstabbing and social climbing into a twisted artform” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

The most normal film Yorgos Lanthimos has yet made — if “normal” can be stretched to define this tale of an upchucking and libidinous queen, indoor duck and rabbit chases and a dodgeball variant involving naked men and fruit” — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

Those unfamiliar with Lanthimos’ sense of humour will find this more amusing, shocking, and refreshing, while those who are will find him doing the same tricks in a different setting” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

Lanthimos went on record that [The Killing of a Sacred Deer] was a comedy, though few agreed. I don’t know what he meant this one to be, but it’s his funniest by far” — Chris Knight, The National Post

A gloriously over-the-top and occasionally revolting look at England’s Queen Anne, 1665 – 1714” — Anne Brodie, What She Said!

Audio: If you’ve been craving a period piece and are craving funny sad movies, this is for you” — Karen Gordon, CBC

The first Yorgos Lanthimos film that puts the director’s bitter instincts to good use” — Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail

The Go-Getters (dir. Jeremy LaLonde)

It’s raucous and messy and kind of feral, if you want to know the truth. It’s also very, very funny” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

Deliberately grotesque, unapologetically foul-mouthed, and frequently hilarious” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

An overall nasty but not necessarily awful film” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

Hospitality (dirs. Nick Chakwin and David Guglielmo)

A slim little thriller that, while never actively bad, is never as good as it could be either” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

Isn’t particularly deep, insightful, or original, but it strikes as a nice change of pace from genre norms these days” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

Icebox (dir. Daniel Sawka)

Movies don’t get any more timely than Daniel Sawka’s first feature, which follows 12-year-old Oscar as he journeys from Honduras to the U.S. in search of asylum, only to land in an ICE detention facility for minors, where he’s just one face among thousands in an indifferent, overburdened immigration system” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

Love Jacked (dir. Alfons Adetuyi)

Easygoing charms and comic timing are among the few elements keeping this silly rom-com from diving off a cliff” — Radheyan Simonpillai, NOW Magazine

Has its heart in the right place, but holds zero surprises and only a handful of moderate chuckles” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

A sunny and easily digestible boy-meets girl, boy loses girl, etc. tale that stretches credulity” — Anne Brodie, What She Said!

Cliches and predictability aside, there are sweet moments of rom-com charm” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

Mowgli: Legend of the Jungle (dir. Andy Serkis)

A successful risk that might not be suitable for the youngest of children, but is certainly one of the better and more soulful effects driven blockbusters of the year” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

One scene toward the end might prove traumatic even for adults, with Serkis unveiling a twist reminiscent of David Fincher’s Se7en” — Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail

Rams (dir. Gary Hustwit)

An insightful and thought provoking (but not exactly dramatic) look at one of the biggest names in product design” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

Searching for Ingmar Bergman (dir. Margarethe von Trotta)

A look at a fellow famous auteur that refuses to give in to idolatry or simplistic readings of a man’s life and works” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

There’s little room to go wrong when a film is seemingly 50 per cent composed of Bergman’s own footage” — Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail

Human Rights Film Festival

At The Gate, Andrew Parker has reviews of TransMilitary (pictured), Charm City, and The Rescue List