TFCA Friday: Week of January 11th, 2019

January 11, 2019

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

Opening this Week

Capernaum (dir. Nadine Labaki)

An absolute heartbreaker about children in peril and the plight of undocumented people… The first must-see movie of 2019” — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

A triumph that walks a razor’s edge between heart-wrenching emotion and sentimentality without tripping” — Pat Mullen, POV Magazine

An exquisitely intimate film that relies on a cast of very young first-time actors in complex, demanding roles” — Anne Brodie, What She Said!

Demands to be seen” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

A movie with a lot of dramatic ideas and plot-points, worthy of a miniseries at least, squeezed into a two-hour sausage of misery” — Jim Slotek, Original-Cin

A compassionate but also manipulative fable about slum life in Beirut” — Radheyan Simonpillai, NOW Magazine

Destroyer (dir. Karyn Kusama)

Kusama’s ballsy film may not live up to Kidman’s performance, but it’s a great start — gritty as hell and never flags” — Anne Brodie, What She Said!

When Kusama strips [the film] down to its essentials, it’s gripping as hell. There’s a knockout centrepiece sequence that slides from stakeout to shootout to street chase… For about 20 solid minutes, you can see the better, meaner picture pulsing underneath” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

Pugly: A Pug’s Life (dirs. Michael McNamara and Aaron Hancox)

The doc isn’t simply being cute, though. There’s something admirable about the Pugalug team’s decision to fight for these dogs when nobody else will” — Pat Mullen, POV Magazine

For dog lovers, especially pug lovers. Follows the lives of 3 rescue pugs together with some insight on the world of pugs” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

The Upside (dir. Neil Burger)

The movie brings the Driving Miss Daisy formula (Magical Negro trope included) back to American soil after it was repurposed by the 2011 French hit The Intouchables, which The Upside is based on. Hart and Cranston have great chemistry in a wrong-headed high-fantasy scenario” — Radheyan Simonpillai, NOW Magazine

A goofy and unrealistic feel-good movie that is as exciting as it is original” — Gilbert Seah, Afro Toronto

Recognizing Tantoo Cardinal

After a string of accolades recognizing her incredible career, actor Tantoo Cardinal has the spotlight. In Maclean’s, Brian D. Johnson profiles her journey

Do we still need a movie ratings system in Ontario?

After the “Subject to Classification” rating was appended to Roma in Ontario, Peter Howell (Toronto Star) asks if this rating system is necessary at all


Recapping the TFCA Gala: At Zoomer, Jim Slotek writes up the best of the star-studded, heart-warming evening

Emerging Critic 2018

The TFCA is happy to name Genevieve Citron as the inaugural Emerging Critic award winner.

Her full bio:

Genevieve Citron is interested in the intersection of film and the social world. She holds a Master’s Degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) where she studied cultural sociology. Her graduate research focuses on war cinema and civilian militarization. Genevieve is intent on making academic conversations accessible to the general public and has recently founded The Film Atlas, an online arts publication that blends journalistic and scholarly voices.