TFCA Friday: Week of June 8th, 2018

June 8, 2018

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

Opening this Week

The Accountant of Auschwitz (dir. Matthew Shoychet)

Guaranteed to make you think” – Susan G. Cole, NOW Magazine

Open and shut case? Hardly. Ethicists question whether it makes sense to prosecute someone so long after the fact” — Chris Knight, The National Post

While Shoychet and company don’t have any easy or clear answers to any of their questions, they do offer the viewer a lot of different ways to draw their own moral conclusions” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

The film considers scapegoating and whether the man in his 90s is the same person as the one in his 20s, but gives more space to arguments in favour of late justice” — Kate Taylor, The Globe and Mail

Makes for morbidly fascinating viewing” — Jim Slotek, Original-Cin

Alex Strangelove (dir. Craig Johnson)

Unafraid of depicting teenagers as both confused people with rampaging hormonal urges, the latest film from Johnson (The Skeleton Twins, Wilson) balances ribald gags with a delicately constructed depiction of figuring out one’s sexuality” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

Fail to Appear (dir. Antoine Bourges)

A closely observed drama about two people in Toronto, moving in different directions through a system that seems markedly indifferent to either of them” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

So confident, lived in, and well researched that one would be forgiven if they mistook it for a documentary” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

A provocative reflection of film’s ability to mirror life, imitate it, or, in some moments, create it” — Pat Mullen, Cinemablographer

A chamber drama that’s equally attentive to the social graces of its characters and the homely office chairs they sit on” — Angelo Muredda for the TFCA website

Hereditary (dir. Ari Aster)

A great horror movie terrifies you more after you leave the theatre. It imparts a sense of dread that lingers in the mind, longer than any jump scare on the screen. Hereditary is a great horror movie” — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star, including an interview with the filmmaker

While Sundance raves are always to be taken with a grain of salt – the combination of altitude and sleep deprivation often results in decent films being embraced as game-changing masterworks – this one’s not undeserving” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

I haven’t been this frightened since I spent a night in the Overlook Hotel” — Chris Knight, The National Post

I’m not ashamed to admit that Hereditary was the first movie to make me audibly scream aloud in the theatre since I was a teenager” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

The best horror film so far this year” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

A terrifying, pitch-black kind of horror movie that takes up residence in your mind for days, even weeks later” — Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail, including an interview with director Ari Aster

Builds quietly but persistently, paying off with truly effective and scintillating bursts of malice and dread” — Jason Gorber, Dorkshelf, including an interview with the filmmaker

May be the creepiest movie in several decades” — Karen Gordon, Original-Cin (including an interview with the filmmaker by Liam Lacey)

Hotel Artemis (dir. Drew Pearce)

Gritty, thrilling, funny and a hell of a good time” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

It’s a wild ride that audiences rarely ever get these days, and if it stuck the landing better, Hotel Artemis would be a stone cold classic” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

Suffers from a slipshod ending, which is expected, given that the film’s story never leads anywhere” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

Manages to make the most intriguingly bonkers premise a boring and flat exercise” — Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail

As a stand-alone bit of dark, cheesy fun, I’ll take it” — Jim Slotek, Original-Cin

How To Talk To Girls At Parties (dir. John Cameron Mitchell)

There are flashes of a better, more entertaining and moving film at every turn, but these flashes never go anywhere, the emotions never materialize, and the fun is stunted by a climax that suddenly decides that we need to feel melancholic about everything that came before it” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

Metamorphosis (dir. Velcrow Ripper)

Charts destruction worldwide caused by climate warming — forest fires in California, dying coral in the Caribbean, floods in Venice — but it also looks for beauty and intelligent adaptation” — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

With so many ecological documentaries out there on the subjects of climate change… one has to ask ifMetamorphosis is doing anything new or revolutionary from such a well worn point of view, and the answer is sadly no” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

A beautiful meditative piece on the environment” — Marc Glassman, POV Magazine

Ocean’s 8 (dir. Gary Ross)

It’s less Mission: Impossible and more Caper: Ridiculous, with contrivance piled upon coincidence in its elaborate diamond-theft narrative to the point where even the most generous viewer may lose patience” — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

Tries very hard to replicate the savvy packaging of Soderbergh’s breezy, bait-and-switch entertainments… but you can feel the effort” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

Why isn’t Ocean’s 8 more fun?” — Chris Knight, The National Post

Isn’t a total reboot that takes the franchise in a fresh, feminine direction. It comes across every bit like a pretty decent fourth entry in a continuing franchise” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

solid crime caper with no fights, firepower, pyrotechnics, or car chases” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

If Ocean’s 8 doesn’t thrill, don’t blame the women” — Kate Taylor, The Globe and Mail

Prodigals (dir. Michelle Ouillet)

The legal plot feels rushed and messy near the end… and the title doesn’t resonate very deeply” — Glenn Sumi, NOW Magazine

While the courtroom scenes might reveal the film’s theatrical origins, director Michelle Ouellet and writer Nicholas Carella open up the material remarkably” — Pat Mullen, Cinemablographer

The Quest of Alain Ducasse (dir. Gilles de Maistre)

Captures the man’s philanthropy and generosity in moving sections … make sure you eat somewhere decent afterwards” — Glenn Sumi, NOW Magazine

A frustratingly opaque list of bullet points that barely differentiates itself from the litany of other documentaries already out there about upper class, white, male chefs” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

Lots to enjoy in this eye-opening documentary  — foremost is the large assortment of foods on display!” — Gilbert Seah, Toronto-Franco

Offers insights into a very successful culinary giant and is a unique and fascinating film” — Marc Glassman, POV Magazine

Won’t You Be My Neighbour? (dir. Morgan Neville)

Neville’s portrait is nevertheless of a gifted and exceptional human being” — Susan G. Cole, NOW Magazine

“Isn’t a nostalgic look back at a simpler time in pop culture history, but a reminder that if we don’t have Fred Rogers around anymore, we all have to work that much harder at being kinder to our fellow human beings” — Andrew Parker, The Gate, including an interview with the film’s director

Makes America kind again” — Pat Mullen, POV Magazine

A truly great work that will speak to audiences young and old alike” — Jason Gorber, Dorkshelf

The Toronto Japanese Film Festival

At Original-Cin, Jim Slotek writes on the festival’s latest edition, which includes the “lost” film of Hiroshima

Documentary filmmakers seem to be sniffing the flowers these days” — POV Magazine’s Pat Mullen on TJFF film Life is Fruity

At The Gate, Andrew Parker picks 8 films from the festival’s line-up to catch

The Toronto True Crime Film Festival

Crime Hopefully Pays: At The Gate, Andrew Parker writes up the festival’s inaugural presentations (and symposiums)