TFCA Friday: Week of May 11th, 2018

May 11, 2018

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

Opening this Week

Breaking In (dir. James McTeigue)

With a simple enough premise ripe for B-movie thrills, Breaking In should have and could have worked a lot better than it does” — Radheyan Simonpillai, NOW Magazine

The Super Mom in this movie is just as exciting as any Marvel hero” — Gilbert Seah, Afro Toronto

A rudimentary, B-grade home invasion thriller that’s both highly entertaining and highly stupid” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

The only tension in the film is the resilience of the bad guys, in what is essentially a high-stakes game of Whac-A-Mole” — Liam Lacey,

Disobedience (dir. Sebastian Lelio)

Lelio’s film is about more than sex, or its perhaps easy ability to shock. It is a love story, as beautiful as it is devastating” — Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail

The Endless (dirs. Justin Benson and Aaron Morehead)

Cements Benson and Moorhead as two of the most daring and interesting voices working in American genre cinema” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

Godard Mon Amour (dir. Michel Hazanavicius)

There are good intentions lurking here, especially in star Louis Garrel’s performance, but the film consistently fails to engage on an even basic level” — Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail

The Heat (dir. Maya Gallus)

Pat Mullen interviews director Maya Gallus on her Hot Docs opener (now playing at the Ted Rogers)

By looking at these chefs at pivotal points in their respective careers, The Heat looks to not only be a conversation starter, but a tool for said changes” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

Over at, Jim Slotek interviews the director on her new film, and her past as a waitress

Kusama: Infinity (dir. Heather Lenz)

As fierce a film as Kusama’s determination to become a world-renowned artist” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

If you love art, this is a must-see” — Marc Glassman, POV Magazine

Leaning Into the Wind: Andy Goldsworthy (dir. Thomas Riedelsheimer)

A pleasant, eccentric wander through the artist’s undertakings around the world, contrasted with time spent at his home in rural Scotland” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

It’s fortunate when a doc is made when the artist is still alive, as much more insight can be obtained from the artist himself interviewed” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

A slow, gorgeous film that affirms the glory of nature and the spirit of an artist who is truly moved by all aspects of the world: the trees, the stones, the leaves, the ants—everything” — Marc Glassman, POV Magazine

Life of the Party (dir. Ben Falcone)

Less of a movie than a collection of sketches organized around a character, slapped together with little regard for structure or continuity” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

The chuckles are assuredly there, but they should not be taken as an outright endorsement of a film that’s actively bad in almost every other respect” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

Revenge (dir. Coralie Fargeat)

Plays like a daytime nightmare, with Jen rising like a phoenix to become a relentless, remorseless executioner rendering spectacular punishment upon her assailants” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

Ultraviolent, flashy, without distracting humour, and hardly any false alarms” — Gilbert Seah, Toronto Franco

Isn’t only one of the best efforts produced within a dubious cinematic sub-set, but the heralding of another major filmmaking talent demanding to be noticed and taking no prisoners in the process” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

Brutal, bloody, exhilarating work that does not even for a moment blink” — Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail, including a feature with director Coralie Fargeat

A French person’s idea of what a ‘70s grindhouse revenge movie is like – infused with feminist-inspired vigilante justice and manic verve” — Jim Slotek,

The Seagull (dir. Michael Mayer)

Mayer doesn’t have a particularly cinematic vision – he’s much more interested in performance than in presentation or pacing – but that’s not necessarily a weakness, especially in a story that unfolds entirely around a country house. Why not just focus on the actors?” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

If you are unfamiliar with this Chekhov play, this adaptation is an unforgettable experience” — Gilbert, Festival Reviews

You can recreate The Seagull at home in better fashion by sitting down with the play and imagining the same cast playing it out again word for word in your own mind” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

“Talk about a long shot, trying to get that movie made!” Annette Bening tells Nathalie Atkinson for Zoomer. “And it’s good. I think it’s going to be one of those things for those interested in Chekhov, in theatre and in trying to understand how to make theatre into films. I’m very proud of it. We got a little bit of lightning in a bottle.”

An impressive cast gets a run at this century-old dramatic classic with mediocre results” — Liam Lacey,

The 71st Cannes Film Festival

From Peter Howell, Toronto Star: The scene in Cannes; an interview with Palme d’Or jury member Denis Villeneuve; Ryan Coogler’s onstage interviewRafiki, embraced by Cannes, banned by Kenya; and Cate Blanchett, Palme d’Or jury president, says #TimesUp needs more time

From Chris Knight, The National Post: On its 71st edition, the festival is taking stock of itself (and risks moving backwards by standing still) 

On the Ground at CinemaCon (And Looking Past It)

In addition to reviewing Ben Fritz’s new book The Big Picture: The Fight for the Future of Movies — and investigating MoviePass’s potential future in Canada — Barry Hertz at CinemaCon in Las Vegas says Hollywood will keep going big – to keep you from staying home

DOXA Documentary Festival 2018

In POV, Pat Mullin on DOXA’s opening film, The Rankin File: “The portrait is nevertheless objective enough to let anyone appreciate the film with no prior knowledge of [the politician]