TFCA Friday: Week of May 25th, 2018

May 25, 2018

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

Opening this Week

Birthmarked (dir. Emanuel Hoss-Desmarais)

A stilted, mannered comedy that barely runs an hour and a half and still manages to feel three times as long as Avengers: Infinity War, Birthmarked might be the worst thing you see this year” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

A kernel of a great idea buried inside of a queasy premise” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

The sloppiest script this year” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

So, effectively, this is a movie about child abuse” — Jim Slotek,

Five Seasons: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf (dir. Thomas Piper)

A deep dive into the man’s detailed work and thought process that should delight and inspire anyone currently chomping at the bit to update their own gardens” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

While the film isn’t quite as dynamic or warming as, say, Sébastien Chabot’s The Gardener about the lush English-style garden of the late Frank Cabot in Charlevoix, Quebec, Five Seasons nevertheless offers a worthwhile lesson on the necessity of green space in public areas” — Pat Mullen, POV Magazine

The Gospel According to André (dir. Kate Novack)

If the world of haute couture is about pushing boundaries, this otherwise entertaining film about one of the industry’s foremost professionals isn’t going far enough” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

Nathalie Atkinson in The Globe and Mail: Kate Novack explains how her new documentary chronicles the rise of fashion insider André Leon Talley, and how that also tells the story of America today

Kayak to Klemtu (dir. Zoe Hopkins)

Makes grand use of its beautiful setting… [however,] frequent attempts at levity aren’t this film’s strong points” — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

It moves along well enough, and younger viewers should respond to Ella’s arc, but grown-ups will quickly realize the movie they’re watching should be a lot better than it is” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

Considering how depressing and trying our world can be, it’s nice to be reminded that films like Kayak to Klemtu still exist” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

Despite aimed at a family audience, it feels simultaneously too manipulative and, at times, too unbelievable” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

Blessed with an idyllic setting on the shores of the Great Bear Rainforest and a righteous pro-environmental message but the impact is undermined by a script that wobbles between earnestness and stilted humour” — Liam Lacey,

The understated direction draws an intimate relationship between Ella and her environment as she discovers the roots of her family and identity” — Pat Mullen, Cinemablographer

Nobody Famous (dir. Sarah Rotella)

A great example of how one can mine passive aggression among “friends” for both laughs and tension” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

On Chesil Beach (dir. Dominic Cooke)

Splendid acting across the board and assured direction by Cooke, a stage veteran making his feature debut” — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

It’s up to the two actors to sell the picture, and they succeed brilliantly, creating a burgeoning relationship that feels so authentic that you root for them on their awkward wedding night” — Glenn Sumi, NOW Magazine

A literary adaptation that feels like it was ported to the big screen by an author who didn’t care much for how his material turned out the first time around” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

A handsome crafted period love story” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

Solo: A Star Wars Story (dir. Ron Howard)

The franchise has become a factory, but the good news is the assembly-line output is still high quality” — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

The first of the new Star Wars movies that never quite makes the jump to lightspeed, which is a little annoying given that it’s about the guy who did that for a living” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

Although it’s probably unnecessary at this point, and it gets off to a rocky start, [it] remains a likable, entertaining bit of Hollywood blockbuster silliness” — Andrew Parker, The Gate

Contains all the elements of a good action movie: Betrayal, love, sacrifice, and exciting set pieces” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

Word is that Ehrenreich struggled with the role for a while during filming, but he is engaging and charismatic. And although he doesn’t really channel Harrison Ford, he does captures the character’s swagger” — Karen Gordon,

Manages moments of greatness while the rest of the film feels, well, forced” — Jason Gorber, Dorkshelf

Inside Out Film Festival

At Toronto-Franco, Gilbert Seah rounds up some selected capsule reviews

At POV Magazine, Pat Mullen reviews the Hurley Haywood documentary Hurley: “As sad as it is empowering

Wrapping Cannes 2018

Cate Blanchett was as good as her word at Cannes 2018, writes Peter Howell in The Toronto Star, recapping the Palme d’Or politics that could have been present

What on earth do you ask Jean-Luc Godard?” writes Brian D. Johnson in The Walrus, recounting his experience FaceTiming with the French filmmaker. An equally confounding director is Terry Gilliam, who Johnson managed to speak to in Cannes about his new feature, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote