TFCA Friday: Week of November 2nd, 2018

November 2, 2018

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

Emerging Critic Award

Are you an aspiring film critic? Announced at our Gala, the TFCA’s Emerging Critic Award is a fellowship and mentorship opportunity. Applications are open and due December 3rd, 2018.

Opening this Week

Bohemian Rhapsody (dir. Bryan Singer)

When all was said and done, Queen just wanted to have fun. Which is why I’m inclined to cut much slack for Singer’s approach” — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

The biopic treatment is not the equal of its subject, but it is still a well-made and loving tribute that will send you scurrying to dig out your old Queen LPs, to remember what all the fuss was about” — Chris Knight, The National Post

This broad, grandiose Freddie Mercury biopic is a mess of contradictions – some subtextual, and some less so” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

A fine fandango, if lacking in narrative thunderbolts and lightning” — High Def Digest

Revives that distinctive Queen sound that worked its way into our cultural consciousness — and it’s still catchy, forty years later” — Anne Brodie, What She Said!

The desire to please audiences results in the film falling into cliché” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

Burning (dir. Lee Chang-dong)

Puzzling romance becomes a full-on mystery, as Jong-su turns detective — or maybe stalker? — in a quest driven by his great hunger that may never be sated… Burning fires up the mind like few other films this year” — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

A soulful, hypnotic drama about a young man who obsessively seeks answers but has no way of grasping that kind of control over his own narrative. It’s also one of the year’s very best films” — Radheyan Simonpillai, NOW Magazine

As it dips into murder-mystery territory, then something more quiet and philosophical, [Lee] writes a story both expected and surprising” — Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail

Stands out for excellent pacing, attention to detail, and the creation of mystery and longing around these characters” — Gilbert Seah, Afro Toronto

Reaches a place of richness and mystery that gets under the skin” — Anne Brodie, What She Said!

A slow burn with a sting that creeps up a day later” — Pat Mullen, Cinemablographer

Homecoming (Amazon Prime Video)

“It’s smart, it’s creepy, it’s unexpectedly moving. I did not see it coming” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (dirs. Lasse Hallström and Joe Johnston)

Even Tchaikovsky is reduced to a minor figure here. His suite is sprinkled teasingly, cruelly, in a movie faking that it can get on fine without the very elements that have made The Nutcracker endure” — Radheyan Simonpillai, NOW Magazine

A dark and decidedly un-holiday-ish outing” — Anne Brodie, What She Said!

Science Fair (dirs. Cristina Costantini and Darren Foster)

A celebration of enthusiasm and discovery, and the idea that smart people can compete with one another without ever getting personal” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

Exactly the kind of safe and pandering documentary that would score audience awards, but even I must admit that as much as I hated the movie in its first act, Science Fair won me over” — Pat Mullen, POV Magazine

Exposure to Science Fair‘s young subjects will make you feel so very, very stupid. Which is fine, because Costantini and Foster aren’t interested in inspiring academic jealousy so much as they are in drilling down on the importance of nurturing youthful brilliance” — Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail

Will give you hope for the future!” — Anne Brodie, What She Said!

A pleasurable, easy, yet inspirational watch” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

The Raft (dir. Marcus Lindeen)

Offers a fascinating study in the dynamics of power and control, particularly as they pertain to gender” — Pat Mullen, POV Magazine

Suspiria (dir. Luca Guadagnino)

No peaches were harmed in the making of Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria” — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

Luca Guadagnino’s Suspiria is not Dario Argento’s Suspiria, and that’s okay. But it’s not anything else, either. It’s just there, and that’s not enough” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

Beautiful, gross, overwhelming, frustrating, disturbing, powerful, long, gross, audacious, baffling, explicit, extravagant and did I mention gross?” — Barry Hertz, The Globe and Mail

Guadagnino’s version is in every frame a counter-reaction to Argento’s vision. While the original was bright and gaudy, this one is cool and dank” — Jason Gorber, High Def Digest

It might be painful to die-hard Suspiriafans, but it becomes something better and beautiful by the film’s end” — Pat Mullen, Cinemablographer

Takes all the fun out of the original horror classic” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

Take Light (dir. Shasha Nakhai)

Looks at the state of the electrical grid in Nigeria, where over half of the population lives without a consistent supply of electricity… it flows elegantly, tying data to human stories rather than cold statistics” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

There are no experts, no talking heads and no policy wonks. Just ordinary people who live in frequent darkness” — Pat Mullen, POV Magazine

Few films provide this glimpse inside the country of Nigeria and her people” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

The Disconnect Between Movies and Reality

In the Toronto Star, Peter Howell writes on the strange feeling when events and stories you actually lived through begin to show up at your local multiplex

Revisiting F For Fake

In POV Magazine, Liam Lacey looks back at Orson Welles’ tricky film, examining its depiction of women