TFCA Friday: Week of September 28th, 2018

September 28, 2018

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

Opening this Week

Anthropocene: The Human Epoch (dirs. Jennifer Baichwal, Nicolas de Pencier, and Edward Burtynsky)

To say that there are no easy answers to planetary woes is to state the obvious. But the film seeks to reveal rather than lecture, in the hope that our eyes will convince our brains to act before it’s too late” — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

Brings the signature lyricism of the Baichwal / Burtynsky /de Pencier oeuvre as the stimulating cinematography implores one to look at the world anew” — Pat Mullen, POV Magazine

A spectacular film — Baichwal’s best of her trilogy. She has spent an immense amount of time on research and travels resulting in this magnificent educational documentary” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

At Original-Cin, Jim Slotek talks to the directors on what could cause geology textbooks around the world to become obsolete overnight

Bad Reputation (dir. Kevin Kerslake)

Establishes Joan Jett’s fantastic reputation as a singer, songwriter, and performer of a changing generation” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

Colette (dir. Wash Westmoreland)

Purists may cavil, but only if they insist on overlooking the abundant charms of this handsomely decorated, costumed and scored production, which has more than a whiff of Merchant and Ivory films about it and also a good deal of self-aware amusement” — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

This biopic of France’s best-selling female author is packed with flaws, but star Keira Knightley carries it off with panache” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

The story of a female writer trying to find her voice in fin-de-siècle Paris has a refreshing sense of relevance, while retaining its breezy nostalgic tone” — Chris Knight, The National Post

Le Belle Epoque doesn’t seem so long ago in this movie. And Colette, at least as portrayed here, has a spirit that endures” — Jim Slotek, Original-Cin

Giving the impression of being totally staged and manipulative, the film gets more monotonous [as it drags on]” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

Audio:Very satisfying … gives you a sense of what women went through at these great turning points in history” — Karen Gordon, CBC

Hold the Dark (dir. Jeremy Saulnier)

It looks great, but it doesn’t say anything. And given the quality of Saulnier’s previous films, that makes Hold The Dark a real disappointment” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine

A whole mess of things are amiss, and the longer you stick with [it], the more you’ll realize that when a local cop says, “I’m not convinced the answers exist,” he’s speaking for all of us” — Chris Knight, The National Post

[The] eruption into massacre-level violence is jarring. Once it takes hold, it is relentless and gruelling” — Jim Slotek, Original-Cin

Over-the-top in violence, but still an apt thriller” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

Lizzie (dir. Craig William Macneill)

Operates as a so-so thriller and a not-so historical document, more concerned with the prurient details of the murder – like was the culprit naked perchance? – than with a full examination of the case” — Chris Knight, The National Post

Hampered by a stilted, on-the-nose script, a clangorous horror-movie score and Craig William Macneill’s third-act direction which can accurately be described as ‘choppy’”  — Liam Lacey, Original-Cin

Noah Greenberg’s lush cinematography captures the period atmosphere of the times and the claustrophobic imprisonment of the girls” — Gilbert Seah, Festival Reviews

Audio: “Small, quiet, had me thinking long after I left the theatre” — Karen Gordon, CBC

Minding the Gap (dir. Bing Liu)

While this is an autobiographical story about a young aspiring filmmaker and his skateboarding crew, it also speaks volumes about contemporary rust-belt USA, masculinity and abuse, weaving its themes and characters around scenes of the boys sailing through the near-empty streets” — Liam Lacey, Original-Cin

Liu goes there, showing his friends at their highest and lowest, and the intimate proximity of the camera between the subjects, and ultimately himself, proves transformative. Minding the Gap is intimate and personal filmmaking at its finest” — Pat Mullen, POV Magazine

My Generation (dir. David Batty)

The prospect of viewing yet another documentary about Baby Boomers, Swinging London and the 1960s could prompt hallucinations even in people who aren’t on LSD. What’s left to say about history’s most ardent navel-gazers?” — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star

When it’s unearthing little moments like that, or focusing on Caine’s own story – contrasting images of his younger self with the actor today for jump-cuts through half a century – My Generation is a charming little diversion” — Norm Wilner, NOW Magazine”

An enjoyable 85-minute archival immersion in the visual and musical culture of swinging London in the 1960s” — Liam Lacey, Original-Cin

One might take the success of a star like Caine for granted, but My Generation offers a valuable reminder to audiences not to judge the potential or dreams of others. Everyone deserves a fair shot” — Pat Mullen, POV Magazine

Night School (dir. Malcolm D. Lee)

Appears to have been the result of a back-of-the-envelope calculation: Tiffany Haddish + Kevin Hart + Girls Trip director Malcolm D. Lee = comedy gold. The equation doesn’t add up” — Peter Howell, The Toronto Star