TFCA Friday: Week of September 1st, 2017

September 1, 2017

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

Reviews and features by: Andrew Parker (AP), Karen Gordon (KG), Kate Taylor (KT), Liam Lacey (LL), Norm Wilner (NW), Barry Hertz (BH), Peter Howell (PH), Gilbert Seah (GS), and Chris Knight (CK).

Opening this Week

Blood Honey (dir. Jeff Kopas)

Does not merit any other comparison to Seven beyond the idea that it might someday be remembered as “that movie with the weird sex scene and also Don McKellar,” though it’s probably generous to assume it’ll be remembered at all” — NW

Pardon the astronomical metaphor, but watching a movie that has no atmosphere is like living on Mars. Blood Honey, from Canadian director Jeff Kopas, sometimes seems to be nothing but atmosphere; it’s like living on Venus” — CK

Kopas says that his film is influenced by by classic old school thrillers such as Rosemary’s Baby, Vertigo, The Shining, and Jacob’s Ladder. This might be true but the film never reaches those heights or even remotely close” — GS

If I were marketing it, I’d probably just call it Revenge of the Drones and see who shows up” — LL

Tulip Fever (dir. Justin Chadwick)

Tulips and market forces scuttled the film early in its life. In 2004, it was set to shoot in England, with Keira Knightley and Jude Law starring, John Madden directing, and 12,000 tulips in little pots, ready for their close-ups. Then the British government closed a film tax loophole, the budget evaporated, and the film wilted” — CK on why the film has been mysteriously held from critics

Stoppard’s famed wit is largely undetectable, and the narrative momentum thwarted by choppy editing choices. There’s a come-and-go voice-over narration that’s supposed to tie the story parts together but doesn’t really help” — LL

Awfully disappointing for a movie that’s been sitting on a shelf for the last three years. You want it to be either hopelessly bad or a secret masterpiece, and all you get is generic all-star period piffle shot all too obviously on a London soundstage” — NW

Viceroy’s House (dir. Gurinder Chadha)

Turns the heartbreak and bloodshed of Indian partition in 1947 into a lush costume drama full of political intrigue and melodramatic romance in this not-entirely successful mix of Bollywood and Merchant-Ivory conventions” — KT

The Calm Before the Storm: TIFF 2017 Pre-Coverage

Light on time? Andrew Parker has 40 short film recommendations for you to briefly peruse

Meanwhile, Gilbert Seah has begun rolling out selected capsule reviews of TIFF’s feature films

But wait! Karen Gordon went on CBC’s Metro Morning to chat TIFF (audio)

And! Barry Hertz charts the next four months of everybody’s favourite time of year: Awards season!

Finally, Peter Howell has a close re-encounter with a UFO movie classic