TFCA Friday – Week of September 29th, 2017

September 29, 2017

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

Reviews and features by: Liam Lacey (LL), Norm Wilner (NW), Peter Howell (PH), Gilbert Seah (GS), Tina Hassannia (TH), Radheyan Simonpillai (RS), Nathalie Atkinson (NA).

Opening this Week

American Made (dir. Doug Liman)

Just when it seems it may be time to close the book on Tom Cruise’s acting career, something comes along to suggest new chapters are possible” — PH

A fun satire about how ridiculous the US Government can be” — RS

There’s nothing to do but wait for the whole thing to fall apart, and track the fallout once it does. … Then again, maybe that’s just because I’m old enough to remember the details of the affair” — NW

Do Donkeys Act? (dirs. David Redmon, Ashley Sabin)

By letting us reach our own conclusions about the meanings of various interactions between people and beasts, the film creates space for a contemplation of animal consciousness and human responsibility—it’s remarkable” — NW

Everything you wanted to know (about donkeys) that happens inside a donkey sanctuary” — GS

Ridonkulously good” — LL

Don’t Talk to Irene (dir. Pat Mills)

A small picture with modest ambitions, but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing” — NW

A cute story with rude comedy” — RS

Despite the story’s limitations, the film benefits from the sly humour of its writer/director” — GS

The Midwife (dir. Martin Provost)

Of course, no matter what role she is playing, Deneuve is inescapably still Deneuve” — LL

Frot and Deneuve exhibit good chemistry playing contrasting confrontational personalities—[it’s what] makes the film work, despite the simple plot” — GS

Victoria and Abdul (dir. Stephen Frears)

Frears, usually more fearless in his filmmaking, seems reluctant to speculate too freely about this odd couple” — PH

A little colonialism with your chai latte” — RS

These kind of films are often humorous, handsomely mounted, well-acted… but unfortunately, forgettable” — GS

White Night (dirs. Dan Slater, Matt Purdy, Brian Hamilton, P.H. Bergeron, Sonny Atkins)

Set from sundown to sunrise on Nuit Blanche, White Night … follows seven characters as they wander around downtown Toronto. … It mostly works” — NW

Woodshock (dirs. Kate and Laura Mulleavy)

Calling it a “cannabis-infused journey,” Nathalie Atkinson spoke with one half of the minds behind fashion label Rodarte about their quasi-secret feature film project

Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s stellar moral compass

Tina Hassannia on the television show that conveys “a rare optimism to fuel its socially progressive science-fiction”

North by North West on Stage

Reporting from the new stage adaptation, Peter Howell writes about how a potentially “foolhardy” production turned out much better than expected