Mississippi Grind percolates
Movie review: Mississippi Grind
The team behind Half Nelson and Sugar return with a film about chronic gambling that isn't as depressing as it probably should be, thanks to a pair of pocket kings in Ryan Reynolds and Ben Mendelsohn
A dog movie unleashes emotion in Marrakech
Festivals: Festival International Du Film De Marrakech
Liberated from the Oscar bait vying for her attention in New York, veteran film critic Thelma Adams lets go in the exotic darkness of a Moroccan movie palace
By Thelma Adams
MARRAKECH, MOROCCO -- "Each person dies as best they can," says Julian (Ricardo Darin) in the Spanish-language dramedy Truman, screened out of competition at the Festival International Du Film De Marrakech. Julian is a self-involved and straight-shooting stage actor riddled with cancer and reluctant to go another round with chemo. His best friend Tomas (Javier Camara) travels to Madrid from Montreal for a reluctant reunion. It will likely be their last. In this Spanish-Argentinian co-production there will be tears and tenderness, shared memories and wine bottles, conflicts and revelations – and steamy sex. In Spanish director Cesc Gay's seventh film, there is also a very large, soulful hound named Truman that Julian is seeking to surrender to a new ...
Theeb: A Middle Eastern Western
Movie review: Theeb
Jordan's official nomination for the best foreign film Oscar is a tightly wound adventure story about a Bedouin boy learning how to be a man on the eve of the First World War
Fear and Bloating
Mob Rule: Part 35
Breaking bread on the campaign trail leaves Jack with a stuffed gut and a deeper view of the divide between North and South
By John Armstrong
We left the ranch early the next morning for San Antonio by car with Lyndon, Vanessa, and myself together in one with Otis so he could coach me and fine-tune the speech for that night. We left so fast we took breakfast with us, coffee in jugs and tortillas and scrambled eggs and sausage in tinfoil packages. The cars had shown up that morning before sunrise and the line of black limousines made for a strange motorcade through the scrubby Texas badlands, like a funeral that had badly misread its directions to the churchyard. It was about a four-hour drive and we made San Antonio well before noon, in time to nap and shower. It was going to be a long, hot day – in fact, it already was. We had a DAR picnic with one group at 2 p.m., a church supper at five and two speeches in different locations that night. I read ...
Starting a church of one’s own down South
Mob Rule: Part 34
As the sweat pours down like a late summer thunderstorm, Jack realizes the South makes its own rules that may, or may not, be entirely legal
By John Armstrong
We got back to the ranchhouse in the early afternoon, already so hot you could feel drops of sweat pop up on your body, run down your skin and evaporate before they got to the bottom. Lyndon had lent us cowboy hats for the ride, and I felt a little silly wearing mine until I learned your brains would literally bake without one. I did try fanning myself with it but it was like trying to cool yourself off with the air from a blast furnace and no real relief at all. I fully understood the idea of the siesta now and all I wanted was to lie somewhere in front of a fan with as little clothing as possible. I didn’t even care if Vanessa joined me or not; the idea of anything more strenuous than a nap seemed preposterous. But it was not to be. Bobby, Sydney, and Otis wanted Lyndon and I for a general ...
Wim Wenders finds warmth in Canadian winter
People: Wim Wenders
The German filmmaker says he used stereoscopic 3D technology in Every Thing Will Be Fine, his latest art film about grief and loss, in a bid to bring depth to Quebec's unique landscape
By Katherine Monk
TORONTO – His voice sounds like something straight out of a fairy tale: a soft German accent bending over vowels with a delicate arc and a deep warm tone that seems to echo through hand-milled timber. Even his name, Wim Wenders, feels like a plucky character from a Grimm plot, so the fact that this German auteur has transformed the stark hues and blinding skies of the Canadian landscape into a cozy microcosm feels strangely natural. Every Thing Will Be Fine is Wenders’s 46th film, but it marks a series of firsts: It’s his first film in Canada, his first shoot in winter, and the first time any auteur has used 3D technology in the heady pursuit of an art film. Wenders always thought the technology was used poorly – a point he proved in ...
Love, Actually vs. The Holiday
Podcast: Pop This! Two pop culture experts play amateur marriage counsellors as they dissect the reasons why kindness is so hard to come by, then move straight into a knock-down, drag-out discussion about the merits of Love, Actually and The Holiday.
Featuring Andrea Warner and Lisa Christiansen, Produced by Andrea Gin
Don't say we didn't warn you. This week, the ladies are extra feisty as they weigh the merits of Kate Winslet's response to a question about equal pay, and expand into a larger discussion about the feminist tag -- and how willing, or unwilling, the rich and famous are to wear it. Warner offers surprise thanks to Sarah Palin, then the real battle begins... It's a smackdown between two favoured Christmas rom-coms: Love, Actually and The Holiday. Lisa refers to Love, Actually as 'Hate, Actually' while Warner calls The Holiday "a cold Journey to Hell." The gloves are off -- just so they can warm their fingers by the burning yule log. It's another episode of ...