The parents and children of TIFF
Three movies the the Toronto film festival present different versions of the cinematic parent — Interfering Mother, Distant Father — with varying success
By Jay Stone
TORONTO — It was parent-and-child day at the Toronto International Film Festival, which is always interesting for those of us who are parents and wonder which of several cinematic categories we might fall into: Distant Father, Interfering Mother, Demanding Taskmaster (or –mistress), Indifferent Hippie or Kooky Eccentric. I think that’s all of them. We began with a terrific little coming-of-age title called Lady Bird, starring Saoirse Ronan — heroine of yesterday’s movie marathon and providing further proof here that she can do no wrong — as a rebellious high school student growing up in terrifyingly unhip Sacramento, Calif. She laughs with her best friend, dumps the friend for some new rich kids, dumps the rich kids for the old friend, meets a couple of boys who are variou...
John Madden hits home with Miss Sloan
Interview: John Madden on Miss Sloane
The director of Shakespeare in Love says casting Jessica Chastain as a shrewd, morally ambiguous D.C. lobbyist was the best way to expose the ugliness of modern politics
By Katherine Monk
WHISTLER, BC – John Madden doesn’t want to get bogged down by the F-word: Feminism has so much ancillary luggage, too many awkward hard edges to cram into the narrative anchovy tin called a feature film. Yet, Miss Sloane, the latest film from the Academy Award-nominated director of Shakespeare in Love points a laser beam at the modern female experience. A D.C.-set (Toronto-shot) thriller starring Jessica Chastain as the title character, Miss Sloane offers a close-up view of the lobbyist’s reality. Watching from a slightly distanced perspective, the viewer picks up the trail of professional lobbyist Elizabeth Sloane just as she embarks on a career move that will change her life forever. Madden was reluctant to give away too many details about his ...
Xavier the Great crushes Cannes skeptics
News: Xavier Dolan wins Grand Prix, Ecumenical Prize at Cannes 2016
Quebec's golden boy picks up second-highest honour at Cannes, but his quest for the coveted golden palm continues, as does his battle with critics
By Katherine Monk
He didn’t win the Palme D’Or, but Xavier Dolan’s double win at this year’s Cannes Film Festival marks the best performance by a Canadian on the Croisette since Atom Egoyan scored a triple with The Sweet Hereafter back in 1997. Dolan won the Grand Prix and the Ecumenical Prize for his latest film Juste la fin du mode (It’s Only the End of the World), a drama that follows a writer with a terminal illness on his final journey home. Based on the stage play by the late Jean-Luc Lagarce, It’s Only the End of the World is Dolan’s sixth feature, and fifth title to be invited to France’s red carpet extravaganza. “Dolan’s two latest awards at Cannes are renewed recognition of his immense talent, of course, but also of the determined ...
TIFF report: So far, so exciting
It’s easy to find things to love at the Toronto film festival, especially if you let Alfred Hitchcock be your guide through the movie magic, writes Jay Stone
By Jay Stone
TORONTO — On the sidewalk of John Street, just around the corner from the theatre where most of the Toronto International Film Festival movies are screened, someone has stenciled the instruction, “Find out what you love and let it kill you.” It’s a line from Charles Bukowski — who found out that he loved alcohol, then died of it, thus proving the authenticity of his advice, if not the wisdom — and it’s an ideal motto for TIFF, where, if you’re not done in by the pace of the films or the parties, you’re also tempted by the unlimited free doughnuts in the hospitality suite of EOne, the distributor that runs a must-visit salon on a high floor of the nearby Intercontinental Hotel. Mmmm. Doughnuts. I mean, Movies. It’s also ...
New on DVD Blu-ray and VOD this week: Fifty Shades, Mr. Turner, Selma and more
Dakota Johnson body-paints Fifty Shades of meh, Mr. Turner finds brilliance with Mike Leigh's detailed strokes, Anna Kendrick's Last Five Years feels like eternity and David Oyelowo leads slow march to selfhood. Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) Two stars out of five. Starring Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Jennifer Ehle, Marcia Gay Harden, Callum Keith Rennie. Directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson. Running time: 125 minutes. MPAA Rating: Restricted It’s bad – and not in that sexy, forbidden, taboo-breaking good way. This adaptation of E.L. James’s inexplicable bestseller features some of the most self-conscious sex scenes since Eyes Wide Shut, only without the rubbernecking thrill of seeing Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman in boudoir mode. Dakota Johnson plays Anastasia Steele, a college student who interviews a secretive billionaire in his soaring office tower in the first scene, only to end up on her back, front and side by the climax. It’s all endlessly kitschy and impossibly ...