What is Witty Watching?

TIFF 2016 Review Part 3
September 15, 2016

My life has become movies, movies and more movies and I love it.

Here are the latest that I have seen at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival:

#12. The Oath

Baltasar Kormakur wrote, directed and stars in this film about a father who will do anything to protect his daughter. Set in Iceland Mr. Komakur calls this movie the ‘Anti-Taken’ yet he has brought to the screen a vision that proves that ‘a particular set of skills’ can be something as simple as a fathers undying love.

Grade: B

#13. Nocturnal Animals

From the moment this film begins director Tom Ford has the audience in the palm of his hand. He creates astonishing imagery and shows us that this is not going to be a ‘cookie cutter’ movie. The story revolves around a successful art dealer, played exceptionally well by Amy Adams, and a novel that she has been sent to read by someone from her past.
Long after leaving the theatre this movie will stay with you.

Grade: B+

#14. I Am the Pretty Thing that Lives in the House

By the title I honestly thought this movie was about a ‘Trophy Wife’. In actuality it’s a horror movie or an attempt at one. This movie is heading to Netflix which is probably a good thing as it wasn’t very entertaining and you shouldn’t pay $12 to see it. Ruth WIlson plays a nurse caring for an elderly lady and of course weird things start happening. I said weird, not original.

Grade: D+

#15. Maiglutit () Searchers

If you ask most people will tell you that Zacharias Kunuk’s ‘Antanarjuat’ is the best Canadian film ever made. He returns to the festival with this story of a husband and father who is in pursuit of the men who destroyed his home and kidnapped his family.
The cinematography in this movie is amazing as the Arctic scenery makes for a great backdrop.

Grade: B+

#16. La La Land

Damien Chazelle (Whiplash) returns to TIFF with this new movie that focusses on two people (Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling) trying to make it in LA. The movie was entertaining and just when it seemed to be going into a lull it had a phenomenal ending sequence. Mr. Chazelle has created a very entertaining movie that gets your senses working.
And did I mention it’s a musical?

Grade; B+

#17 Arrival

Denis Villeneuve (Sicario) is back with this new movie about UFO’s mysteriously appearing across the world. Amy Adams stars as an expert in languages who is brought in to attempt communications with these beings.
Mr. Villeneuve’s movies always seem to have fantastic sound. From the score to the overall sound of the movie. That being said, when the best thing about a movie is its sound that usually isn’t a great thing.
I found this to be a mix of ‘Signs’ and ‘Interstellar’. A decent movie but not his best.

Grade: C+

#18. Sully

When you have a 4 hour break between films what do you do? You go to the nearest theatre and see something else. This depiction of Captain Chesley Sullenberger is a decent film. Directed by Clint Eastwood it recounts the events where ‘Sully’ had to stage an emergency landing in the most unique circumstances.
Tom Hanks is the driving force behind this movie. His performance, which may very well gain him another Oscar nomination, is once again flawless. As far as the movie is concerned, I found it short and it could have given us more info on the Captain himself. Aaron Eckhart did a great job as Sully’ first officer.

Grade: B

#19. The Bad Batch

The programming team of TIFF do a phenomenal job of bringing great movies to the Festival. I’m sure its not an easy job and once in a while they don’t get it right. This was the worst movie I’ve seen at the Festival. It starts off with violence but violence for the sake of being violence.
Jason Momoa is the star of this movie and I can only hope the people behind ‘Aquaman’ give him better material to work with. Jim Carrey (who had one funny bit), Keanu Reeves and Giovani Ribisi are all wasted in this film. It’s called a ‘Dystopian Love Story’. I call it a waste of your time.
The saddest part of the movie was when the lady beside me woke up from her nap and I had to break the news that it wasn’t over.

Grade: D-

#20. Manchester by the Sea

Casey Affleck shines in film written and directed by Kenneth Longerman. Affleck plays Lee Chandler, a man dealing with a loss and how it affects his life. Mr. Affleck consistently turns out fantastic work and this is no exception. The script writing is fantastic and I found this film very enjoyable.

Grade: B+


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