2/25/2017

Oscar Party Playlist

Sandra Huller belts out some Whitney Houston in Toni Erdmann
Sony Pictures Classics
Ballots printed ☑
Popcorn popped ☑
Bubbly on ice ☑
Oscar noms prepared ☑


2/24/2017

Oscars Predictions: Final Round - Another Day of Sun

Ryan Gosling in Oscar's next Best Picture winner, La La Land
It’s the final few hours of award season! This year has ample speculation that the circus in the land of Lady Liberty will inspire the Oscars to get political. At the very least, a few of the speeches are bound to be good TV.

Contest! Win Passes to See 'Bitter Harvest'!


Canadian director George Mendeluk returns with the sweeping historical drama Bitter Harvest. Starring Max Irons, Samantha Barks, and Terrence Stamp, Bitter Harvest dramatizes the fight of rural Ukrainians standing up to the devastating campaign launched by Joseph Stalin and the Soviet Union. Bitter Harvest opens in theatres March 3 from D Films and we have run of engagement passes to see the film in theatres! Answer the trivia below for your chance to win!

2/22/2017

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner: Royal Wedding


A United Kingdom
(UK/USA, 110 min.)
Dir. Amma Asante, Writ. Guy Hibbert
Starring: David Oyelowo, Rosamund Pike, Jack Davenport, Tom Felton, Lady Edith
David Oyelowo as Seretse Khama and Rosamund Pike as Ruth Williams in A United Kingdom.
Photo by Stanislav Honzik, courtesy Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation.
The newspapers call Ruth Williams “The White Queen” as they flash on the screen in A United Kingdom. These headlines don’t serve as compliments. They are slurs.


2/20/2017

Watch Oscar Nominee 'Blind Vaysha'

Courtesy of the NFB
In the spirit of the category, let's keep this short and sweet: watch the Oscar-nominated and Canadian Screen Award-nominated Blind Vaysha for free thanks to the NFB!


2/19/2017

TIFF Next Wave Review: '1:54'


1:54
(Canada, 105 min.)
Written and directed by Yan England, Writ.
Starring: Antoine Olivier Pilon, Sophie Nélisse, Lou-Pascal Tremblay, David Boutin, Patrice Godin, Robert Naylor, Anthony Therrien, Guillaume Gauthier
Les Films Séville
Mommy star Antoine Olivier Pilon delivers another strong and bold performance with his turn as Tim, a shy and closeted teen in 1:54. The young actor delivers on the promise and the high bar set by his award-winning turn in the Xavier Dolan drama. 1:54 is another entry in the queer Quebec canon as Pilon’s character wrestles with his identity while struggling with a two-fold loss: his best friend and unrequited love, Francis (Robert Naylor). As both a coming of age/coming out of the closet film and study in contemporary cyberbullying, this relevant teen-set drama is a mature snapshot of the challenges facing contemporary youths.

2/16/2017

Memo to the Academy: For Your Consideration


Time for the Academy to consider worthy nominees! Pictured: Amy Adams in Arrival
The ballots are in the mail as the race enters the final stretch! Best Picture seems like a done deal for La La Land, and that’s just fine by me, but this season offered one surprise after another beginning with the Golden Globe win for Moonlight just after Aaron Taylor-Johnson snuck past favourite Mahersala Ali that same night. Isabelle Huppert knocked out Natalie Portman at the Globes, then Denzel Washington and Hidden Figures shook up the SAG Awards before Dev Patel and Lion roared at the BAFTAs. With the exception of Best Supporting Actress—Viola Davis has that in the bag for her work in Fences—some races might be closer than we think. On that note, it’s time to send the annual memo to the Academy to vote with their heads—and hearts—for a few contenders that deserve the gold.

2/15/2017

TIFF Next Wave Review: 'Before the Streets'


Before the Streets (Avant les rues)
(Canada, 97 min.)
Written and directed by Chloé Leriche
Starring: Rykko Bellemarre, Kwena Bellemare-Boivin, Jacques Newashish, Martin Dubreuil
Every year as of late, the Canadian Academy nominates a completely random movie for Best Picture that flew under the radars of most of us covering the Canadian film beat. Demons barely saw life until it was a Canada’s Top Ten pick, Cast No Shadow invited a collective “huh?” when it scored four nominations, and the ever-confounding call for Maïna despite the film not screening at any qualifying festival can, for better or for worse, draw attention to a film that squeaked by us. (Or flagrantly chose to cheat the system, in the latter case.)


2/10/2017

Oscar Live Action Shorts Highlight Connection and Inclusion


La Femme et le TGV
Shorts HC
The five films in this year’s pack of Oscar-nominated live action shorts are a lengthy bunch. They’re good, mind you, but with four of ’em each coming in at nearly half an hour, the full programme is akin to binge-watching a few weeks’ worth of a sitcom, except that only two of them are comedies.

2/09/2017

Oscar Animated Shorts: Canuck Nominees Lead Field


Blind Vaysha.
Courtesy of the NFB.
Canada goes for gold in this year’s Oscar race for Best Animated Short. Two of the five nominees are Canuck cartoons and they’re easily the most unique films of the bunch. Let’s build to the best, though, and save the homegrown talent for last.

2/08/2017

Contest! Win 'The Edge of Seventeen' on Blu-ray!


Fall in love all over again with one of last year’s hidden gems, The Edge of Seventeen. (Read the Cinemablographer interview with the Edge of Seventeen team here.) This refreshing comedy from newcomer Kelly Fremon Craig and producer James L. Brooks boasts a never better Hailee Steinfeld in a performance that earned her a Golden Globe nomination. The Edge of Seventeen is coming soon to home video from VVS Films and Cinemablographer has Blu-rays to give away to luck readers! Answer the trivia below for your chance to win!

It's Miller Time for Asghar Farhadi


The Salesman (Forushande)
(Iran/France, 125 min.)
Written and directed by Asghar Farhadi
Starring: Shahab Hosseini, Taraneh Alidoosti
Shahab Hosseini & Taraneh Alidoosti in The Salesman directed by Asghar Farhadi
Elevation Pictures
It's Miller Time for Asghar Farhadi. The Oscar winning director of A Separation returns with this sparse parable that draws upon the beloved American play Death of a Salesman. Opening in theatres with the news that Farhadi won’t be attending the Oscars due to President Trump’s outrageous Muslim ban, this nominee for Best Foreign Language Film benefits from hitting screens when viewers must be willing to open themselves up when the powers that be are closing borders to entire pockets of the world. This demanding and at times painfully slow film asks a lot of a viewer to disentangle Farhadi's play with Miller's text. The Salesman might be an exercise in patience, but it is also a necessary essay on compassion.


2/06/2017

Less is More in 'The Red Turtle'


The Red Turtle
(France/Belgium/Japan, 80 min.)
Dir. Michael Dudok de Wit, Writ. Michael Dudok de Wit, Pascal Ferran
Sony Pictures Classics
The Red Turtle is a masterful example of how less can be more. This Academy Award nominee for Best Animated Feature and new Studio Ghibli film—the first international co-production from the Japanese animation empire—takes a very simple story and delivers it with breathtaking modesty. Director Michael Dudok de Wit unfurls a timeless fable in which a young man finds himself shipwrecked and stranded on an island—and nary a word of dialogue aside from a “Hey!” and a mumble here or there. Without anyone to help him until a large mythical red turtle comes ashore, the man is left to survive without so much as a volleyball named Wilson. The Red Turtle is storytelling in its purest and most basic form.


2/02/2017

If Men Are From Mars...


The Space Between Us
(USA, 120 min.)
Dir. Peter Chelsom, Writ. Allan Loeb
Starring: Asa Butterfield, Britt Robertson, Carla Gugino, Gary Oldman
Britt Robertson and Asa Butterfield star in The Space Between Us.
VVS Films
Interplanetary romance is a claim that few can make, no matter how alien one’s ex-lover might be. If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, then a relationship between a Martian and an Earthling isn’t too farfetched. There’s less space between the red dot in the sky and the blue one, compared to the red and the yellow.


2/01/2017

What Were They Smoking?


Bad Seeds (Les mauvaises herbes)
(Canada, 105 min.)
Dir. Louis Bélanger, Writ. Louis Bélanger, Alexis Martin
Starring: Alexis Martin, Gilles Renaud, Emmanuelle Lussier Martinez
 
Alexis Martin in Les mauvaises herbes.
Les Films Séville
Screenie voters, roll up your ballots and toke a fatty. Some members of the Academy must have been blintzed while casting their votes their year. What were they smoking?