Film reviews and more

Toronto 2019: Jojo Rabbit takes People’s Choice Award

Despite dividing critics following its world premiere, Jojo Rabbit won over audiences in the public vote: Joker may well have had the last laugh at Venice, but it was Taika Waititi’s Second World War satire that won over audiences in […]

Toronto 2019: Sea Fever review

★★☆☆☆ A creature feature for the environmentalist age, Irish TV and film director Neasa Hardiman’s latest project is a fun and inventive body horror that falls just short of a recommendation. Combining elements from Sphere, Alien and The Thing, Sea […]

Toronto 2019: Jallikattu review

★★★★★ Can violence be contained through ritual? Does sanctioning violence in specific contexts purge the need for its spontaneous outburst? In his seventh feature, Indian director Lijo Jose Pellissery explores the nature of savagery in this […]

Toronto 2019: To the Ends of the Earth review

★★★★☆ Marking the 25th anniversary of diplomacy between Japan and Uzbekistan, Japanese auteur Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s latest is a freewheeling comedy of cultural errors. With J-popstar Atsuko Maeda in the lead as bored TV reporter Yoko, To the […]

Toronto 2019: Blow the Man Down review

★★★★★ Bridget Savage Cole and Danielle Krudy’s debut feature is a haunting tale of buried secrets, sea shanties and fracturing communities. Set among the bleak shacks and sketchy bed and breakfasts of a Maine fishing village, […]

Toronto 2019: 143 Sahara Street review

★★★★☆ With 143 Sahara Street, documentarian Hassen Ferhani takes us to one of the most unlikely places one might expect to find a cafe: the middle of the Algerian desert. On the edge of the dusty road […]

Toronto 2019: Love Me Tender review

★★★☆☆ Tackling issues of mental health and trauma, Swiss-Peruvian director Klaudia Reynicke’s second feature is a strange, charming and occasionally confusing journey into isolation. Love Me Tender is buoyed by an eccentric lead performance from Barbara […]

Toronto 2019: Maria’s Paradise review

★★★☆☆ Zaida Bergroth’s fifth feature is based on the real-life exploits of Maria Åkerblom’s Finnish cult. Although its analysis of the nature of devotion and the intense narcissism that drives cult-like leaders is mostly pretty lightweight, Maria’s […]

Toronto 2019: The Lost Okoroshi review

★★★★☆ Following his 2016 debut Green White Green, Nigerian director Abba Makama returns to the festival circuit with this exploration of heritage, culture and folk memory, seasoned with endearing, offbeat humour and a touch of body horror. The Lost […]

Toronto 2019: #ShareHerJourney, folk memory and belief

As the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) gears up for its 44th year, festival programmers continue to #shareherjourney with 35% of films at the festival made by women. Spirits, folklore and memory are the order […]

Toronto 2018: Green Book wins People’s Choice Award

After garnering rave reviews at Venice, Alfonso Cuarón’s luminously beautiful Roma arrived at the Toronto Film Festival to equal acclaim, but it was Barry Jenkins’ world premiere of If Beale Street Could Talk that garnered the […]

Toronto 2018: Wavelengths and shorts roundup

The focus of the Toronto Film Festival might be on the hundreds of features that grace the screens of the 10-day cinematic celebration, but the many shorts that are showcased at TIFF are also always worth […]

Toronto 2018: Mid90s review

★★★★☆ Who would have thought that the foul-mouthed kid from Superbad would go on to direct one of the year’s best comedy-dramas? Yet here we are with Mid90s, Jonah Hill’s paean to youth, friendship and nostalgia. […]

Toronto 2018: Her Smell review

★★★★☆ Becky Something (Elisabeth Moss), the front woman of punk band Something She, is in trouble. The band once hit the big time, but Becky’s intolerably erratic behaviour has virtually crippled the group and threatens to […]

Toronto 2018: The Death and Life of John F. Donovan review

★☆☆☆☆ In 2006, 11-year-old Rupert Turner (Jacob Tremblay) strikes up a secret epistolary friendship with his TV star hero, John Donovan (Game of Thrones star Kit Harington), before he dies of an overdose, devastating the young […]