Category Archives: TIFF Toronto International Film Festival

TIFF FILM REVIEW: Armando Iannucci’s ‘The Death of Stalin’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – Having savaged British and American politics on television with “The Thick of It” and “VEEP”, Armando Iannucci turns his wickedly satirical eye on Russia with a perceptive and hilarious depiction of what might have happened … Continue reading

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: Darren Aronofsky’s ‘mother!’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – Darren Aronofsky’s “mother!” is pure hokum but it is very enjoyable hokum, a tub-thumping thriller with a gorgeous young woman (Jennifer Lawrence) spiralling into all kinds of fiendish and inexplicable horror. It’s completely pointless but, … Continue reading

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: Saul Dibb’s ‘Journey’s End’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – Saul Dibb’s film version of R.C. Sherriff’s “Journey’s End”, a drama about soldiers at the front line of trench warfare, is a valiant attempt but possibly simply because it is a film, it lacks the … Continue reading

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: Alexander Payne’s ‘Downsizing’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – Alexander Payne’s “Downsizing” is a science-fiction tale that mixes whimsy with social commentary in constantly surprising ways but with ideas so scattershot that they never adhere as a satisfying drama. His filmmaking is so imaginative, … Continue reading

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: Stephen Frears’s ‘Victoria and Abdul’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – That Judy Dench stars as the venerable English queen in “Victoria and Albert” tells you all you need to know about what to expect from another tale of one of the widowed monarch’s odd friendships. … Continue reading

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: George Clooney’s ‘Suburbicon’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – Joyless, witless and pointless, “Suburbicon” is a would-be black comedy that is simply murky and not in the least comic. It boasts some big names – director George Clooney, stars Matt Damon and Julianne Moore … Continue reading

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: Dee Rees’s ‘Mudbound’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO: “Mudbound” is set in the Mississippi Delta in the 1940s but with torrential rain, deeply ingrained racial hostility and changes wrought by World War II, it’s no treat to beat your feet. Two poor families – … Continue reading

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FILM REVIEW: Damien Chazelle’s ‘La La Land’

By Ray Bennett Damien Chazell’s musical fantasy “La La Land” starts badly but evolves into a sweet little film for romantics thanks largely to winning performances by Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling. A tale of two dreamers whose ambitions in … Continue reading

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TIFF2016: Women lead the way at Toronto fest

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – The big talking point at the 41st annual Toronto International Film Festival, which ended Sunday, was the sheer number of films that featured high-profile performances by women. Around 400 titles were screened at the shindig, … Continue reading

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: Gemma Arterton in ‘Their Finest’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – Lone Scherfig’s “Their Finest” is a crowd-pleasing British World War II comedy that tells of a hapless group of filmmakers at work on a morale-boosting movie with outstanding performances by Gemma Arterton and Bill Nighy … Continue reading

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