Georgia Straight

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Grand Unified Theory (2016) Adrian Mack ... this Theory really works because Ray obviously loves his characters and, sure enough, so do we. EDIT
Posted Dec 21, 2020
The Last Vermeer (2019) Craig Takeuchi The majority of the tale -- which is compelling in itself -- is played out with a sombre and dutiful seriousness (Bang included) which undermines its complex underpinnings of intrigue. EDIT
Posted Nov 23, 2020
The Donut King (2020) Craig Takeuchi Not all of these elements sit comfortably together, based upon the film's structure and some rushed tonal transitions. Yet it's the strength of the story, and its twists, that sustains the piece, and it's a laudable effort. EDIT
Posted Nov 20, 2020
Major Arcana (2018) Craig Takeuchi In a time period without any shortage of troubles, it's therapeutic to watch someone attempt to build a new life out of the collapsed mess of an old one, regardless of whatever life unexpectedly throws in the way. EDIT
Posted Oct 26, 2020
Penny Slinger: Out of the Shadows (2017) Craig Takeuchi It's not a complete picture of the artist, but provides a strong foundation for further considerations of her significance in the world of visual art. EDIT
Posted Oct 21, 2020
My Prince Edward (2020) Craig Takeuchi What initially appears to be a light drama about relationships peppered with comedic touches eschews typical romcom routes and gives way to a deeper search for personal freedom and independence amid societal demands. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2020
I Am Greta (2020) Kelsey Adams I Am Greta director Nathan Grossman captures the humanity of her larger-than-life tale with an unnervingly close look into her interior life. EDIT
Posted Oct 16, 2020
So Pretty (2019) Craig Takeuchi The wonderfully light ebb and flow of this visual poem reflects how ephemeral moments and interpersonal spaces are created, pass by, and vanish. EDIT
Posted Oct 12, 2020
Tapeworm (2019) Adrian Mack Tapeworm's deadpan tone is the real attraction here, climaxing with a cosmically cruel punch line... EDIT
Posted Oct 7, 2020
Nina Wu (2019) Charlie Smith Wu, who wrote the screenplay, remains utterly compelling throughout -- deeply troubled with plenty of mood swings -- while leaving the source of her angst a mystery. EDIT
Posted Sep 28, 2020
King: A Filmed Record... Montgomery to Memphis (1970) Brian Lynch This celluloid monument earns every minute of its three-hour running time. EDIT
Posted Sep 23, 2020
4/5 The Columnist (2020) Alysha Prasad The Columnist is chock-full of dark humour and a big middle finger to those who participate in online bullying. EDIT
Posted Aug 18, 2020
Crash (1996) Janet Smith The film is still eerily prescient about the way technology numbs us. Some of Crash's near-surgical aesthetic and harder-edged sex feel more stuck in the '90s. But the fetishized car culture? It's still very much with us. EDIT
Posted Aug 18, 2020
Ash (2019) Craig Takeuchi [A] haunting, unsettling psychological drama. EDIT
Posted Aug 5, 2020
Arab Blues (2020) Janet Smith Selma, so magnetically inhabited by Farahani, is a very different kind of female character than we're used to seeing from the Arab world: strong, complex, happy to be single, and equal parts wry, smart, and anxious. EDIT
Posted Jul 30, 2020
Piano to Zanskar (2018) Janet Smith The result is a breathtakingly shot journey where the piano seems in constant peril. EDIT
Posted Jul 27, 2020
Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful (2020) Janet Smith As this spirited bio pic reveals, the reality of the man and his work is infinitely more complex. Like sex itself, it's complicated. EDIT
Posted Jul 20, 2020
American Woman (2019) Janet Smith Chau is strong enough to bring a compelling new perspective to this bizarre chapter of history -- and to the entire idea of the identity of the "American woman". EDIT
Posted Jul 6, 2020
Keepers of the Magic (2016) Ken Eisner An endlessly fascinating, if initially somewhat disorganized, tour of key image makers of the past 50 years. EDIT
Posted Jun 16, 2020
Landfall (2020) Janet Smith Aldarondo's impressionistic, kaleidoscopic take offers a more accurate picture of the chaos than any standard narrated documentary ever could. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2020
() Janet Smith Aside from capturing the miracle of birth from every possible angle, the film offers an unfussy, keenly observed look at a messy situation. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2020
Forget Me Not (2019) Janet Smith Social strictures leave a legacy of pain that forever links child and parent, and you'll feel it viscerally long after the film ends. EDIT
Posted Jun 12, 2020
The King of Staten Island (2020) Janet Smith Maybe it's just that the film has caught the same laid-back listlessness of its antihero, refusing to work too hard for laughs. There's heart here, but not a lot of energy. EDIT
Posted Jun 10, 2020
Girltrash: All Night Long (2014) Craig Takeuchi The film would benefit from living out, rather than talking about, the message it espouses. EDIT
Posted May 21, 2020
Listen Up Philip (2014) Ken Eisner An odd vagueness of intention dissipates the energy of this initially bracing study of a novelist. EDIT
Posted May 6, 2020
Kung Fu Jungle (2014) Mike Usinger This is martial-arts moviemaking for purists, the emphasis on speed-fuelled combat between fighters for whom honour trumps all. EDIT
Posted Mar 20, 2020
Beanpole (2019) Ken Eisner The movie's fluid camerawork, set detail, and deeply saturated greens and shocking reds help mitigate the gloom. And the acting is top-notch, especially considering that most of the players are non-professionals. EDIT
Posted Mar 13, 2020
() Janet Smith The poetic, mystical touches that have made B.C. Métis artist Marie Clements's plays so striking find vivid new expression on film. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2020
To Live to Sing (2019) Ken Eisner It's essentially a "let's put on a show to save our beloved roller rink" story, given fresh life in a classical setting. Mainly, it gives us a chance to observe the quirky relationships between the players. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2020
Hope Gap (2019) Ken Eisner There's considerable wit on display, but little in the way of character detail and background that would distinguish this marital breakdown from countless others. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2020
The Whistlers (2019) Ken Eisner A delightful mixtape of a movie you'll want to whistle along with more than once. EDIT
Posted Mar 12, 2020
Greed (2019) Ken Eisner It's a testimony to Coogan's comic talents and our unhealthy fascination with unbridled wealth that we somehow keep rooting for the guy, even as every layer of the monetary onion is pulled back by writer-director Michael Winterbottom. EDIT
Posted Mar 5, 2020
Sorry We Missed You (2019) Ken Eisner For Ken Loach, now 82 but still tirelessly documenting the underclass, indentured servitude is a subject that never gets old, since it constantly assumes new forms. EDIT
Posted Mar 5, 2020
I Was at Home, But (2019) Ken Eisner Too much of this stilted installation piece is like a Jeff Wall photograph come to life, delivering details that mostly prove to be less interesting than what your imagination would have supplied. EDIT
Posted Mar 5, 2020
Vitalina Varela (2019) Ken Eisner Everyone is hitting their marks just so, in order to create the perfect doorway silhouette and such -- the kind of thing that has vast power in a still photograph but somehow loses its magic when you see exactly what went into it. EDIT
Posted Mar 5, 2020
Lie Exposed (2020) Janet Smith Lie Exposed is ambitious, but it's never quite as shocking, raw, or life-changing as it wants to be. The overall impression, to steal from Lana Del Rey, is beautiful people with beautiful problems. EDIT
Posted Mar 5, 2020
The Lodge (2019) Adrian Mack Where The Lodge succeeds is in its patient atmosphere-building and downer psychedelic style, delivering neatly staged and effective shocks. EDIT
Posted Mar 4, 2020
One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk (2019) Janet Smith A slow, blackly comic, and intensely important study in all that got lost in translation. EDIT
Posted Feb 27, 2020
The Jesus Rolls (2019) Ken Eisner There are perhaps worse ideas than spinning off side characters from the Coen brothers' cult fave The Big Lebowski. But why it needed to be hair-netted bowling bully Jesus Quintana is known only to John Turturro. EDIT
Posted Feb 27, 2020
The Twentieth Century (2019) Ken Eisner 90 whirligig minutes of confusingly titled cinematic madness for the fatally discriminating viewer. EDIT
Posted Feb 27, 2020
EMMA. (2020) Ken Eisner The two-hour tale lurches from farce to darkish social satire to thoughtful character study with few indicators that the main narrative can support that kind of carriage-shifting. EDIT
Posted Feb 27, 2020
Ordinary Love (2019) Ken Eisner It's startling how many tones, textures, and rhythms the filmmakers find within a narrow range of settings... This adds up to a surprisingly fleet 90 minutes, although the film's satisfying pull is ultimately down to the leads. EDIT
Posted Feb 20, 2020
Botero (2018) Ken Eisner Makes a pretty good case for taking the artist more seriously. For one thing, his political art gets a necessary airing here. EDIT
Posted Feb 18, 2020
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) Ken Eisner Céline Sciamma, who previously assayed more contemporary studies with Tomboy and Girlhood, here strikes the perfect balance between smart social parable, formal composition, and soulful contemplation of the tools -- and limits -- of art itself. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
The Assistant (2019) Ken Eisner It's just one person going through the motions in an unspecified place and time. But The Assistant speaks eloquently to the Right Now. EDIT
Posted Feb 13, 2020
Come to Daddy (2019) Adrian Mack A fabulously entertaining comic thriller poised somewhere between Alfred Hitchcock and vintage John Waters. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2020
The Traitor (2019) Ken Eisner A satisfying saga from the great Italian filmmaker Marco Bellocchio... First and foremost, the film benefits from the riveting performance of Pierfrancesco Favino. EDIT
Posted Feb 6, 2020
2020 Oscar Nominated Shorts - Documentary (2020) Ken Eisner Viewers of this Oscar program should listen to a girl in that opening skateboarding flick, who advises, "Don't act fragile. This is a place for tough people!" EDIT
Posted Feb 4, 2020
2020 Oscar Nominated Shorts - Live Action (2020) Ken Eisner Many forms of sibling fealty are tested in this gratifyingly consistent batch of scripted shorts, clocking in at roughly 20 solid minutes each. EDIT
Posted Feb 3, 2020
Rabid (2019) Adrian Mack Outlandish fun, with lashings of gore and extravagantly disgusting practical effects compensating for the ripe dialogue and Mackenzie Gray's camped-out performance. EDIT
Posted Jan 30, 2020