Seventh Row

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Together Together (2021) Orla Smith Sweetly subversive if a little thin EDIT
Posted Feb 15, 2021
Together Together (2021) Alex Heeney Sweetly subversive if a little thin. EDIT
Posted Feb 15, 2021
Pleasure (2021) Orla Smith Ninja Thyberg's LA porn drama, Pleasure, is an authentic, scathing look at an industry with little regard for boundaries or consent EDIT
Posted Feb 15, 2021
CODA (2021) Alex Heeney Despite a plethora of coming-of-age story cliches, CODA still feels genuinely original, nuanced, and important because it has thoughtful, sensitive storytelling where it counts EDIT
Posted Feb 15, 2021
The Night (2020) B. P. Flanagan It doesn't throw itself into the Jordan Peele-Blumhousian 'social thriller' pattern enough to be designated 'a film about...' Yet its barrage of images are never wild enough to be thought-provoking. EDIT
Posted Feb 4, 2021
Try Harder! (2021) Orla Smith Refreshingly, though, Lum's film isn't a narrow look at the rigorous demands of just this one school. She illuminates why the school and its students feel that academically excelling is the only way forward. EDIT
Posted Feb 4, 2021
We're All Going to the World's Fair (2021) Orla Smith Schoenbrun's debut is one of the only American films that really excited me, in both ideas and film form, at this year's Sundance Film Festival. EDIT
Posted Feb 4, 2021
Farewell Amor (2020) Orla Smith Msangi structures the film as a triptych, telling the story from each character's perspective, revisiting some moments, and introducing them to the parts of their lives that they keep hidden from each other. EDIT
Posted Jan 25, 2021
Make Up (2019) Orla Smith Claire Oakley's debut feature, Make Up, is a coming-of-age drama that often feels like a horror film, because Oakley immerses us in the terror, confusion, and ecstasy of discovering your identity. EDIT
Posted Jan 25, 2021
Charlatan (2020) Alex Heeney Charlatan uses Mikoláek as a sort of metaphor for post-war communism in order to ask whether the new regime is really a form of liberation or just a variation on a fascist theme. EDIT
Posted Dec 30, 2020
Mayor (2020) B. P. Flanagan Essential viewing about the lines between small and grand acts of resistance. EDIT
Posted Dec 8, 2020
Sex, Sin & 69 (2019) Alex Heeney It's mostly talking heads, and an animated timeline, but there is something powerful about giving authority to the people who were there and often unable to tell their story in the mainstream media (or historical account). EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2020
The Strong Ones (2020) Alex Heeney A quiet, romantic, if bittersweet crowdpleaser EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2020
Shadow of Dumont (2020) Alex Heeney Cameron treats the film as an adventure narrative, uncovering the story of someone he revered but knew little about. His roots in comedy means he's always looking for a laugh, trying to keep things bright and light and fun EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2020
Coming Home Again (2019) Alex Heeney Wayne Wang's Coming Home Again is a heartfelt story of a first generation Korean-American grieving as he takes care of his mother as she dies of cancer. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2020
Monkey Beach (2020) Alex Heeney Monkey Beach... is a visually sumptuous film made on a low budget, that will make you want to buy a ticket to BC as soon as it's safe to do so. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2020
() Alex Heeney Saint-Narcisse is a strong contender for the most "WTF did I just watch" film of the year, and a hell of a ride you're not likely to forget. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2020
Antisemitism (2020) Alex Heeney Not for the faint of heart, Ilan Ziv's fascinating and harrowing documentary Antisemitism traces the seeds of antisemitism in France, particularly in the 20th century. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2020
Now (2020) Orla Smith Now is a wide-ranging and ambitious exploration of its subject that comes in at a tight 73 minutes. I was surprised it's so short, since it packs in so much information that I felt thoroughly schooled (in a good way) by the end of it. EDIT
Posted Nov 21, 2020
There's No Place Like This Place, Anyplace (2020) Alex Heeney A wonderful document of a place that one hopes time won't forget, including archival footage of the early days of the store and a sense of what it's meant to immigrants, including Wei's family. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2020
No Hard Feelings (2020) Alex Heeney Shariat makes some bold directorial moves toward surrealism in the film's final act, an interesting if not always effective choice, but otherwise, this is a thoughtful, naturalistic drama about figuring out who you are and where you fit. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2020
Queering the Script (2019) Orla Smith While Zilkha's film isn't formally inventive, and it's less insightful on racial and gender diversity, it's an entertaining and informative watch that invites you to empathise with the women who participate in fandom. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2020
Ultraviolence (2020) Orla Smith There is a fine line between depicting violence as a wake-up call versus misery porn, and Fero crosses over to the latter by providing little context for the brutality. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2020
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit (2019) Alex Heeney Judith Kerr's beloved children's novel gets a worthy adaptation from German director Caroline Link in this film that balances the hardships and fear of being a refugee with the optimism of childhood. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2020
Dating Amber (2020) Alex Heeney Ultimately, it's the performances that sell it and make you root for these misfits to find somewhere they feel like they fit in. EDIT
Posted Nov 19, 2020
The Dilemma of Desire (2020) Orla Smith The Dilemma of Desire will change the way you think about sex EDIT
Posted Nov 9, 2020
Survival Skills (2020) Orla Smith Telling this story in the framework of a police training video isn't just a gimmick, but a clever way to draw attention to the problem. EDIT
Posted Nov 9, 2020
I Am Greta (2020) Alex Heeney Nathan Grossman's I Am Greta about teen climate activist Greta Thunberg tells the story of the girl behind the figurehead but fails to take an interest in what matters most to her. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2020
On the Rocks (2020) Orla Smith Sofia Coppola's latest, On the Rocks, is a vague and out of touch depiction of a working mother's relationship crisis. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2020
John Ware Reclaimed (2020) Alex Heeney Cheryl Foggo's moving, enlightening, and appropriately infuriating new documentary, John Ware Reclaimed, attempts to reclaim not just John Ware's story from the biased history books but the history of Black Canadians in the prairies. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2020
Nadia, Butterfly (2020) Alex Heeney With Nadia, Butterfly, Pascal Plante used his own experiences as a competitive swimmer to make a psychological character study about the sport where all the swimming is real. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2020
Rurangi (2020) Alex Heeney Rurangi is a film that is all in the character details, and is filled with so many beautiful, lived in performances - many of which are by Maori and gender diverse actors. EDIT
Posted Oct 23, 2020
Violation (2020) Alex Heeney Violation starts out well but disappoints EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2020
Sweat (2020) Orla Smith Sweat is one of the first great films about an influencer. Magnus von Horn's Sweat avoids the cliche of portraying an Instagram influencer as shallow and instead extends empathy to her and her fans. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2020
Nuevo Orden (2020) Orla Smith Michel Franco's latest provocation, New Order, is a bloodbath of grossly miscalculated 'social commentary'. I've heard it touted as Mexico's Parasite, but the comparisons only go as far as the architecture of the rich families' houses. EDIT
Posted Oct 19, 2020
Percy (2020) Alex Heeney If it takes a workhorse feel-good film to make me pay attention to Saskatchewan, then, perhaps cinema really is doing its job as an empathy machine. EDIT
Posted Oct 15, 2020
The Forty-Year-Old Version (2020) Orla Smith The funny, smart, wildly entertaining The Forty-Year-Old Version is among other things, an exploration of how difficult it is for a marginalised creator to be authentic to their own voice and get paid. EDIT
Posted Oct 15, 2020
180 Degree Rule (2020) Orla Smith The film is a meticulously-crafted drama that devolves into a psychological thriller when tragedy strikes partway through. It's a provocative film. I admire its boldness. EDIT
Posted Oct 15, 2020
Residue (2020) Orla Smith Merawi Gerima's directorial debut Residue is an impassioned ode to a rapidly gentrifying Washington D.C. EDIT
Posted Oct 15, 2020
Shadow in the Cloud (2020) Orla Smith Overall, the good might just trump the bad, especially because it's practically one of a kind: an action movie that works because its main character is a woman, not in spite of her womanhood. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2020
Beans (2020) Alex Heeney Tracey Deer's Beans is a flawed but incredibly moving about a 12-year-old Mohawk girl's political awakening during the Oka crisis. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2020
True Mothers (2020) Alex Heeney True Mothers is one of Naomi Kawase's best films to date, a thoughtful drama about the shame associated with unconventional motherhood. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2020
Akilla's Escape (2020) B. P. Flanagan Akilla is a Death Wish-type avenger character who never quite makes sense, especially paired with Williams' work on the film's soundtrack, which leans too hard on Akilla as a pop star persona to be fully convincing. EDIT
Posted Oct 6, 2020
76 Days (2020) Brett Pardy 76 Days is a documentary that will be labelled "timely", but the film's strength is that it never stresses its own importance nor is it a didactic call to action. EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2020
Quo Vadis, Aida? (2020) Orla Smith Jasmila banic's Quo Vadis, Aida?, a harrowing drama about the 1995 Bosnian genocide, is one of the best films of TIFF 2020 EDIT
Posted Sep 18, 2020
Conviction (2019) Brett Pardy Prison offers stability, but at the same time, sets them up for failure when they are released into society with no supports in place. Conviction sparks the imagination necessary to envision alternatives. EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2020
Ammonite (2020) Alex Heeney Ammonite is getting billed as a period romance, but where Lee really excels is in evoking the time and place... EDIT
Posted Sep 14, 2020
Babyteeth (2019) Stephen Puddicombe Babyteeth is a quirky, surprising, and ultimately very moving film about teenage terminal illness that is less a wistful tearjerker than it is a coming-of-age drama. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2020
Judy & Punch (2019) Stephen Puddicombe Judy and Punch gives mixed messages as to whether the film wants us to consider its violence as a slapstick laughing matter or as an earnest critique. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2020
Lingua Franca (2019) Milly Gribben It may lack narrative urgency or progression, but it is firmly grounded in reality. This is not a soapy romance about love against all odds; it's a film that quietly traces the bleak, displaced, and unsatisfying lives at its centre. EDIT
Posted Aug 28, 2020