Seventh Row

Tomatometer-approved publication
Rating Title/Year Author
Marriage Story (2019) Orla Smith The characters in the film are angry and bitter, but Marriage Story, is not bitter but confessional -- apologetic, even...What results is a grueling but ultimately optimistic film about the horrors of divorce and how hard it is to...move on. EDIT
Posted Sep 30, 2019
Judy (2019) Alex Heeney The film is often about how much Judy The Legendary Performer is something other people constructed, while Judy Garland is a regular woman with regular concerns: bills to pay, children to feed... Zellweger's performance toys with this dichotomy, too. EDIT
Posted Sep 30, 2019
Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) Alex Heeney Céline Sciamma's gorgeous, heart-wrenching Portrait of a Lady on Fire screened on the first day of TIFF, and it became the gold standard by which I evaluated all other films. EDIT
Posted Sep 30, 2019
() Alex Heeney Ema is a bizarre, colourful, pulsing, bonkers, and utterly invigorating cinematic experience. Part melodrama, part dance film, it defies categorization and even explanation: like dance itself, it has to be experienced to be understood. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
() B. P. Flanagan Meddeb captures a chorus of voices expressing anxiety, friendship, history. Paris Stalingrad's purpose seems not to presume to change things with her filmmaking as much as to capture the stories that took place within this period. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
() B. P. Flanagan Shot for maximum impact, between the lurid color, wild plot turns, and thumping, party-ready soundtrack -- The Lost Okoroshi has the potential to cross over to a wider, youth-oriented audience. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
() B. P. Flanagan The clinical cinematography almost operates like The Terminator's viewfinder. It's chilling filmmaking, with suspenseful tones on the piano soundtrack and an unending nasty feeling to the whole affair. EDIT
Posted Sep 20, 2019
Made in Bangladesh (2019) Brett Pardy Made in Bangladesh never sugar coats the near-insurmountable obstacles Shimu and her fellow workers face...[the] mix scenes of Shimu coming up against barriers with scenes of her achieving small successes ensures the film never feels hopeless. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
Proxima (2019) Orla Smith Scenes of Sarah at work reveal just how much happiness she finds in her job: in these joyful sequences, Winocour's camera is particularly mobile, and Ryuichi Sakamoto's gorgeous score swells with a sense of feverish excitement. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
() Orla Smith Rahimi's film is a heart-breaking look at the corruption of innocence: breathtaking cinematography and a sprightly jazz-infused score bring out how sweet that innocence was, so it's all the more devastating to see it cruelly snatched away. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
() Brett Pardy Tseden is never preachy, playing this conflict out in softly observed vignettes; the plot often slips to focus instead on the emotional ripples of the conflict's emotional aftermath. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
Kuessipan (2019) Orla Smith Verreault's filmmaking is skillful and briskly paced, especially in its tightly edited first act...It's a coming-of-age story that stands out from the pack for its soulfulness. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
The Body Remembers When The World Broke Open (2019) Brett Pardy The film's real time nature allows us to experience how the mundane ways people interact, such as the questions Áila asks in an attempt to get to know Rosie, help shape the ways in which people come to understand each other. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
() Alex Heeney Tamar Shavgulidze's quiet, lovely Comets is a film about memory, missed opportunities, and lost loves. At just 71-minutes, it's short and sweet, but packs an emotional punch thanks to strong performances. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
Hala (2019) Orla Smith Baig's film is an introspective character study that's best in its quieter sequences. Viswanathan's insight into the character of Hala and Baig's knack for bringing that out cinematically make [...a...] wise and contemplative film. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
Clemency (2019) Orla Smith Clemency is a harrowing death-row drama...[which] reckons with how people in power are enabled by laws and institutions to make choices they might otherwise deem immoral. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
() Brett Pardy As in many of her best films, Obomsawin explores the effect of abstract political rules and dull bureaucracy on real people's lives...This is a perfect film to introduce international audiences to Obomsawin's activist cinema. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
() Orla Smith Though Lina from Lima is largely a realist drama, occasionally, Lina's drab world will explode into flamboyant song and dance. These sequences are over-the-top and fun, as if out of a film much soapier than the one we're watching. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
() Alex Heeney Sarah Gavron's chaotic and energetic new feature, Rocks, captures the indomitable spirit of the 15-year-old girl who gives the film its name, as well as her London group of friends. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
() Alex Heeney Shot in icy blues, greens, and greys, this is a harsh, sad world with no happy endings... Yet Komasa finds humour in this premise, creating a wise satire of not just the church but the way people use their beliefs to justify their own bad behaviour. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
Hope (2017) Alex Heeney Søhdal tenderly depicts a marriage that is indeed a strong partnership, with years of built-up intimacies, and yet also how that relationship can be stifling, in part because of gendered expectations. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
() Alex Heeney Murmur ...[follows] a solitary middle-aged protagonist, Donna (Shan MacDonald)[, who] starts working at an animal rescue, and ends up taking many of the animals home to fill the companionship void in her life. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
Mouthpiece (2018) Alex Heeney The best movie of the year, Mouthpiece, is Canadian, set in Toronto, and written and directed by women and about women... The dual performance...allows them to represent two sides of a complex woman who is constantly in conflict with herself. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
Peterloo (2018) Alex Heeney Mike Leigh's Peterloo is a rare story about the fight for a fairer democracy: one of carnage rather than triumph, one that ends with tragedy and unfinished labour rather than success and social change. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
The Souvenir (2019) Orla Smith Hogg's signature precise framing has never been a more effective cinematic tool, with Julie drifting further toward centre frame as her story progresses. The Souvenir is a meticulous piece of work worthy of the discussion and dissection. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
Wild Nights With Emily (2018) Orla Smith Wild Nights...acknowledges the overwhelming evidence that Dickinson...was a queer woman...[Madeleine Olnek's] Dickinson is full of life: she's prickly, but also funny and, of course, gloriously intelligent -- all is true of Olnek's film, too. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
() Alex Heeney Throughout, Noura weathers every indignation quietly, not because she's unwilling to fight for herself, but because she's picking her battles. In this world where men reign, and rarely leave Noura's frame, the only way to survive is to play the game. EDIT
Posted Sep 19, 2019
Rocketman (2019) Alex Heeney The film's framing device was a neat idea, though poorly executed...It wasn't a good sign that I spent much of Rocketman thinking about how incredibly talented and underused Jamie Bell is. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
Late Night (2019) Alex Heeney Unfortunately, Late Night has little to offer beyond Thompson's wardrobe, and of course Thompson herself. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
Vita & Virginia (2018) Alex Heeney The film's greatest strength is as a showcase for Debicki, one of the most talented actresses working today, who perfectly embodies Woolf's genius and vulnerability. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
The Ground Beneath My Feet (2019) Alex Heeney The Ground Beneath My Feet thus raises the age-old and sadly still relevant question: can a woman ever be truly free when living in the patriarchy? EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
Queen of Hearts (2019) Alex Heeney Shot in icy blues and whites and among the hard edges of a modernist home, there's nothing very comfortable about this environment; el-Toukhy doesn't want us to get cosy. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
Dolce Fine Giornata (2019) Alex Heeney Its ideas are a bit inchoate, and the final image of the film is so obvious you leave with the pang of being hit over the head with a blunt object. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
The Last Tree (2019) Alex Heeney The Last Tree really makes us feel the systemic troubles Femi faces. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
The Sharks (2019) Alex Heeney Unfortunately, Garibaldi finds few shades to Rosina's characterization, exploring neither her broader life nor her sexuality in much depth. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
Esto no es Berlín (2019) Alex Heeney At times a bit clunky, This is not Berlin is a lot of fun most of the time, and Ponce de León is both a beautiful and a compelling presence. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
Dirty God (2019) Alex Heeney Jade is resilient but desperate. So even when the film's script requires her to do some incredibly stupid things, she recovers and we keep rooting for her. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
Volontaire (2018) Alex Heeney ...worth a watch for this albeit limited look at what it's like to be a woman who suddenly finds herself ensconced in the military when that was never previously an ambition. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
Keep an Eye Out (2018) Alex Heeney At just 73 minutes, Quentin Dupieux's absurdist black comedy Keep an Eye Out is an amusing trifle that doesn't outstay its welcome even though it doesn't quite stick the landing. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
The Trouble With You (2018) Alex Heeney The Trouble with You comes out mostly clean with just a few uncomfortably prejudiced jokes. But for the most part, it's an absurd and hilarious romantic comedy, in which Hanael offers perfect comic timing in a self-serious performance... EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
Leave No Trace (2018) Gillie Collins Setting Leave No Trace in the wilderness allows Granik to portray an extremely enmeshed - yet, under the circumstances, healthy - father-daughter relationship. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
Out of Blue (2018) Elena Lazic A sinewy and complex riff on the gumshoe thriller, the latest film from British director Carol Morley is her most ambitious and hypnotic to date. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
Our Body (2018) Alex Heeney Han Ka-ram's first feature is a thoughtful and sensitive look at late twenties malaise, female friendship, and the way both of these can turn into an obsession with the body. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
() Elena Lazic In stripping the samurai film back to its main components and placing it into a realistic setting, Japanese director Shinya Tsukamoto crafts a potent and thrilling critique of violence and the traditions that justify it. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
The Great Darkened Days (La grande noirceur) (2018) Elena Lazic The Great Darkened Days is as unsettling as it is absorbing, as eye-pleasing as it is heart-wrenching. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
Giant Little Ones (2018) Orla Smith What unfolds is one of the most warm, thoughtful, and patient explorations of teen sexuality that the coming-of-age genre has to offer. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
La disparition des lucioles (2018) Alex Heeney Sébastien Pilote's third feature is a buoyant, colourful, and often very funny coming-of-age story about a clever and cynical teenager. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
Firecrackers (2018) Orla Smith Kurimsky's searing lead performance brings the whole thing together. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
Falls Around Her (2018) Alex Heeney With minimal dialogue, Naponse and Cardinal give us a portrait of a complex and sexual woman with desires and interests, a sad rarity in cinema. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019
The Extraordinary Journey of Celeste Garcia (El viaje extraordinario de Celeste García) (2018) Alex Heeney What starts out as an absurd premise start to lose steam in the final act as the film focuses more on Celeste's inward journey of self-discovery - and less on the light satire of Cuban bureaucracy. Still, it's an utterly enjoyable ride. EDIT
Posted Aug 21, 2019