Author: Jordan Adler

Review: Theater of Life

As with many large cities, Milan is a thriving financial centre that is unable to shelter the thousands of homeless citizens on its streets. Inspired by a food-themed exposition, renowned Italian chef Massimo Bottura decides to put together a soup kitchen in the city’s working-class Greco neighbourhood. Alongside many masters in the kitchen, he strives to use the expo’s leftover food waste to craft flavorful meals for the city’s struggling and disadvantaged. As Bottura explains, even something as banal as stale bread “can become gold for so many people.” Theater of Life is a richly satisfying doc. It hooks...

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Review: Things to Come

Nathalie (Isabelle Huppert) is a philosophy teacher with a happy family life and thriving career. Suddenly, new challenges start to tear at Nathalie’s content existence. Her aging mother, an ex-model (Édith Scob), becomes ill. Her husband of 25 years, Heinz (André Marcon), leaves Nathalie for another woman. Plus, the fire and enthusiasm she once brought to her career starts to diminish. Nathalie tries to cope with these setbacks as she rekindles a bond with an ex-student (Roman Kolinka). The newest film from Mia Hansen-Løve (Eden) is patient, elegant and often affecting. Much of this has to do with the casting...

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Review: Being 17

Restless teenagers Damien (Kacey Mottet Klein) and Thomas (Corentin Fila) are classmates in rural France, although neither one likes the other. Damien is a poet who wants to muscle up, and takes self-defence classes as an extra-curricular. Thomas is a bi-racial son of adoptive parents who treks an hour through the mountainous countryside to get to school every day. When the 17-year-old loners end up living under the same roof after Thomas’s mother has to go to the hospital, both boys realize they may be hiding something: a desire for the other. The new drama from French auteur André Téchiné...

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Reel Asian 2016 Review: The Lockpicker

Toronto high-school student Hashi (newcomer Keigian Umi Tang) is mourning the loss of a close friend, Tess. She killed herself, and now Hashi cannot focus in class or outside the school’s walls. The teen starts stealing money from his peers and dreams of an escape from his lower middle-class life. As visions of Tess flood his head, the troubled teen tries to grapple with his own mortality. The feature debut from Canadian director Randall Okita is a startling and absorbing drama. The Lockpicker captures the angst of a young man trying to figure out his life as he recovers from immense trauma....

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Review: Rush: Time Stand Still

The legendary Canadian rock triumvirate known as Rush hit the road in 2015 for what was, in all likelihood, their final set of concerts. More than 40 years after their debut, vocalist Geddy Lee, guitarist Alex Lifeson and drummer Neil Peart try to give their loyal fan base a tour to remember. Rush: Time Stand Still is an up-close glimpse of the band as they reminisce about the past, prepare for the present and wonder if anything is on tap in the future. Rush: Time Stand Still has a lot of ground to cover for a 96-minute rock doc,...

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The TFS List: 9 films to watch this U.S. election week

There is not an author or screenwriter, living or dead, who could have envisioned an American election cycle like the one transpiring south of our border. The unlikely and unprecedented ascent of Donald Trump, along with an unstoppable cavalcade of scandals and stories from just the past month alone, are keeping Americans (and the rest of the world) agonizing over the potential results. As we collectively hold our breath for the next president – one that, we hope, will actually be confirmed on Nov. 8 – there may be no better time to visit (or revisit) some campaign classics. Some of...

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Review: The People vs. Fritz Bauer

In postwar Germany, Jewish attorney Fritz Bauer (Burghart Klaussner) is trying to manage a high-profile case. He is searching for information about the whereabouts of Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann. That man’s capture could reveal the names of other Nazi collaborators. Bauer, once imprisoned in a concentration camp, is obsessed with getting justice. However, the state is unwilling to help him, as Eichmann’s capture could implicate many Germans still in power. The latest docudrama from director Lars Kraume is straightforward to a fault. Much of The People vs. Fritz Bauer consists of suited men talking about legal matters in...

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