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Blue Is the Warmest Color (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Adèle's life is changed when she meets Emma, a young woman with blue hair, who will allow her to discover desire and to assert herself as a woman and as an adult. In front of others, Adèle grows, seeks herself, loses herself, and ultimately finds herself through love and loss. (180 mins.)
“ BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR…FRANCE….PALM D’OR CANNES….THE MOST ANTICIPATED FILM AT CANNES….IN HERE IS A GOOD FILM WITH SOME EDITING….SEX IS OVER THE TOP. There's a devastating mix of eroticism and sadness in Abdellatif Kechiche's new film. Food is an interesting motif as well. Emma introduces Adèle to her liberal and tolerant mother and stepfather over dinner; they are entirely aware of Emma's sexuality and serve Adèle a sophisticated novelty – oysters. ” - sharmatt
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A chronicle of Nelson Mandela's life journey from his childhood in a rural village through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa. (141 mins.)
Director: Justin Chadwick
“ MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM…..UK….AN INFORMATIVE AND ENLIGHTENDING DOCUDRAMA ON ONE OF THE MOST INTERESTING MEN IN OUR LIFETIME. NOT AN AWARD WINNER, BUT DEFINITELY A WORTHWHILE SEE. His story is epic and inspiring. Born to be a Xhosa leader, he was trained in law, then drawn into resistance, then politics, then elevated to a reverence that approached sainthood. Nelson Mandela has lived one of the most remarkable lives of our time. His autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom, charts the many struggles that took him from South Africa's rural Cape region to armed struggle and arrest, and then to the president's mansion as his nation's first democratically elected leader. ” - sharmatt
12 Years a Slave (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
In the antebellum United States, Solomon Northup, a free black man from upstate New York, is abducted and sold into slavery. (134 mins.)
Director: Steve McQueen
“ 12 YEARS A SLAVE….WILL PROBABLY SWEEP THE OSCARS AND WAS AUDIENCE FAVORIT AT TIFF. STEVE MC QUEEN, ONE OF THE BEST WORKING. Had Steve McQueen not already christened his previous picture thus, “Shame” would have been the perfect one-word title to capture the gut-wrenching impact of his third and most essential feature, “12 Years a Slave.” Based on the true story of free black American Solomon Northup’s kidnapping and imposed bondage from 1841 to 1853, this epic account of an unbreakable soul makes even Scarlett O’Hara’s struggles seem petty by comparison. ” - sharmatt
Attila Marcel (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Paul is a sweet man-child, raised - and smothered - by his two eccentric aunts in Paris since the death of his parents when he was a toddler... (106 mins.)
Director: Sylvain Chomet
“ French writer-director Sylvain Chomet effortlessly transitions from the animated wonders of his The Triplets of Belleville and The Illusionist to the live-action marvel that is Attila Marcel, a fanciful story about a silent young piano virtuoso whose downstairs neighbor, the ukulele-playing, Buddhist eco hippie Madame Proust, stuffs him with madeleines -- bien sur -- and serves up a special asparagus brew that helps bring back repressed childhood memories. ” - sharmatt
Ida (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Anna, a young novitiate nun in 1960s Poland, is on the verge of taking her vows when she discovers a dark family secret dating back to the years of the German occupation. (82 mins.)
“ A successful American director returns to Poland to bring us a drama on an infant Jewish girl raised in a convent to save her from the Nazis who as an adult learns of her heritage. Acclaimed director Pawel Pawlikowski (Last Resort, My Summer of Love) returns to his homeland for this moving and intimate drama about a young novitiate nun in 1960s Poland who, on the verge of taking her vows, discovers a dark family secret dating from the terrible years of the Nazi occupation. In this spare, stark, and oh-so-beautifully directed film, Pawel Pawlikowski returns to his native Poland for the first time in his career to confront some of the more contentious issues in the history of his birthplace. Few subjects are as controversial and as emotional as what passed between Polish Catholics and Jews during the Second World War. Pawlikowski, who created his reputation in England with films like Last Resort and My Summer of Love, has made what is surely one of the most powerful and affecting films of the year. ” - sharmatt
Violette (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Violette Leduc, born a bastard at the beginning of last century, meets Simone de Beauvoir in the years after the war in St-Germain-des-Prés... (139 mins.)
Director: Martin Provost
“ Brilliant biography of French novelist Violette Leduc, protégé of Simone de Beauvoir with Oscar worthy perf of Emannuelle Devos, but in French, so not likely. Simone de Beauvoir. Her name summons up an entire universe. Feminism. Sexual freedom. Post-World War II France in the grip of intellectual fervour. The Second Sex. And it also summons up the names of those who passed through her life: Sartre, Camus, Merleau-Ponty. This heady world is the setting for a remarkable film about one of de Beauvoir's friends, acolytes, admirers, and fellow travellers, the relatively unknown Violette Leduc. Leduc was in many ways as much of a pioneer as de Beauvoir, but while fame, success, and fortune fell relatively easily to the latter, Leduc found herself on another path, struggling throughout much of her life with poverty, indifference to her work, and psychological issues ” - sharmatt
Joe (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
An ex-con, who is the unlikeliest of role models, meets a 15-year-old boy and is faced with the choice of redemption or ruin. (117 mins.)
“ JOE…EXPECT AN OSCAR NOD FOR MR CAGE. It’s a dog-eat-dog world, as two ferociously snapping canines make literally clear in one of many darkly humorous asides in “Joe,” David Gordon Green’s bleak and brutal examination of Southern small-town masculinity and its discontents. Based on Larry Brown's acclaimed novel, the film tells the story of a kind-hearted excon (Nicolas Cage), who oversees a group of Mississippi men who clear trees for a large lumber company. When Gary (Tye Sheridan), a determined fifteen-year-old, shows up looking for work, Joe is hesitant to turn him away. After taking him on as part of the crew, Joe soon becomes a father figure ” - sharmatt
The Past (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
An Iranian man deserts his French wife and her two children to return to his homeland. Meanwhile, his wife starts up a new relationship, a reality her husband confronts upon his wife's request for a divorce. (130 mins.)
Director: Asghar Farhadi
“ STEVE GORDON WILL LOVE THIS ONE AS MUCH AS HE LOVED “A SEPARATION. The winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film with 2011's A Separation, Asghar Farhadi returns with a film that's recognizable but also quite different. The similarities are many: a couple in conflict, the role of children in this conflict, an interest in class, and a reliance on conversations to examine ethical dilemmas arising from the situation. The setting has been moved from Tehran to Paris, although, under Farhadi's gaze, France has never looked so much like Iran. And the interchanges that defined his earlier film have become even more intricate and maze-like in Le Passé. ” - sharmatt
Midway (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Using spare narration and stunning imagery, Midway focuses on the plight of the Laysan Albatross plagued by the ingestion of our plastic trash... (85 mins.)
“ Renowned photo-based artist Chris Jordan’s collaboration with Sabine Emiliani focuses on the albatrosses that inhabit the remote Midway Atoll, nesting amidst machinery abandoned after World War II. ANOTHER BRILLIANT DOCUMENTARY….I HOPE IT COMES TO PSIFF ” - sharmatt
Finding Vivian Maier (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
A documentary on the late Vivian Maier, a nanny whose previously unknown cache of 100,000 photographs earned her a posthumous reputation as one of the most accomplished street photographers. (83 mins.)
“ FINDING VIVIAN MAIER….FASCINATING DOCU OF A STREET PHOTOGRAPHER….This intriguing documentary shuttles from New York to France to Chicago as it traces the life story of the late Vivian Maier, a career nanny whose previously unknown cache of 100,000 photographs has earned her a posthumous reputation as one of America’s most accomplished and insightful street photographers. ” - sharmatt
Enemy (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A man seeks out his exact look-alike after spotting him in a movie. (91 mins.)
“ Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds) and Sarah Gadon (Cosmopolis) star in the new film by Academy Award-nominated director Denis Villeneuve (Incendies), a brilliant adaptation of the Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago’s novel The Double. THIS WAS NOT A FAVORITE OF MINE. ” - sharmatt
Siddharth (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A chain-wallah from Delhi travels across India in search of his missing son, in the hopes that whoever took him, returns him unharmed. (96 mins.)
Director: Richie Mehta
“ THIS FILM IS INSIGHTFUL INTO THE HORRIFIC CONDITIONS THAT BESEECH THE IMPOVERISHED LIVES IN INDIA. KIDNAPPING AND CHILD SLAVERY IS ALIVE AND WELL. Director Richie Mehta follows his award-winning debut feature Amal with this powerful and heart-rending tale about a poor Delhi street merchant desperately searching for his missing young son. ” - sharmatt
The Strange Color of Your Body's Tears (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.0/10 X  
Following the disappearance of his wife, a man finds himself on a dark and twisted trail of discovery... (102 mins.)
“ THE STRANGE COLEUR OF YOUR BODY’S TEARS…..unlikely to make it to our cineplexes….breathtaking images. An enigma of lush visuals and jarring violent imagery, with a lavish score. Set in a gorgeous art-nouveau building in Brussels, The Strange Colour of Your Body's Tears uses interiors that are a character unto themselves, each room a new chamber of the puzzle box, ready to be cracked open by only the most keenly attentive viewers. Hélène Cattet and Bruno Forzani, the filmmaking duo behind the sumptuous and experimental feature Amer, are back with this visually inventive and sensual love letter to the 1970s Italian giallo aesthetic. ” - sharmatt
Love Is the Perfect Crime (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
A literature professor at the University of Lausanne, Marc has a reputation for having love affairs with his female students... (110 mins.)
“ LOVE IS THE PERFECT CRIME…..FLAWED NARRATIVE, BUT INVOLVING….Mathieu Amalric plays a befuddled, womanizing professor whose complicated life takes a turn for the worse following the disappearance of a student, in Jean-Marie and Arnaud Larrieu’s wickedly fun comic thriller. ” - sharmatt
A Place in Heaven (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A young officer returns to his base after a daring mission. The cook's assistant, a religious Holocaust survivor... (117 mins.)
Director: Yossi Madmoni
“ A PLACE IN HEAVEN…..A retired general lies on his deathbed, bitter and alone, prompting his estranged, ultra-orthodox Jewish son to try and save his soul from hell in “A Place in Heaven.” Yossi Madmony’s quasi-biblical story covers the history of Israel through 40 years and three wars, but, like the director’s previous film, “Restoration,” it is, at heart, a film about relationships between fathers and sons ” - sharmatt
A Wolf at the Door (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A journey to the dark cutting edge of desires, lies and wickedness of a love triangle, from the moment a child is mysteriously kidnapped. (101 mins.)
“ FROM BRAZIL THE DISCOVERY OF AN AUTEUR FILM MAKER WITH OUTSTANDING TALENT FOR ALL ASPECTS OF CINEMA. CHANCES OF USA RELEASE ARE LIMITED, SO HOPE THAT IT MAKES IT TO PSIFF. A Wolf at the Door, the suspenseful debut feature by Brazilian filmmaker Fernando Coimbra, captures the darkness that can fall over a couple when love mixes with hate. Set in the suburbs of Rio de Janeiro, this passionate, tragic tale employs absorbing flashbacks to illuminate the contradictory perspectives of Sylvia, Bernardo, and Rosa. Gradually, we see how each is caught in a tangle of lies and deception. ” - sharmatt
Brazilian Western (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Brazilian Western is an adaptation of the eponymous song by Renato Russo a famous Brazilian singer and... (108 mins.)
Director: René Sampaio
“ BRAZILIAN WESTERN…BRAZIL….THE MUSIC AND THE BEAUTY OF THE PERFORMERS WORTH YOUR TIME. THE NARRATIVE IS LITTLE MORE THAN THE OLD FASHIONED WESTERNS WE SAW AS CHILDREN. SOPHOMORIC TO THE MAX. A SILLY, BUT STILL ENJOYABLE FILM. Loosely based on legendary Brasilia rock band Legiao Urbana’s seminal folk song, René Sampaio’s lyrical, fable-like debut feature follows a young man from the provinces who decides to try his luck in the capital, where he falls in with a rough crowd — and falls for a senator’s daughter. ” - sharmatt
Break Loose (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  
An explosive Russian crime drama about the violent rivalry that erupts when an elite police operative falls for the girlfriend of a powerful gangster. (85 mins.)
Director: Aleksey Uchitel
“ BREAK LOOSE…RUSSIA….NON STOP ACTION WITH MINIMAL NARRATIVE. All the ingredients are here for a fine thriller - political discord, corrupt cops, ruthless proto-oligarchs, and car chases, all set against the backdrop of the waning years of Yeltsin, and the massive social and political change that would take place under Putin ushering Russia into the new Millennium. Alas, despite its slick facade and moments of overly choreographed brutality, one's left after Alexey Uchitel's Break Loose simply wanting more - wanting more believable interactions between our characters, more believable consequences for some of the actions, and simply more excitement. ” - sharmatt
Les interdits (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
1979. Carole and Jerome are 20 and go on tour in Odessa, behind the Iron Curtain. They are cousins and pretend engaged... (101 mins.)
“ FRIENDS FROM FRANCE….Set in Odessa in 1979, this uniquely emotional political thriller recreates meticulously the deep-freeze of the Soviet Union at the crest of the Cold War while following a pair of French cousins in their clandestine effort to reach out to the so-called refuseniks — Jews repressed by the Brezhnev regime. ” - sharmatt
Honeymoon (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
It should have been the best day of her life, but then a strange guest with a stranger claim entered the marriage merriment. About the shadows which catch up with each of us. (98 mins.)
Director: Jan Hrebejk
“ HONEYMOON, CZECH REPUBLIC….ANOTHER DELIGHTFUL Jan Hrebejk FILM CONSTRUCTED WITH THE USUAL CINEMATIC FINESS NOW IN SUCH SHORT SUPPLY IN BIG STUDIO HOLLYWOOD PRODUCTIONS. The director Jan Hrebejk, who gives the proceedings distinct echoes of Thomas Vinterberg’s Festen, concentrates his intimate embrace over an afternoon, night and the next morning. His pacing is perfect, with each revelation timed to intrigue and pull you further into the mystery. ” - sharmatt
The Major (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
That day Sergey Sobolev, police officer, is driving to the hospital where his wife is about to give birth to their child... (99 mins.)
Director: Yuriy Bykov
“ Police corruption thriller at its best. Big studio Hollywood could take a lesson. What seems to be a quick fix (modifying the investigators' report; duping Irina into drinking alcohol before a blood test), has larger consequences. Local officials are keen to avoid any probing by city investigators into their corrupt dealings, so when Irina and her husband refuse to sign falsified testimonies, events spiral out of Kroshunov's control. His questionable ethics, and the corrupted moral codes by which the police operate, clash against Major Sobolev's change of heart. ” - sharmatt
Qissa: The Tale of a Lonely Ghost (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Umber Singh is a Sikh who loses everything during the separation of India in 1947 and is forced to leave his homeland. He obsessively wishes for a male heir. When his fourth daughter is born, he decides to wage a fight against destiny. (109 mins.)
Director: Anup Singh
“ QISSA…..Beautiful, timeless, and touching the deepest of human impulses, Qissa carries the spirit of a great folk tale. Although it's set in a particular time and place — the Punjab region that straddles India and Pakistan in the years immediately after partition — it is both deeper and broader than any one moment. As this eerie family drama progresses, it cuts to the heart of eternal desires for honour, empathy, and love. ” - sharmatt
White Lies (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A medicine woman - a giver of life - is asked to hide a secret which may protect one life but which will destroy another. (99 mins.)
Director: Dana Rotberg
“ DANA ROTBERG, FORMERLY FROM MEXICO HAS RELOCATED TO NEW ZEALAND, UNCLE IS A GOOD FRIEND OF STEVE AND LYDIA MOSS OF NYC. SHE IS ALSO THE EX WIFE OF LEONARDO GARCIA TSAO, A FRIEND OF MANY YEARS. In a small New Zealand town in the early 20th century, three very different women — a Maori medicine woman, a wealthy, sharp-tongued white housewife, and a controlling housekeeper — are brought together by a scandalous secret, in this complex and mesmerizing tale of culture clash and social mores based on a novella by the author of Whale Rider. ” - sharmatt
Young & Beautiful (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
After losing her virginity, Isabelle takes up a secret life as a call girl, meeting her clients for hotel-room trysts. Throughout, she remains curiously aloof, showing little interest in the encounters themselves or the money she makes. (95 mins.)
Director: François Ozon
“ YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL, FRANCE, FRANCOIS OZON…..TO ME ONE OF THE VERY BEST FILMMAKERS WORKING TODAY. HERE AGAIN IS ANOTHER BRILLIANT PRODUCTION. A typically slow-moving drama from François Ozon, Young & Beautiful follows rebellious teenager Isabelle (Marine Vacth) as she loses her virginity one summer and, a few months later, begins working as a call girl in Paris. It's an unabashedly salacious premise that's employed to consistently subdued effect by Ozon, with the movie's deliberately-paced opening half hour, which is devoted primarily to Isabelle's leisurely summertime exploits, demanding a fair amount of patience from the viewer. The surprisingly engaging atmosphere, then, is due mostly to Ozon's strong direction and a seriously impressive central performance. Throughout his career as a director, François Ozon has openly played with genre and theory, making sweeping emotional tales cold and ascetic or subtly exploiting tongue-in-cheek campiness to acknowledge the didacticism of his exaggerated presentations of sexuality and gender. Of late, his narratives have deconstructed sexuality as an evolution of familial presentation ” - sharmatt
The Invisible Woman (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
At the height of his career, Charles Dickens meets a younger woman who becomes his secret lover until his death. (111 mins.)
Director: Ralph Fiennes
“ THE INVISIBLE WOMAN ….DIRECTED AND STARRING RALPH FIENNES AS CHARLES DICKENS…THE STORY OF HIS EXTRAMARITAL AFFAIR WITH NELLY TURNAN. Period biographical dramas don’t come much better than The Invisible Woman, an exceptionally involving and credible portrayal of the “whispered” relationship Charles Dickens maintained with a much younger woman over the last 13 years of his life. A career high point for Ralph Fiennes. ” - sharmatt
Going Away (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Baptiste is a solitary type. A teacher in southern France, he never stays more than three weeks in the same job... (95 mins.)
Director: Nicole Garcia
“ Two unlikely friends — a supply teacher and a lonely young boy suspended between two estranged parents — embark on a weekend motorcycle voyage full of surprises and unforeseen consequences in this surprisingly tough, unsentimental drama from acclaimed French actress and director Nicole Garcia. This is an exquisite, deeply affecting, and unlikely love story of great resonance that gains in momentum with every passing sequence. Un beau dimanche is sublimely detailed and complex, structured to reveal its secrets gradually, gaining in emotive strength as it does. ” - sharmatt
Gloria (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A story set in Santiago and centered on Gloria, a free-spirited older woman, and the realities of her whirlwind relationship with a former naval officer whom she meets out in the clubs. (110 mins.)
“ Two unlikely friends — a supply teacher and a lonely young boy suspended between two estranged parents — embark on a weekend motorcycle voyage full of surprises and unforeseen consequences in this surprisingly tough, unsentimental drama from acclaimed French actress and director Nicole Garcia.
This is an exquisite, deeply affecting, and unlikely love story of great resonance that gains in momentum with every passing sequence. Un beau dimanche is sublimely detailed and complex, structured to reveal its secrets gradually, gaining in emotive strength as it does. ” - sharmatt
Like Father, Like Son (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Ryota Nonomiya is a successful businessman driven by money. When he learns that his biological son was switched with another child after birth, he must make a life-changing decision and choose his true son or the boy he raised as his own. (121 mins.)
“ LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON….JAPAN….ANOTHER WONDERFUL FILM EXPLORING THE HUMAN CONDITION. How is being a parent defined? Do you have to earn it or does the simple virtue of being related by blood automatically give you that title? Those questions and more lie at the core of "Like Father, Like Son," a tender and involving portrait by Kore-Eda Hirokazu that centers on two set of parents -- and one father in particular -- who find the relationships to their sons severely tested, forcing them to reassess everything they thought that new about them and about themselves, as well. ” - sharmatt
Words and Pictures (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
An art instructor and an English teacher form a rivalry that ends up with a competition at their school in which students decide whether words or pictures are more important. (111 mins.)
Director: Fred Schepisi
“ Clive Owen and Juliette Binoche star in this playful comic drama and the reason for my selection. They worked so well together. Veteran director Fred Schepisi infuses Gerald DiPego's character-driven script with great playfulness, while Owen and Binoche are as charismatic and complicated as ever, playing characters whose abundant personal troubles have not yet crushed their fiery spirits. Their war is not so much about individual victory as it is about collective triumph. ” - sharmatt
Unbeatable (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Fai, once a world champion in boxing, escapes to Macau from the loan sharks and unexpectedly encounters Qi... (122 mins.)
Director: Dante Lam
“ UNBEATABLE….CHINA/HONG KONG….A VERY GOOD BOXING FILM ABOUT AN OLD GUY WHO RESTARTS HIS BOXING TO HELP A DESPARATE MOTHER. Fleeing to Macau to escape loan sharks, a former mixed-martial arts champion becomes embroiled in the lives of a psychologically troubled single mother and a young wannabe fighter, in Hong Kong auteur Dante Lam’s stylish and compelling action-drama. ” - sharmatt
The Wonders (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
The complex relationship between a Jerusalem street artist and a mysterious, modern-day prophet being held prisoner in an abandoned apartment across the alleyway. (112 mins.)
Director: Avi Nesher
“ Lewis Carroll meets Carol Reed in this dizzyingly funny and fantastical farce from Israeli director Avi Nesher, about a good-natured slacker who becomes embroiled in a labyrinthine conspiracy in the weird criminal-religious underbelly of Jerusalem. HILARIOUS IF YOU APPRICIATE JEWISH HUMOUR. ” - sharmatt
Bastards (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
Marco returns to Paris after his brother-in-law's suicide, where he targets the man his sister believes caused the tragedy - though he is ill-prepared for her secrets as they quickly muddy the waters. (100 mins.)
Director: Claire Denis
“ BASTARDS….FRANCE…CLAIR DANIS IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE DIRECTORS WORKING TODAY. One of the most visionary filmmakers in contemporary cinema, Claire Denis (Beau travail, Trouble Every Day, White Material) returns with this dazzling, labyrinthine story of sex, murder, and revenge. Les Salauds is full of striking imagery, right from its first shots of a young woman walking, naked, through the dim streets of Paris. The "why" is immediately invoked, and it is not long before we are locked in a labyrinthine plot of family and business, betrayal and vengeance. The head of a family business is dead, and evidence suggests that a malevolent tycoon is responsible. Into this fractured world comes the dead man's brother-in-law, who quits his job as a sailor on an oil tanker so he can get to the bottom of what has transpired. Marco would rather not get involved — he'd prefer to remain apart from everything — but despite his vacillating, he finds himself slowly dragged in, deeper and deeper. He also carries his own secret into the story. ” - sharmatt
Paradise: Hope (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
The final installment in Ulrich Seidl's Paradise trilogy, 'Paradise: Hope' tells the story of overweight thirteen-year-old Melanie and her first love... (92 mins.)
Director: Ulrich Seidl
“ PARADISE: HOPE….AUSTRIA….ULRICH SEIDL IS PROBABLY THE MOST ORIGINAL AND UNUSUAL FILMMAKERS ON THE SCENE TODAY. IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN HIS “DOG DAYS” YOU HAVE MISSED A REAL TREAT. HE EXPLORES THE LIVES OF ORDINARY PEOPLE ON THE EDGES OF SOCIETY. THIS ONE HAS AS ITS PROTAGONISTS FAT 13 YEAR OLDS AT A DIET CAMP. WHAT IS AMAZING IS HIS DIRECTION OF THESE NON-ACTORS. A stunning conclusion to his Paradise trilogy, Ulrich Seidl's Paradise: Hope is the latest offering from the Austrian auteur. With his roots in documentary, and his eyes firmly set on the less-attractive sides of the human animal and its psyche, Seidl is the perfect chronicler of our futile attempts to grasp at a "normal life." Following Paradise: Love's story of one woman's search for love on the white beaches of Kenya, and, in Paradise: Faith, another's self-inflicted punishment in the name of Jesus, this new film checks us into a weight-loss camp for overweight teens. ” - sharmatt
Salinger (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
An unprecedented look inside the private world of J.D. Salinger, the reclusive author of The Catcher in the Rye. (120 mins.)
Director: Shane Salerno
“ SALINGER…MUCH OF THE MYSTIQUE OF JD SALINGER REVEALED IN THIS REVEALING DOCUMENTABOUT PROBABLY THE MOST INTERESTING NOVELIST IN MY LIFETIME. I TRULY ENJOYED THIS BIODOCU. Meticulously researched over nearly a decade by writer/director/producer Shane Salerno, and featuring interviews with literary giants Gore Vidal and Tom Wolfe as well as celebrity fans such as Philip Seymour Hoffman and Martin Sheen, Salinger is an unprecedented look at an American icon. ” - sharmatt
Bastardo (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
This is the story of Mohsen aka « Bastardo », a man with no origins or history, who's always been excluded... (106 mins.)
Director: Néjib Belkadhi
“ BASTARDO….THIS IS WHY I LOVE FILM FESTIVALS TO DISCOVER THIS GEM FROM TUNISIA…GYPSY FILM MAKING AT ITS FINEST…..SURREAL AND MYSTICAL. Bastardo is a contemporary allegory on the corruptive nature of power, set in a ruthless Tunisian ghetto and peppered with mysterious, larger-than-life characters — some of whom have supernatural powers. The combination of noir and magic realism elements is seamless, a testament to director Nejib Belkadhi's masterful ability. ” - sharmatt
Watermark (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A documentary on how water shapes humanity. (92 mins.)
“ Edward Burtynsky was born in St. Catharines, Ontario. He is an award-winning photographer and has exhibited with the National Gallery of Canada, MoMA and the Guggenheim Museum in New York. His work was the subject of Baichwal's Manufactured Landscapes (06). Watermark (13) is his directorial debut. TO ME HIS PHOTOGRAPHY IS THE SINGLE BEST AT THIS TIME REFLECTING CONTEMPORARY SOCIETY AND THE DESTRUCTION OF OUR PLANET. APOLOGIES TO MY RIGHT WING PUNDITS WHO DO NOT BELIEVE IN SCIENCE. ” - sharmatt
Celestial Wives of the Meadow Mari (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
23 short stories about the Mari women. Stories joyful and sad, ridiculous and terrible. It is the movie ornament, the movie calendar telling about philosophy, traditions and today of the Mari people. (106 mins.)
“ aka CELESTIAL WIVES OF THE MEADOW MARI.... Alexey Fedorchenko, FROM RUSSIA A GEM THAT IS UNLIKE ANY OTHER FILM YOU WILL SEE THIS YEAR. A TONGUE IN CHEEK EXPLORATION OF RUSSIAN COUNTRY LIFE DEVOID OF OUR LOCAL RELIGIOUS HANGUPS. Comprised of 23 vignettes illuminating the pagan-influenced mores of western Russia’s Meadow Mari, the latest film from director Alexey Fedorchenko (Silent Souls) is a beguiling, painterly portrait of a culture driven by a ritualistic appreciation of female beauty and feminine sexuality. ” - sharmatt
Moebius (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A father driven into desire, a son coveting that of his father's, and the sorrowful maternity that hovers them into tragedy. (89 mins.)
Director: Ki-duk Kim
“ South Korea’s celebrated perennial provocateur Kim Ki-duk (Pieta) returns with this twisted family chronicle perched somewhere between psychological thriller, grotesque comedy, and perverse ode to the pleasures of sadomasochism. IN MY OPINION ONE OF THE MOST ORIGINAL AND TALENTED FILM MAKERS WORKING TODAY. HIS FILM, "THE ISLE" IS ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITES....CHECK IT OUT AND YOU WILL BE WOWED. ” - sharmatt
Oktober November (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Successful actress returns to her family home in rural Austria to visit her ailing father and her sister who spent her whole life taking care of him and her family. The reunion is marked by jealousy, introspection and a secret. (114 mins.)
Director: Götz Spielmann
Director Gotz Spielmann follows his acclaimed thriller Revanche with this visually captivating character study, in which a family reunion at a mountainside inn lays bare old wounds and reveals long-held secrets. ” - sharmatt
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Him (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Told from the male perspective, the story of a couple trying to reclaim the life and love they once knew and pick up the pieces of a past that may be too far gone. (89 mins.)
Director: Ned Benson
“ THE DISAPPEARANCE OF ELEANOR RIGBY, HIM AND HER……ANOTHER SUPERLATIVE PERFORMANCE BY JESSICA CHASTAIN IN A WONDERFUL EXPLORATION OF RELATIONSHIPS. I HOPE AN OSCAR NOD IS IN THE STARS, BUT UNLIKELY AS THIS IS A CANADIAN PRODUCTION. WOULD HAVE BEEN A 10 FOR ME IF NOT FOR THE ANOST….ESPECIALLY WITH THE ISABELLE HUPPERT SCENES. SO TAKE OFF 2 POINTS. It’s the interplay between Him and Her, though, where The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby finds its magic. Benson marks the film with subtle difference to show the varying perspectives that two people can glean from the same encounter. Memories change and interpretations blur with time and feeling. ” - sharmatt
I'm the Same, I'm an Other (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
(109 mins.)
“ I'm the same I'm an other….IN THE WAVELENGTHS SECTION OF TIFF.. Daring, visionary and autonomous voices. Films that expand our notions of cinema. An unorthodox crime story. Portrait of an unlikely companionship. Belgian director Caroline Strubbe’s uniquely crafted second feature combines all of these to tell the moving story of a man and a child in mourning as they journey through Western Europe. ” - sharmatt
R100 (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
An ordinary man with an ordinary life joins a mysterious club. The membership lasts for one year only... (99 mins.)
“ R100…JAPAN….WORDS FAIL ME TO DESCRIBE THIS MASTERFULLY CREATED FILM….THE PRODUCTION VALUES..SETS, CINEMATOGRAPHY, PERFS, MUSIC ARE ALL FIRST RATE WHICH MADE IT AN ENJOYABLE SEE FOR ME…THE LAST FILM ON THE LAST DAY FOR ME AT TIFF 2013. In R100, Nao Ohmori (star of Takashi Miike's Ichi the Killer) plays Takafumi Katayama, a mild-mannered father who escapes the pressures of daily life by joining a mysterious S&M club, where the so-called Queens visit clients in real-life settings. While at first the rough treatment and humiliation he receives from leather-clad women in cafés and restaurants is enjoyable, Takafumi soon realizes that he's opened a door that cannot be closed. ” - sharmatt
Prisoners (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
When Keller Dover's daughter and her friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands as the police pursue multiple leads and the pressure mounts. (153 mins.)
“ THIS FILM WAS HARD FOR ME TO JUDGE. I CERTAINLY WANTED MORE FROM THE DIRECTOR WHO GAVE US INCENDIES. THERE WERE MANY MOMENTS THAT I FOUND OVERPLAYED AND SILLY, YET IT CAPTURED MY ATTENTION ENTIRELY FROM BEGINNING TO END. FOR THAT IT DESERVED A 9/10, YET MY OVERALL IMPRESSION DROPPED IT TO A 7. On an overcast Thanksgiving in suburban Pennsylvania, two neighbouring families gather for dinner. Food, drink, games, and stories are shared. But as the party begins to wind down, the youngest daughters from each household are nowhere to be found. Panic sets in as the parents remember the mysterious Winnebago that was parked on their street earlier in the day. What has happened to the children? ” - sharmatt
Rush (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
The merciless 1970s rivalry between Formula One rivals James Hunt and Niki Lauda. (123 mins.)
Director: Ron Howard
Inequality for All (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  
A documentary that follows former U.S. Labor Secretary Robert Reich as he looks to raise awareness of the country's widening economic gap. (89 mins.)
Director: Jacob Kornbluth
Don Jon (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A New Jersey guy dedicated to his family, friends, and church, develops unrealistic expectations from watching porn and works to find happiness and intimacy with his potential true love. (90 mins.)
12-12-12 (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.1/10 X  
A mix of live performances and behind-the-scenes footage from the televised benefit concert to raise relief funds for victims of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. (105 mins.)
Gravity (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Two astronauts work together to survive after an accident which leaves them alone in space. (91 mins.)
Director: Alfonso Cuarón
Bethlehem (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Tells the story of the complex relationship between an Israeli Secret Service officer and his teenage Palestinian informant... (99 mins.)
Director: Yuval Adler
“ THIS FILM UNDERSCORES THE PROBLEMS ASSOCIATED WITH ISRAEL PALESTINIAN RELATIONS, A VERY COMMON FILM NARRATIVE. THIS ONE SHOWS A BALANCE OF COMPASSION FOR BOTH SIDES. IF ONLY THE STAKES WERE NOT SO HIGH. IN A SENTENCE IT DESCRIBES THE CONSEQUENCES OF COMMUNICATION BETWEEN AN ISRAELI SECURITY OFFICER AND A PALESTINIAN INFORMANT. SAD NARRATIVE, BALANCED AND EXCELLENT PRODUCTION VALUES. VARIETY: Debuting Israeli writer-helmer Yuval Adler and Palestinian co-scripter Ali Waked combine forces and their own intimate knowledge of the contempo Arab-Israeli conflict to impressive effect in “Bethlehem,” a tightly wound clock-ticking thriller. Centered around the fraught relationship between an Israeli intelligence officer and his conflicted Palestinian informant, the plot sifts through the moral complexities of the situation in such a way as to seem admirably evenhanded, although there are bound to be partisan viewers from both camps who will strive to find offense somewhere. ” - sharmatt
When Jews Were Funny (2013 Documentary)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Surveys the history of Jewish comedy. (89 mins.)
Director: Alan Zweig