Category Archives: Reviews

TIFF FILM REVIEW: Guillermo del Toro’s ‘The Shape of Water’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – Guillermo del Toro’s “The Shape of Water” is a dazzling piece of cinema, a fairy tale for grownups that celebrates the joys of life amid every day banality with the occasional touch of horror. It … Continue reading

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: ‘Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – “Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool” is a disappointingly dismal film about a has-been Hollywood actress who has an affair with an on-the-make young British actor while she deals with her fading career and a … Continue reading

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: Alexander Payne’s ‘Downsizing’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – Alexander Payne’s “Downsizing” is a science-fiction tale that mixes whimsy with social commentary in constantly surprising ways but with ideas so scattershot that they never adhere as a satisfying drama. His filmmaking is so imaginative, … Continue reading

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: Stephen Frears’s ‘Victoria and Abdul’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – That Judy Dench stars as the venerable English queen in “Victoria and Albert” tells you all you need to know about what to expect from another tale of one of the widowed monarch’s odd friendships.

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: George Clooney’s ‘Suburbicon’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO – Joyless, witless and pointless, “Suburbicon” is a would-be black comedy that is simply murky and not in the least comic. It boasts some big names – director George Clooney, stars Matt Damon and Julianne Moore … Continue reading

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TIFF FILM REVIEW: Dee Rees’s ‘Mudbound’

By Ray Bennett TORONTO: “Mudbound” is set in the Mississippi Delta in the 1940s but with torrential rain, deeply ingrained racial hostility and changes wrought by World War II, it’s no treat to beat your feet. Two poor families – … Continue reading

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FILM REVIEW: Taylor Sheridan’s ‘Wind River’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – The bleak but beautiful frozen wilds of Utah substitute readily for Montana in Taylor Sheridan’s taut, violent and gripping crime drama “Wind River” in which Jeremy Renner is both cool and moving as a troubled … Continue reading

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FILM REVIEW: Christopher Nolan’s ‘Dunkirk’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – Christopher Nolan’s “Dunkirk” is a spectacular fireworks show filled with exciting action but as a record of an iconic World War II event it falls short and as human drama it’s a damp squib. When … Continue reading

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FILM REVIEW: Vincent Perez’s ‘Alone in Berlin’

By Ray Bennett LONDON – For those who have not read Hans Fallada’s terrifying novel “Alone in Berlin”, Vincent Perez’s film version is probably a mildly absorbing drama about two people bucking the odds. For those who have read it, … Continue reading

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KFMF: Adventure and tears as orchestra plays ‘Titanic Live’

By Ray Bennett KRAKOW – The Krakow Film Music Festival raised James Cameron’s “Titanic” to new heights as it screened to a live performance of James Horner’s Oscar-winning score to mark the film’s 20th anniversary. The festival had planned to … Continue reading

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