Canada’s Top Ten is underway at TIFF, but there are nine other features opening this week — one about a wake, one about an autopsy and another that’s just dead on arrival. Shall we go digging?
The Autopsy of Jane Doe: Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch are father-son coroners dissecting an increasingly disturbing mystery in Andre Ovredal’s English-language debut, which is about four-fifths of a great horror movie.
Bugs: I caught Andreas Johnsen’s documentary at Planet in Focus and thought it was a bit on the squicky side; Susan found it much more appealing.
The Bye Bye Man: Yeah, the notion of a boogeyman that infiltrates your mind as soon as you speak his dumb, dumb name is not the best idea — but Stacy Title knows what she’s doing and the actors all commit, so that’s something.
Live By Night: Ben Affleck’s adaptation of Dennis Lehane’s Prohibition-era gangland novel goes wrong almost immediately, and only gets worse from there. No wonder Warner disappeared the Oscar campaign so quickly.
Monster Trucks: There’s this truck with a monster in it, see? Totally different from the Transformers films, where the trucks are aliens. Rad can’t be bothered to care.
Mostly Sunny: Dilip Mehta’s profile of adult star-turned-legitimate Bollywood actress Sunny Leone is a textbook example of a TV special stretched to feature length. Or possibly an infomercial.
Patriots Day: Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg take another true story and turn it into a chance for Mark Wahlberg to play a blue-collar hero who turns disaster into triumph. Which, given the nature of this particular true story, is … problematic.
Sieranevada: I had to miss Cristi Pulu’s epic study of a Romanian wake to catch the Patriots Day screening. Jose definitely got the better deal that morning.
20th Century Women: Having been wasted in Rules Don’t Apply, Annette Bening roars back to the top of her class in Mike Mills’ autobiographical story of a boy (Lucas Jade Zumann) and his unconventional-even-for-the-’70s mother. Susan is all in.
Did I miss anything? I don’t think so … but I didn’t find out about The Autopsy of Jane Doe until Wednesday evening, so who knows?