All posts by Norm Wilner

Norman Wilner is a film critic who lives in Toronto.

Buddies in Arms

This week on Someone Else’s Movie , French-born, Toronto-based actor, writer and producer Florian François — whose new series Rencontres is available now on Bell Fibe TV1 — drops in to discuss Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano’s 2011 smash Intouchables.

I have to admit, it’s not a film I ever expected anyone to bring to the show — for all of its success, it’s kinda lightweight — but Florian makes a good case for it, and I’m glad we got to talk it through. So check it out!

You know how this works:  Subscribe to the show on Apple PodcastsGoogle Play or Stitcher, or download it straight from the website. And bonne écouter!

I probably got that wrong.

Working It

… yeah, there’s just too much opening this week. Let’s get through it as quickly as we can.

BPM (Beats Per Minute): AIDS in France: The Early Years. [Paul]

The Florida Project: Kids in America. Well, Florida anyway. [Rad]

The Foreigner: Jackie Chan, please call your agent. [Rad]

Goodbye Christopher Robin: Bollocks to this tosh, Milne. Seriously.

Happy Death DayGroundhog Day meets Scream. Audience wins.

The Limehouse Golem: Nobody wins with this one, sorry.

Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White House: Liam Neeson is Deep Throat. Snore. [Susan]

The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected): Noah Baumbach is back capturing pain.

Professor Marston and the Wonder Women: From a complex love, an Amazon!

78/52: Is Psycho‘s shower scene brilliant? Why, yes.

Oh, and I also wrote a thing about the new Netflix series Mindhunters. Meh.

October Activity

In this week’s NOW, I try to help people through the nightmare of the October microfestival season with a handy guide to the next couple of weeks.

(There was more to recommend than would fit into the space available,  so keep an eye on my Twitter feed for further recommendations.)

And online, you’ll find my Q&A with writer-director Angela Robinson, whose Professor Marston and the Wonder Women was one of TIFF’s nicer surprises last month.

I mean, the world is awful and we’re all gonna die, but at least we can distract ourselves with a decent love story.

Mr. Nighttime

This week on Someone Else’s Movie, I welcome an old friend: Vincenzo Natali, director of Cube and Splice and dozens of episodes of excellent television.

Why this week? Because Vince picked Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, which is having a moment after 35 years in the collective artistic unconscious, so how could I not drop the episode today.

It’s a conversation that ranges through the evolution of genre, the various iterations of the film, the arc of Ridley Scott’s career and all sorts of other stuff. We had a lot of ground to cover, and Vince was totally up for it. You should listen!

Your assignment: Subscribe to the show on Apple PodcastsGoogle Play or Stitcher,… or download the episode straight from the site. And just enjoy it.

Electric Sheep, Dreaming

It’s always like this after TIFF. You think you can catch your breath, but a dozen movies open every week and only some of them were at the festival. Here we go again …

Bad Grandmas: Pam Grier! Florence Henderson! Judge Reinhold?

Blade Runner 2049: Gorgeous, thoughtful, moody,  a little long.

Great Great Great: Sarah Kolasky owns this movie. Seriously.

Losing Our Religion: Documentary. It’s on CBC next week.

Loving Vincent: Van Gogh’s art speaks for itself. [Rad]

Lucky: Rest in power, Harry Dean Stanton.

The Mountain Between Us: Elba! Winslet! Get a better script!

My Little Pony: The Movie: Wait, Emily Blunt is in this?

Rebel in the Rye: J.D. Salinger would call this phony.

School Life: Educational documentary, aka In Loco Parentis.

Unarmed Verses: Knockout Toronto documentary from Charles Officer. [Rad]

Oh, and the 2017 edition of Cinefranco starts up at the Carlton tonight; I wrote a web piece about it, and I’ll add the link as soon as it goes live. Stand by!

An Unknown Impulse

I was bowled over by Sarah Kolasky‘s performance in Great Great Great all the way back in March, and this week, the movie — which she co-wrote and co-produced with director Adam Garnet Jones — is finally in theatres.

This is good for a number of reasons, but mainly because it gave me an excuse to talk to Sarah for an episode of Someone Else’s Movie, in which she discusses Lynne Ramsay’s complex, ambiguous Morvern Callar. It’s a choice that ties into Great Great Great in a couple of interesting ways, and we get into that, among other things, over the course of the conversation. Check it out, why don’t you?

You know how to get it, right? Subscribe to the show on Apple PodcastsGoogle Play or Stitcher, or download the episode directly from the web. Enjoy it! And check out Great Great Great when it opens on Friday. It’s really quite good.

The Warmest Place to Hide

So I was at the Calgary Film Festival over the weekend to do a fun Wynonna Earp thing — which was really, really fun, as you’ll see when the festival posts the whole panel on YouTube next week — but now I’m back and returning to my Toronto-based engagements.

Like what? Well, tonight I’m introducing this month’s NOW Free Flick at The Royal, and it’s a goodie: We’re in a Halloween frame of mind, so we’re screening John Carpenter’s The Thing.

You know the movie. But if you need a refresher, check out Kat Angus’ episode of Someone Else’s Movie from earlier this summer; it’s a goodie too.

Screening-wise, it’s the same deal as always: Doors open at 6:30 pm, show starts at 7:30 pm. The first hundred guests get free popcorn, and everybody gets a free movie. How can you turn this down?

Honestly, you can’t. I’ll see you there.

Up in the Air

I’m flying to Calgary for a thing today, but there are still movies opening and you will be wanting to know about them and here we go.

American Made: Tom Cruise and Doug Liman trade the near-future of Edge of Tomorrow for the recent past with a tale of high-flying Iran-Contra hijinx that is not quite as good as it would like to be. But Cruise is great.

Do Donkeys Act?: David Redmon and Ashley Sabin’s look at donkey sanctuaries — with poetic narration read by Willem Dafoe — is a different sort of documentary, and a really lovely one.

Don’t Talk to Irene: Pat Mills’ high-school misfit comedy is a modest charmer, particularly if you’ve already accepted Geena Davis into your heart. Trust me.

Flatliners: Sequel? Remake? Seemake? Requel? I don’t know, because they didn’t screen it in advance. Such is the mystery of Flatliners 2017.

The Midwife: Martin Provost’s new drama — starring Catherine Deneuve, Catherine Frot and Olivier Gourmet — was dropped into the release calendar at the last minute. I hope it’s good.

Victoria and Abdul: Glenn has mixed feelings about Stephen Frears’ period drama, which allows Judi Dench to play Queen Victoria once again but doesn’t exactly engage with its potentially loaded subject matter.

White Night: A handful of people wander around Nuit Blanche in this pleasant microbudget affair from five promising Toronto directors. (The location stuff doesn’t work, but the characters do.)

Woodshock: Kirsten Dunst trips hard in the first feature from fashion designers Kate and Laura Mulleavy. Also unavailable for preview, but I’d still wager it’s better than Flatliners.

Okay, that’s everything. Check back tomorrow for cool Wynonna Earp stuff, if I can make the link work! 

UPDATE: I could not make it work.

Halloween Comes Early

In this week’s NOW, I choose the best of the classic horror (and horror-adjacent) films screening at Jackman Hall and the Lightbox over the next few weeks, tied to the AGO’s new  Guillermo Del Toro: At Home with Monsters exhibit.

There’s some great stuff in there. So much, in fact, that I even snuck in an eleventh recommendation when I was supposed to be building a top ten.

Guillermo will understand, I’m sure.