Hey, here’s a fun fact: Two of this week’s openings have a Wynonna Earp connection. Birdland is the movie Melanie Scrofano was shooting when she auditioned for the show, and Badsville is directed by April Mullen, who helmed a number of season-two episodes, and stars Tamara Duarte, who played the revenant bartender Rosita in some of them.
… anyway, I think that’s cool.
Ava: Susan sees promise in Sadaf Foroughi’s first feature, which looks at (young) women’s issues in contemporary Tehran. I thought it was decent, too.
Badsville: I haven’t caught up to this, but it involves a biker gang disrupted by the power of love or something. Anyway, Rosita’s in it.
Birdland: Peter Lynch’s glossy, time-skipping mystery plays with early-Egoyan erotothriller tropes in a fun way, though I also expect that critics who weren’t around for Next of Kin and Family Viewing may not fully appreciate the joke. But the actors are definitely in on it.
Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool: Susan really likes Annette Bening’s work as Gloria Grahame in Paul McGuigan’s not-quite-a-biopic, which tells the story of Grahame’s final days and her relationship with the much younger Peter Turner (Jamie Bell).
Free Lunch Society: Kevin finds some merit in Christian Tod’s look at the minimum-basic-income movement, if not quite enough to sustain a feature.
Hollow in the Land: Dianna Agron is very good at not being Jennifer Lawrence, but the rest of Scooter Corkle’s plodding B.C. thriller is not nearly as good as Winter’s Bone. It’s a quandary.
The Insult: Ziad Doueiri’s allegorical drama about a dispute between a contractor and a mechanic that escalates until Beirut itself hangs in the balance returns to Toronto sporting a shiny new Oscar nomination for Best Foreign-Language Feature. So that’s nice.
The Maze Runner: The Death Cure: The first Maze Runner was so bad that I swore never to review another one. Upon hearing that this third and presumably final installment is 142 minutes long, I felt very good about this decision.
Midnight Return: The Story of Billy Hayes and Turkey: Sally Sussman’s look at the making of Midnight Express and its legacy of cultural insensitivity has some great stuff, and some stuff that’s not great at all. (Opens Tuesday at The Royal.)
Monolith: Katrina Bowden is basically the whole show in Ivan Silvestrini’s ticking-clock thriller about a woman trying to get her child out of a super-secure SUV … in the middle of Death Valley.
I also wrote things about The End of the F***ing World, a fun, dark UK series now running on Netflix. It’s fun and dark! You should watch it.