That’s A Wrap! A Highly Subjective List of the Best, Worst, and Weirdest of TIFF 2019

By Jim Slotek, Kim Hughes, Liam Lacey, Karen Gordon, and Bonnie Laufer

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Your weekend preview: What to see (and what to skip) in theatres this week

Your Weekend Preview: What To See (And What To Skip) In Theatres This Week

Stand please -- we have royalty in the house. Two time Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett talks to our Bonne Laufer Krebs about her new role as a neurotic architect and mother in Richard Linklater’s 19th film, Where’d You Go, Bernadette (Rating: B-plus), which also stars Billy Crudup and newcomer Emma Nelson as their teen daughter.  Reviewer Karen Gordon says this screwball comedy that takes a while to finds its heart: “It’s a bit wonky, but so is life.”

Viveik Kalra as Javed discovers The Boss in Blinded By The Light.

Viveik Kalra as Javed discovers The Boss in Blinded By The Light.

More lauded actresses  -- Julianne Moore and Michelle Williams – star in After The Wedding, an American remake of the Danish director Susanne Bier’s 2006 Oscar nominated drama, starring Williams as an Indian orphanage director who is offered a large bequest by multi-millionaire Julianne Moore (Billy Crudup’s in this one, too, as Moore’s husband.). Despite the pedigree of the cast, writes Karen Gordon, this remake fails to deliver emotionally.

Given the swarm of new movies with kids and teens, you’d think school was out or something.  First up there’s the provocative comedyGood Boys (B minus) follows three foul-mouthed pre-teen friends who get invited to a kissing party -- and decide to do some research on the boy-girl stuff. Reviewer Thom Ernst says he doubts anyone, least of all kids, will be genuinely shocked.  Blinded By The Light, based on the memoir of Pakistani-English journalist Sarfraz Manzoor, and directed by Bend It Like Beckham’s Gurinder Chadha, follows an aspiring teen-aged writer from a conservative Muslim family in suburban Britain who becomes obsessed with the liberating message of Bruce Springsteen. This Boss-meets-Bollywood confection, says critic Liam Lacey has some gritty elements but is mostly “smothered in a warm jelly of sentimentality.” 

Finally, 47 Meters Down: Uncaged (D), offers a messy combination of teen girls in little bikinis and sharks with big appetites.

A more effective tale of the deep is Mine 9 (B), a taut indie film about Appalachian miners trapped in a cave-in a couple of miles underground, which our Jim Slotek says is handled with such verisimilitude, it seems as a true story even though it isn’t.

Sundance prize-winning documentary Cold Case Hammarskjöld has the opposite problem – it’s a true story (putatively) so outlandish it sounds like a work of spy fiction. Gonzo Danish director Mads Brügger sets out to learn about the 1961 death of UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld’s 1961 death and (possibly)  discovers a vast  conspiracy involving the South African government, foreign intelligence agencies, and a white supremacist militia group posing as health care workers

Have a great weekend.