A weekly feature from from ctvnews.ca! The Crouse Review is a quick, hot take on the weekend’s biggest movies! This week Richard looks at the law and disorder comedy “Super Troopers 2,” the new Amy Schumer movie “I Feel Pretty,” the mother-and-son-and-a-trailer movie “Mobile Homes.”
Richard sits in with CTV NewsChannel anchor Merella Fernandez to have a look at the weekend’s big releases, the cop comedy “Super Troopers 2,” the new Amy Schumer movie “I Feel Pretty,” the mother-and-son-and-a-trailer movie “Mobile Homes” and the drone romance “Eye on Juliet.”
A mother’s desperate attempts to provide for her child provided the backbone of last year’s “Florida Project,” a beautiful film whose look at poverty, while unvarnished, still managed to provide occasional moments of transcendent joy. “Mobile Homes,” a new film from French writer-director Vladimir de Fontenay breathes the same air minus the joy.
Imogen Poots is Ali, a young mom struggling to raise her eight-year-old son Bone (Frank Oulton). Roaming from town to town, they dine and dash their way across America. Scamming, selling drugs and cockfighting barely keep Bone, Ali and boyfriend Evan (Callum Turner) afloat as they scrimp to one day realize their dream of having a home of their own. After one disastrous night Ali and Bone flee, landing at a trailer park run by Robert (Callum Keith Rennie). Under the kindly park manager’s guidance mother and son gradually begin to change their lives, working toward something they’ve never had before, stability. “It’s a house,” Robert says of their new mobile home. “A home is what you build inside of it.” Ali’s dream of fabricating a life in a prefab home, however, is short lived.
“Mobile Homes” is all about a search for community and belonging. de Fontenay filters his story through an artfully gritty lens, but fails to provide the heart and soul necessary for the tale to take hold of our imaginations. Poots is charismatic while displaying such poor parenting skills it’s a wonder poor Bone made it past his first birthday. As the troublemaker Evan, Turner brings a sketchy energy but, despite the multitude of sex scenes with Ali, doesn’t have the chemistry with her to make us believe that she would buy into his cockamamie plans. “I love you,” he says after laying out a harebrained scheme, “it doesn’t have to make sense.” Well, yes it does if the audience is meant to care about what’s happening on screen.
Rennie is his usual solid self, playing a man with a heart-of-gold and an edge but the film’s best work comes from Oulton. Naturalistic and unaffected, he is the one character who feels in the moment in every moment of the film.
“Mobile Homes” boasts interesting cinematography from Benoit Soler, an elegiac score from Matthew Otto and features a rather spectacular visual metaphor for Ali’s crushed dream of ever having a home of her own. Unfortunately, despite the flashes of interest the film is more interested in misery than solid drama.
Richard hosted a Q&A with Don McKellar, star, director and writer of the 1998 CanCon classic “Last Night” in celebration of National Canadian Film day at the Revue Cinema in Toronto.
Synopsis from IMDB: “It’s 18:00 in a somewhat deserted Toronto on the last day before the scheduled end of the world at midnight, the end which has been known now for months. Most people are treating midnight as a matter-of-fact event with little sense of panic. In fact, many are celebrating this last day. Most have very specific wants for this last day and will do whatever they need to to make those wants happen. And some, such as Duncan and Donna with the gas company, are working, ensuring that the masses are served and comfortable during the final hours. The Wheeler family are marking the last day by having a Christmas party, although sullen adult son Patrick, his thoughts in part stemming from being recently widowed, has made it clear he wants to be alone in his own home at the end. Patrick’s wants may be in jeopardy when a woman named Sandra – Duncan’s wife – lands on his doorstep. Sandra is stranded, trying to make it across town to her own home so that she and Duncan can carry out their own last …”
The Revue Cinema (400 Roncesvalles Avenue, Toronto, Ontario) and Reel Canada celebrate National Canadian Film Day 150!
Don McKellar’s LAST NIGHT (1998) – 35mm print!
Director Don McKellar will be in attendance and participate in a Q&A with Richard Crouse after the film.
CAN 1998 95min.
Directed by Don McKellar
Starring Don McKellar, Sandra Oh, Sarah Polley, David Cronenberg, Callum Keith Rennie
What to do in Toronto as armageddon looms? A group of very different individuals with different ideas of how to face the end come together as the world is expected to end in six hours at the turn of the century. Don McKellar’s directorial debut is a standout classic of Canadian cinema.
The feature will be preceded by 40 000 000 Miles A Year (1948), a short film sponsored by the TTC, which features rare colour footage of various Toronto landmarks and makes a case for a proper transit and subway system in Toronto.
Recently scanned in 2K.
Doors open at 6:00PM.
Please note that since this Revue Film Society event is free, it is our policy to overbook to ensure capacity. We will begin releasing unclaimed seats to the rush line 10 minutes before the start of the event. In case of a full house, your reservation may not guarantee admission. We recommend you arrive early! 🙂
After twelves years of regular “Canada AM” movie reviews, Richard and host Beverly Thomson get together one last time to talk about the weekend’s four big releases, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping,” “Me Before You,” and “Into the Forest.”
Richard andCP24 anchor Nneka Elliot talk about the weekend’s four big releases, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows,” “Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping,” “Me Before You,” and “Into the Forest.”
“We hadn’t met before at all,” says Ellen Page of her Into the Forest director Patricia Rozema, “and you would think we would have.”
A big screen treatment of one of Robert Munsch’s children’s books brought them together.
“I was in L.A. and checked in to go back to Toronto,” says Rozema.
“Someone said, ‘Are you available to meet with Ellen Page about Paper Bag Princess?’ because we were both circling around it. I said OK and unchecked in and we met and sat in a café.”
“We just really connected,” says Page. “It was so immediate. Then I sent her (Jean Hegland’s novel) Into the Forest.”
The Paper Bag Princess is still on the back burner, but the director says once she got to know Page she wanted to work with her as an actor and producer on Into the Forest because, “I felt she had integrity.”
“After you have done a few (movies) you start thinking, I only want to work with people I want to have dinner with. Seriously. I really look much more closely at who I am working with now.”
There are no hoards of marauding zombies or planet eating black holes, massive solar eruptions or robots involved in their new end-of-the-world drama.
Instead it’s an anti-Michael Bay apocalypse film; a dystopian story focusing attention on the aftermath of disaster and the ties that bind one family together.
“It seemed to have so many things,” says Rozema on why she was drawn to the project.
“It had urgency. It had poetry. It had political import. It seemed to be intimate. It seemed to be really emotional. It seemed like it would be a visual feast and have action and suspense. I thought, ‘What doesn’t this have?’ And it was doable for not that much money because it was basically two girls in the forest.”
The “two girls in the forest” are Page and Evan Rachel Wood. They play sisters living with their widower father deep in the Pacific Northwest forest. It’s an isolated, quiet life, made quieter when a massive blackout knocks out their power. As the days turn into weeks it becomes clear the power may never come back. The closest grocery store has run out of food and the hand-cranked radio suggests terrorism is responsible for the outage.
Violence is in the air, and when tragedy strikes the sisters are forced to become self-sufficient while living off-the-grid.
“I have always loved post apocalyptic stories, films and survivalist stuff,” says Page, “and this really encompassed a lot of stuff I was thinking about at the time in terms of my relationship to the environment and society. What does that mean? What does our future look like?
“To be able to tell that story through the relationship (of the sisters), who are so powerful and so resilient, attracted me.”
Rozema, who also wrote the film’s screenplay, says the approach to the dystopian story isn’t the only unique thing about the movie. She points out that two female leads in a film is “a rare event.”
“It’s ridiculous how rare that is,” she says. “I said that to a friend of mine who is so progressive. He said, ‘Aren’t there many?’ What planet are you on? I said, ‘Name one.’ He said, Thelma and Louise. I said, ‘Name another one.’ That was it.”
There are no hoards of marauding zombies or planet eating black holes, massive solar eruptions or robots involved in Patricia Rozema’s new end-of-the-world drama “Into the Forest.” Instead it’s a dystopian story that focuses attention on the aftermath, and the ties that bind one family together. It’s riveting stuff, survival boiled down to its essence, without the bells and whistles that tend to clutter CGI driven “apocalypse wow” movies.
Adapted from the novel by Jean Hegland this is the story of widower Robert (Callum Keith Rennie) and his daughters Nell (Ellen Page) and Eva (Evan Rachel Wood) are a family who live deep in the Pacific Northwest forest. Miles away from their nearest neighbours, Nell studies for school while Eva rehearses for a dance competition. It’s an isolated, quiet life, made quieter when a massive blackout knocks out their power. As the days turn into weeks it becomes clear the power may never come back. The closest grocery store has run out of food and the hand-cranked radio is suggesting terrorism was responsible for the outage. Violence is in the air, and when tragedy strikes the sisters are forced to become self-sufficient while living off-the-grid.
There’s no big bang in “Into the Forest.” It’s a slow burn that builds in intensity as we get to know the characters. As Nell, Page is studious, responsible and headstrong, while Wood’s Eva is tough, a fighter with a lyrical side. Both are resilient in the face of hardship, but more importantly their sibling dynamic is, well, dynamic. This isn’t a disaster film; it’s a parable about survival in the face of disaster. It’s a study of human nature, willpower and the unbreakable bond that exists between sisters.
The film also contains a subtle but undeniable eco-message. Set against the lush backdrop of British Columbian woodland, “Into the Forest” makes a strong case for the kind of resourcefulness and skill set that seems lost in the age of Apple.
“Into the Forest” is the anti-Michael Bay apocalypse film. It’s a human story, and what it lacks in bombast it makes up for in emotional pyrotechnics.