On the Saturday October 21, 2023 edition of The Richard Crouse Show we welcome a household name. In the NHL Ken Dryden backstopped the Montreal Canadiens to six Stanley Cup championships in eight seasons. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame. He was a Liberal Member of Parliament from 2004 to 2011 and Minister of Social Development from 2004 to 2006. In 2017, the league counted him in history’s 100 Greatest NHL Players. He received the Order of Hockey in Canada in 2020.
He’s also an author. His books include the bestselling “The Game” and “Face Off at the Summit.” His new book is “The Class: A Memoir of a Place, a Time, and Us,” a look back to class 9G at Etobicoke Collegiate Institute.
Then, we’ll meet Irish-Canadian playwright, novelist, and screenwriter. Her 2010 novel “Room” was a finalist for the Booker Prize and an international best-seller. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for “Room,” and since then she has released a number of best-selling novels, including “The Wionder,” and her latest, “Learned by Heart,” which was shortlisted for the 2023 Atwood Gibson Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize.
The new novel is based on the true story of two girls who fall secretly, deeply and dangerously in love at boarding school in nineteenth century York.
Each week on the nationally syndicated Richard Crouse Show, Canada’s most recognized movie critic brings together some of the most interesting and opinionated people from the movies, television and music to put a fresh spin on news from the world of lifestyle and pop-culture. Tune into this show to hear in-depth interviews with actors and directors, to find out what’s going on behind the scenes of your favourite shows and movies and get a new take on current trends. Recent guests include Chris Pratt, Elvis Costello, Baz Luhrmann, Martin Freeman, David Cronenberg, Mayim Bialik, The Kids in the Hall and many more!
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Richard hosted the May Giller Power Panel, exploring how books are adapted to the big and small screen, how the writer is involved (or not) in the process, how much control they can exert over the final product, how a book gets optioned, and more.
The panel featured Margaret Atwood, Emma Donoghue, Sarah Polley and Clement Virgo.
April 14, 2022 (Toronto, Ontario) – Elana Rabinovitch, Executive Director of The Giller Foundation, is pleased to announce our May Giller Power Panel. The May 3, event will explore the process of adapting books for tv and film and is entitled From Page to Screen.
The Giller Power Panels pull together creatives with a moderator each month to discuss the intersection of literature and other cultural and political expressions.
The May panel will explore how books are adapted to the big and small screen, how the writer is involved (or not) in the process, how much control they can exert over the final product, how a book gets optioned, and more.
The panel will feature Margaret Atwood, Cherie Dimaline, Emma Donoghue, Lawrence Hill, Sarah Polley and Clement Virgo.
Richard Crouse, film critic and author will moderate the panel.
About the panelists:
Margaret Atwood, whose work has been published in more than 45 countries, is the author of more than 50 books of fiction, poetry, critical essays, and graphic novels. Burning Questions, a collection of essays from 2004 – 2021 will be published in March 2022. Dearly, her first collection of poetry in over a decade, was published November 2020. Her latest novel, The Testaments, is a co-winner of the 2019 Booker Prize. It is the long-awaited sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, now an award-winning TV series. Her other works of fiction include Cat’s Eye, finalist for the 1989 Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize; The MaddAddam Trilogy; and Hag-Seed. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade, the Franz Kafka International Literary Prize, the PEN Center USA Lifetime Achievement Award, and the Los Angeles Times Innovator’s Award. She lives in Toronto.
Richard Crouse is the regular film critic for the 24 hour news source CTV’s News Channel and CP24. His syndicated Saturday afternoon radio show, The Richard Crouse Show, originates on News Talk 1010 in Toronto. He is also the author of ten books on pop culture history.
Cherie Dimaline is a member of the Georgian Bay Métis Community in Ontario. Her 2017 book, The Marrow Thieves, won the Governor General’s Award and the prestigious Kirkus Prize for Young Readers, and was the fan favourite for CBC’s 2018 Canada Reads. It was named a Book of the Year on numerous lists including the National Public Radio, the School Library Journal, the New York Public Library, the Globe and Mail, Quill & Quire and the CBC, has been translated into several languages, and continues to be a national bestseller two years later. Her most recent novel for adults, Empire of Wild became an instant Canadian bestseller and was named Indigo’s #1 Best Book of 2019. It was published in the US through William Morrow in July 2020. Cherie received the prestigious Writers’ Trust Engel Findley Award in 2021. Her most recent YA novel, Hunting By Stars, was published in Canada and the US in 2021, and is a 2022 American Indian Library Association Youth Literature Award Young Adult Honor Book. She lives in Midland, ON, where she is working on a few new YA books, her next adult novel and writing for film and TV projects.
Born in Dublin in 1969, Emma Donoghue has lived in London Ontario since 1998. She adapted her Booker-shortlisted 2010 novel Room into the 2015 film (for which she was nominated for Academy, Golden Globe and Bafta awards and won a Canadian Screen Award), and has co-adapted her Giller-nominated 2016 novel The Wonder for the 2022 feature film from Netflix.
Lawrence Hill is the award-winning and internationally bestselling author of eleven books of fiction and nonfiction, including The Book of Negroes, which was made into a six-part TV mini-series, and The Illegal, both of which won CBC Canada Reads. His previous novels, Some Great Thing and Any Known Blood, also became national bestsellers. Hill’s nonfiction work includes Blood: The Stuff of Life (the subject of his 2013 Massey Lectures), and the memoir Black Berry, Sweet Juice: On Being Black and White in Canada. In January 2022, HarperCollins Canada published Hill’s latest book — the novel Beatrice and Croc Harry.
Hill’s volunteer work has included Crossroads International, the Black Loyalist Heritage Society, Book Clubs for Inmates, The Ontario Black History Society, and Walls to Bridges – a non-profit group offering university courses to incarcerated Canadians. A professor of creative writing at the University of Guelph, he has spent more than a decade volunteering in book clubs in federal penitentiaries. Through Walls to Bridges, he taught a third-year undergraduate memoir writing course to women incarcerated in the Grand Valley Institution for Women in Kitchener ON.
Currently, Hill is writing screenplays for a TV miniseries in development, as well as a new novel about the thousands of African-American soldiers who travelled from military bases in the Deep South to help build the Alaska Highway in northern British Columbia and Yukon during World War Two. He is a member of the Order of Canada, and a winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize and the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, and (for screenwriting) a co-winner (with Clement Virgo) of the NAACP Award and a Canadian Screen Award. He lives with his wife, the writer Miranda Hill, in Hamilton ON and in Woody Point, NL.
Sarah Polley is a Governor General’s Award-winning writer-director-producer whose dramatic features include Away from Her (nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay and winner of the Canadian Screen Award for Best Motion Picture and Achievement in Direction) and Take This Waltz. Her autobiographical Stories We Tell was awarded Best Documentary by the Toronto Film Critics Association, the New York Film Critics Circle, the National Board of Review and the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. The film was shortlisted for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. Sarah’s next feature film, an adaptation she wrote of Miriam Toews’ acclaimed novel Women Talking which she also directs, will premiere in 2022. Polley’s adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace for Netflix and CBC, which she Executive Produced, garnered six Canadian Screen Awards including Best Screenplay, Director, Actress and Limited Series. Sarah served as Executive Producer on Attiya Khan’s A Better Man and co-directed and executive produced the web series Hey Lady!.
Clement Virgo is one of Canada’s foremost film directors. His TV directing credits include Empire (Fox), The Wire (HBO), The L Word (HBO), American Crime (ABC), and the OWN network drama series Greenleaf (2017), on which he also served as Executive Producer with Oprah Winfrey. Virgo is currently in post-production on his feature film Brother, based on the award-winning novel by David Chariandy, and is also in development with CBC on the limited series Half-Blood Blues, based on Esi Edugyan’s prized novel.
In 2015, Virgo directed and co-wrote a six-part miniseries adaptation of Lawrence Hill’s The Book of Negroes which debuted to record-breaking numbers on the CBC in Canada and on BET in the U.S. and was nominated for two U.S. Critics Choice Television Awards, including Best Limited Series and four 2015 NAACP Image Award Nominations including Best Miniseries and Best Writing (Virgo, Hill).
His first feature film, Rude, premiered at Cannes in 1995 and played festivals around the world including London and Sundance. Other feature films include Poor Boy’s Game and Lie With Me, based on his partner’s Tamara Faith Berger’s first novel, which played top tier festivals including Berlinale and TIFF and sold in over 40 countries. Virgo currently sits on the Canadian Film Centre’s Board of Directors.
Please continue to visit scotiabankgillerprize.ca for information on upcoming Giller Power Panels on different topics each month.
About the Prize
The Giller Prize, founded by Jack Rabinovitch in 1994, highlights the very best in Canadian fiction year after year. In 2005, the prize teamed up with Scotiabank who increased the winnings four-fold. The Scotiabank Giller Prize now awards $100,000 annually to the author of the best Canadian novel, short story collection or graphic novel published in English, and $10,000 to each of the finalists. The award is named in honour of the late literary journalist Doris Giller by her husband Toronto businessman Jack Rabinovitch, who passed away in August 2017.
Word Alliance logoIFOA is proud to be a member of the Word Alliance, a collaboration of eight of the world’s finest literary festivals. The Word Alliance creates a platform for artistic partnership; further expansion of online content; professional, audience and organizational development and an international touring programme for authors.
Thursday, October 26, 2017 – 8:00 PM
Brigantine Room, Harbourfront Centre
235 Queens Quay West
Toronto M5J 2G8
Cost: $18/$15 for IFOA Supporters, Free for students and youth
John Boyne and Emma Donoghue have seen their literary works adapted for the screen. They talk to film critic and author Richard Crouse about their experience and success.
John Boyne is the author of ten novels for adults, five novels for younger readers and a collection of short stories. His 2006 novel The Boy in the Striped Pajamas was an international bestseller, selling over 7 million copies worldwide. He has won three Irish Book Awards, a Stonewall Honor Award and a Lambda Literary Award. His novels are published in more than 50 languages. The author lives in Dublin, Ireland. He presents The Heart’s Invisible Furies.
Richard Crouse is the host of the Bell Media show Pop Life, the regular film critic for CTV’s News Channel and CP24. His syndicated Saturday afternoon radio show, The Richard Crouse Show, originates on News Talk 1010 in Toronto. He is also the author of nine books on pop culture history including the best-selling The 100 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, its sequel The Son of the 100 Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, the bestselling Raising Hell: Ken Russell and the Unmaking of The Devils and Elvis is King: Costello’s My Aim is True. He also writes a weekly column for Metro newspaper.
Emma Donoghue is an Irish emigrant twice over: she spent eight years in Cambridge doing a PhD in eighteenth-century literature before moving to London, Ontario, where she lives with her partner and their two children. She also migrates between genres writing literary history, biography, and stage and radio plays as well as fairy tales and short stories. She is best known for her novels, which range from the historical to the contemporary. Her international bestseller Room was a New York Times Best Book of 2010 and a finalist for the Man Booker, Commonwealth, and Orange prizes. The Lotterys Plus One is her first novel for young readers.
For a fourth year in a row, Telefilm Canada and Birks, have partnered to celebrate Canadian women in film during the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). The 2016 honourees of the Birks Diamond Tribute to the Year’s Women in Film are directors Tracey Deer, Ann Marie Fleming, April Mullen, Léa Pool and Ann Shin; actors Amanda Crew, Caroline Dhavernas, Christine Horne, Sandra Oh and Jennifer Podemski; as well as scriptwriters Emma Donoghue and Marie Vien.
The 12 Canadian women actors, directors, and scriptwriters were selected by a pan-Canadian jury of 20 journalists and bloggers covering the world of arts, culture and entertainment. The recipients will be honoured on Monday, September 12, 2016 at an invite-only event at the Shangri-La Hotel, Toronto.
“The 2016 edition of the Birks Diamond Tribute to the Year’s Women in Film showcases diversity—that of our industry and our country. Among the honourees are rising stars and established talent, as well as filmmakers who have distinguished themselves in a wide variety of genres and styles,” said Carolle Brabant, Telefilm Canada’s Executive Director. “It is essential to promote the dynamism that these women bring to cinema, both at home and abroad. They are true stars and we want all Canadians to be proud of them!”
“Birks is extremely proud to recognize Canadian female talent in film for the fourth year in a row during TIFF. This year’s honourees are highly deserving of the reward and demonstrate that in every category of film, from writers to directors to on screen, women are leading the way. Canadian women are setting the bar extremely high,’’ added Eva Hartling, Vice President, Marketing & Communications of Birks Group Inc.
Amanda Crew, actor, is well known for her performance in the comedy Sex Drive, which was followed by a role in the supernatural thriller The Haunting in Connecticut. She also played the lead in the films Repeaters, Sisters & Brothers and Charlie Zone. Since 2014, she has been portraying Monica on the HBO sitcom Silicon Valley.
Tracey Deer, director, has made fiction films and the documentaries Club Native and Mohawk Girls, the latter of which she turned into a TV series. Her work has been honoured with two Gemini awards and has earned acclaim at the Hot Docs festival. She has worked with the CBC, the National Film Board of Canada and independent production companies. In 2008, Playback declared her one of the rising stars in the entertainment industry.
Caroline Dhavernas, actor, has over 50 film and television credits to her name. She is the recipient of two Gémeaux Awards for the series Zap and Tag, and has also drawn praise for her work on Mars et Avril and Blue Moon. Her American filmography includes the series Wonderfalls and Hannibal, as well as the film Hollywoodland with Adrien Brody.
Emma Donoghue, scriptwriter, is also a very successful novelist. She adapted the script for Room, the Canadian-Irish coproduction that won at the Oscars and at the Canadian Screen Awards, from one of her novels. The film was nominated for more than 100 awards from around the world. She has also written a short film, Pluck, and is working on the screen adaptation of her latest book, Frog Music.
Ann Marie Fleming, director, has over 30 award-winning films to her credit, focusing on family, history and identity. In June 2016, her film Window Horses was shown in competition at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. In 2010, I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors made the Toronto International Film Festival’s Canada’s Top Ten list.
Christine Horne, actor, has worked in film, television and theatre. She is known for her outstanding performance in The Captive, Hyena Road and Stories We Tell and has also appeared on Republic of Doyle. She won a Best Performance Canadian Screen Award for her guest role in the TV series, Remedy.
April Mullen, director, has just completed the feature film Below Her Mouth, which was shot entirely by an all-female crew. Previously, Dead Before Dawn 3D marked Mullen as the first-ever woman to direct a live-action stereoscopic 3D feature and took home the Perron Crystal Award. Her other films include 88, which has sold in over 22 territories, and Badsville, slated to begin its festival run this year.
Sandra Oh, actor, known for roles in award-winning television series and feature films including Double Happiness, Last Night, Sideways, Rabbit Hole, among others. One of her most notable roles includes her portrayal of fan favourite “Dr. Cristina Yang” in the long running, hit series Grey’s Anatomy, for which she garnered Golden Globe, Emmy and SAG award nominations. Most recently, she stars as the voice of “Rosie Ming” in Ann Marie Fleming’s upcoming animated film Window Horses, which she also produced.
Jennifer Podemski, actor, has enjoyed a 25-year career and in recent years has appeared in Jimmy P., Take This Waltz, Empire of Dirt and Fire Song. She was co-executive producer of the Indspire Awards, which recognizes achievements made by Indigenous Canadians, and is host of Seventh Generation, a television series for Aboriginal youth who speak Hebrew and Ojibwa/Saulteaux.
Léa Pool, director, has made her mark on Canadian cinema history with over 15 works. Her latest offering, La Passion d’Augustine, took home six awards at the Gala du cinéma québécois, including Best Film. She has garnered tremendous international acclaim for films such as Emporte-moi, La Femme de l’hôtel and the documentary L’Industrie du ruban rose.
Ann Shin, director, has recently helmed My Enemy, My Brother, the 2016 Oscar-nominated documentary short, and The Defector: Escape from North Korea. She has won three Canadian Screen Awards including the Diversity Award. Her talent is also celebrated in Asia.
Marie Vien, scriptwriter, made quite the debut with her work on La Passion d’Augustine, winner of Best Film at the 2016 Gala du cinéma québécois as well as the Audience Award at the Mill Valley Film Festival. She has also created many variety shows and enjoyed renown for her work on youth documentary series, including M’aimes-tu?
Nomination process and jury
In addition to an internal committee, this year, for the first time, Telefilm and Birks called upon the industry to be a part of the nomination process for the Birks Diamond Tribute to the Year’s Women in Film, namely the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA), the Association des réalisateurs et réalisatrices du Québec (ARRQ), the Directors Guild of Canada (DGC), the Société des auteurs de radio, télévision et cinéma (SARTEC) and the Writers Guild of Canada (WGC).
Telefilm and Birks brought together a jury of 20 people, representing the largest panel in the event’s four-year history. The pan-Canadian jury is made up of renowned journalists and bloggers covering arts, culture and entertainment: Victoria Ahearn (The Canadian Press), Katie Bailey (Playback), Ilana Banks (CBC News, Arts & Entertainment), Linda Barnard (Toronto Star), Richard Crouse (Metro), Laura deCarufel, (thekit.ca), Maxime Demers (Journal de Montréal), Noreen Flanagan (Elle Canada), Dana Gee (The Province), Teri Hart (CityTV BT), Marc-André Lussier (La Presse), Randall King (Winnipeg Free Press), Katherine Monk (Global, CBC, Corus), Bernadette Mora (Fashion Magazine), Ingrid Randoja (Cineplex Magazine), Kiva Reardon (freelance journalist), Johanna Schneller (The Globe and Mail), Odile Tremblay (Le Devoir), Will Wong (Mr. Will Wong) and Natalia Wysocka (Métro).
The committee members took into consideration the work of women who are part of the new generation of exceptional talent in our milieu; and who throughout their careers have used their creative talent to greatly contribute to the growth of the industry.
Vin Diesel is a Witch Hunter in the appropriately named “The Last Witch Hunter,” Christopher Plummer hunts Nazis in “Remember,” while Brie Larson searches for freedom in “Room” and Bill Murray looks for redemption in “Rock the Kasbah.” Richard reviews them all with “Canada AM” host Beverly Thomson.
Imagine if your worldview only extended ten feet in all directions, with a skylight as your only view into the world beyond your walls. That’s the situation Jack (Jacob Tremblay), the five-year-old son of Ma (Brie Larson) finds himself in. He wakes up every morning to greet the only things he knows to be real. “Hello table,” he says. “Hello sink, hello bathtub.” A backyard is something he’s only ever seen on television and when he asks, “Where do we go when we dream?” Ma says, “Nowhere, we’re always here.”
Based on Emma Donoghue’s Man Booker Prize-shortlisted novel of he same name, “Room” dramatizes the inner-dialogue of the book, walking us through the claustrophobic story of a woman abducted by an abuser she calls Old Nick (Sean Bridgers). He locks her away in a small soundproof shed for seven years, making regular conjugal visits, the result of which is Jack, a sweet natured boy born into captivity.
Days after celebrating Jack’s fifth birthday, Ma tells him he’s old enough now to help her fool Old Nick and possibly escape their prison. “I want to be four again,” he says, but agrees to go along with the audacious plan. If the plan works they will be free again, but what will life beyond their ten-foot-by-ten-foot box be like?
“Room’s” first hour is claustrophobic, but when Ma and Jack are onscreen together, filled with warmth. They have a bond that goes beyond the usual mother-son connection—she’s the only person Jack has ever communicated with—and the film does a good job at fleshing out their relationship. The connection between them turns the film into a story of a mother’s love rather than a ripped-from-the-headlines tale of abduction and abuse.
The film’s second half reveals the effects of Old Nick’s long term abuse, the post traumatic stress of seven years of subverting yourself to the whims of a captor. The two halves of the story are bound by remarkable performances from Larson and Tremblay. Larson is vulnerable and fierce, simultaneously, doing what she must to protect and raise her child. Similarly Tremblay’s performance is modulated between temper tantrums, wonder and bewilderment as he learns about finding his place in a world that didn’t know he existed.
“Room” is a tearjerker that occasionally makes too much room for melodrama and on-the-money dialogue, but is captivatingly told nonetheless.