play­ing this week

NOW Magazine - - MOVIES -

How to find a list­ing Movie list­ings are com­pre­hen­sive and or­ga­nized al­pha­bet­i­cally. List­ings in­clude name of film, di­rec­tor’s name in brack­ets, a re­view, run­ning time and a rat­ing. Re­views are by Nor­man Wil­ner (NW), Su­san G. Cole (SGC), Glenn Sumi (GS), and Radheyan Simonpillai (RS) un­less oth­er­wise spec­i­fied.

The rat­ing sys­tem is as fol­lows: NNNNN Top 10 of the year NNNN Hon­ourable men­tion NNN En­ter­tain­ing NN Medi­ocre N Bomb

Crit­ics’ pick (highly rec­om­mended) Movie the­atres are listed at the end and can be cross-ref­er­enced to our film times on page 36 or on­line at BEAu­Ti­fuL BOy (Felix van Groenin­gen) stars Steve Carell and Ti­mothée Cha­la­met in a decades-span­ning story about a fa­ther try­ing to un­der­stand his son’s strug­gles with drug ad­dic­tion. You can feel the cal­cu­la­tion in ev­ery cam­era setup where the ac­tion­ship

tors face each other in con­trived still­ness, in ev­ery sound­track cut that in­structs us how to feel about a given mo­ment. Van Groenin­gen made the mas­ter­ful, richly emo­tional Bel­gian fea­tures The Mis­for­tu­nates and The Bro­ken Cir­cle Break­down; here, it’s as if he’s work­ing from a rigid blue­print he can’t quite un­der­stand. 112 min. NN (NW) Cine­plex Cin­e­mas Em­press Walk, Queensway, Sco­tia­bank Theatre, Var­sity BEL CANTO (Paul Weitz) 101 min. See re­view, this page. NNN (NW) Opens Oct 26 at Canada Square, Cine­plex Cin­e­mas Em­press Walk, Imag­ine Carl­ton Cinema

CAN yOu EVEr fOr­GiVE ME? (Marielle ñ Heller) 106 min. See re­view, this page. NNNN (NW) Opens Oct 26 at Var­sity CO­LETTE (Wash West­more­land) is a biopic of France’s best-sell­ing fe­male au­thor. The film cen­tres on Co­lette’s days mar­ried to the vice-happy Willy (Do­minic West), liv­ing in Paris and ghost­writ­ing his wildly pop­u­lar fic­tion se­ries Clau­dine. Soon she’s tak­ing women lovers and tour­ing with a dance troupe all over the coun­try. We wait pa­tiently for her to dump him (their rela-

doesn’t seem cred­i­ble) and start writ­ing un­der her own name. Un­for­tu­nately, just as she does ex­actly that, the film ends. Knight­ley is com­pelling as the wronged writer find­ing her voice, and the les­bian con­tent is rich. 111 min. NNN (SGC) Canada Square, Var­sity

CrAzy riCh AsiANs (Jon Chu) is an ñ

in­fec­tiously en­joy­able adap­ta­tion of Kevin Kwan’s best­seller about an Amer­i­can-born Chi­nese pro­fes­sor (Con­stance Wu) who dis­cov­ers her hunky New York boyfriend (Henry Gold­ing) is heir to a huge for­tune when the two visit his na­tive Sin­ga­pore for a wed­ding. Di­rec­tor Chu brings a sunny retro feel to the film’s look, Sin­ga­pore, com­plete with fash­ion and food porn, looks stun­ning. Wu more than holds her own against the im­pe­ri­ous, el­e­gant Michelle Yeoh as Nick’s Tiger mom, but look for a half-dozen comic ac­tors – among them Ronny Chieng, Jimmy O. Yang, Ken Jeong and Awk­wa­fina – to steal scenes. Some sub­ti­tles. 120 min. NNNN (GS) Fox, Imag­ine Carl­ton Cinema, Kingsway Theatre, Queensway, Re­vue, Sil­verCity Yonge, Yonge & Dun­das 24

firsT MAN (Damien Chazelle) finds ñ

Chazelle and Ryan Gosling fol­low­ing the ex­u­ber­ant La La Land with a project both big­ger and smaller, track­ing eight years in the life of Neil Arm­strong, the first man on the moon. Gosling gives one of his most con­tained per­for­mances, tun­ing out the world like a ra­dio to fo­cus on the task at hand, and Claire Foy matches his quiet com­mit­ment as Janet Arm­strong. And the space stuff is mag­nif­i­cent: see this in IMAX. It mat­ters. 138 min. NNNN (NW) Beach Cin­e­mas, Cine­plex Cin­e­mas Em­press Walk, Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Imag­ine Mar­ket Square, Imag­ine Prom­e­nade Mall, Queensway, Sco­tia­bank Theatre, Sil­verCity Fairview, Sil­verCity Yonge, Sil­verCity York­dale, Var­sity, Yonge & Dun­das 24

frEE sOLO (Eliz­a­beth Chai Vasarhe­lyi, ñ Jimmy Chin) is a doc­u­men­tary about moun­tain climber Alex Hon­nold’s at­tempt to be­come the first free soloist (no ropes, har­nesses or equip­ment) to climb the sheer 3,000-foot El Cap­i­tan rock face in Yosemite Na­tional Park. The cine­matog­ra­phy is suit­ably awe-in­spir­ing (codi­rec­tor Jimmy Chin and the crew are clim­bers them­selves), but the movie’s main draw­back is Hon­nold, who’s not very in­sight­ful about him­self and why he climbs. While the film’s out­come is a given, the scenes are still white-knuckle ex­cit­ing. 100 min. NNNN (GS) Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Sco­tia­bank Theatre, Var­sity GOOsE­BuMps 2: hAuNTEd hAL­LOwEEN (Ari San­del) is a com­edy ad­ven­ture star­ring Jack Black based on the works by au­thor R.L. Stine. 90 min. Beach Cin­e­mas, Canada Square, Cine­plex Cin­e­mas Em­press Walk, Eglin­ton Town Cen­

tre, Imag­ine Carl­ton Cinema, Imag­ine Mar­ket Square, Queensway, Sil­verCity Fairview, Sil­verCity York­dale, Yonge & Dun­das 24

ThE GuiLTy (Gus­tav Möller) is a sin­gle-lo­ca­tion ñ thriller about a Dan­ish po­lice of­fi­cer (Jakob Ced­er­gren) work­ing in an emer­gency call cen­tre who re­ceives a cryp­tic call from a fraz­zled woman (voiced by Jes­sica Din­nage) who’s be­ing ab­ducted. As­ger uses his cop smarts to try and track her down, while also pre­par­ing for an up­com­ing in­quiry into some un­savoury thing he did on the force. First-time fea­ture di­rec­tor Gus­tav Möller wrings max­i­mum drama from the claus­tro­pho­bic set­ting, con­vey­ing lots with the sound mix. And Ced­er­gren’s bravura per­for­mance will make you ig­nore the plot’s con­trivances. Subti­tled. 85 min. NNNN (GS) TIFF Bell Light­box

hAL­LOwEEN (David Gor­don Green) ñ

picks up 40 years af­ter the events of the orig­i­nal Hal­loween – and ig­nores ev­ery­thing that fol­lowed – to find Jamie Lee Cur­tis’s Lau­rie Strode hav­ing gone full Sarah Con­nor since sur­viv­ing the Had­don­field babysit­ter mur­ders – which comes in handy when Michael My­ers re­sumes his killing spree. Things take a lit­tle too long to get go­ing, but the only thing that re­ally mat­ters is whether this new Hal­loween can de­liver a sat­is­fy­ing cli­max, and it ab­so­lutely does. 106 min. NNNN (NW) Beach Cin­e­mas, Cine­plex Cin­e­mas Em­press Walk, Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Imag­ine Carl­ton Cinema, Imag­ine Mar­ket Square, Imag­ine Prom­e­nade Mall, Queensway, Sco­tia­bank Theatre, Sil­verCity Fairview, Sil­verCity Yonge, Sil­verCity York­dale, Yonge & Dun­das 24

ThE hATE u GiVE (Ge­orge Till­man Jr.) adapts Angie Thomas’s YA best­seller with a real ur­gency and rel­e­vance. When a young Black girl (Amandla Sten­berg) wit­nesses the po­lice shoot­ing of a child­hood friend, she’s un­sure whether to come for­ward and tes­tify against the white cop or stay silent. Things are com­pli­cated by the fact that the lo­cal drug lord wants her hushed, and her priv­i­leged white friends at school have wild mis­con­cep­tions about the crime. The film­mak­ers strug­gle to fit the novel’s strands into the film, re­sult­ing in some un­der­de­vel­oped char­ac­ters. But key scenes – in­clud­ing the shoot­ing and other ex­am­ples of po­lice bru­tal­ity – are han­dled ef­fec­tively, and Sten­berg’s tran­si­tion from con­flicted girl to an­gry and em­pow­ered ac­tivist is thrilling to watch. 133 min. NNN (GS) Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Imag­ine Carl­ton Cinema, Queensway, Sil­verCity Fairview, Sil­verCity Yonge, Sil­verCity York­dale, Yonge &

Dun­das 24 huNTEr KiLLEr (Dono­van Marsh) is a meatand-pota­toes, brink-of-war thriller star­ring Ger­ard But­ler as an Amer­i­can sub com­man­der on a res­cue mis­sion in the Arc­tic Cir­cle that puts him and his crew right in the mid­dle of an at­tempt to un­seat the pres­i­dent of Rus­sia. Di­rec­tor Marsh brings lit­tle style to the ac­tion se­quences and even less of a sig­na­ture to the many, many scenes in which the overqual­i­fied cast de­bates what con­sti­tutes a hos­tile ac­tion if some­one doesn’t know with whom they’re sup­posed to be at war. 121 min. NNN (NW) Opens Oct 26 at Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Queensway, Sco­tia­bank Theatre, Sil­verCity Fairview, Sil­verCity Yonge, Sil­verCity York­dale JOhNNy ENGLish sTriKEs AGAiN (David Kerr) brings back Rowan Atkin­son’s par­o­dic spy fig­ure for more slap­stick ad­ven­tures. 88 min. Opens Oct 26 at Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Queensway, Sil­verCity Fairview, Sil­verCity Yonge, Yonge & Dun­das 24

MAriA By CAL­LAs (Tom Volf) is a ñ

fawn­ing but fas­ci­nat­ing doc­u­men­tary about the Greek-Amer­i­can so­prano’s life and ca­reer, told in her own words. Di­rec­tor Volf has un­earthed lots of ma­te­rial, in par­tic­u­lar a long-lost TV in­ter­view that acts as a struc­tural de­vice. Footage of Cal­las’s per­for­mances in the 50s shows off her nat­u­ral stage pres­ence, and there’s lots to doc­u­ment var­i­ous con­tro­ver­sies. Some of the most poignant sec­tions come from newly found let­ters (read by mezzo Joyce DiDonato). Through­out, the mu­si­cal choices are taste­ful and apt. A must-see for opera lovers. Some sub­ti­tles. 113 min. NNNN (GS) Opens Oct 26 at TIFF Bell Light­box

MATANGi/MAyA/M.i.A. (Stephen ñ

Loveridge) gives eye-open­ing con­text to a one-of-a-kind artist. Maya’s refugee story, globe-trot­ting in­flu­ences, DIY art, rise to fame and re­peated clashes with pol­i­tics, me­dia and then the NFL makes for a not-en­tirely-flat­ter­ing artist pro­file like no other. That so lit­tle of M.I.A.’s mu­sic is fea­tured in the doc speaks to how much there is to tell about her story. Di­rec­tor Steve Loveridge, Maya’s friend, does a fine job ar­rang­ing a nar­ra­tive through line in a life and ca­reer that fires in all direc­tions. 90 min. NNNN (RS) Imag­ine Carl­ton Cinema Mid90s (Jonah Hill) 84 min. See in­ter­view and re­view, page 32. NNN (RS) Opens Oct 26 at Canada Square, Queensway, Sco­tia­bank Theatre

ThE NEw RO­MaN­Tic (Carly Stone) stars The End Of The F***ing World’s Jes­sica Bar­den as a univer­sity stu­dent who wants her life to be a Nora Ephron movie – un­til she lands a side gig pro­vid­ing the girl­friend ex­pe­ri­ence to a wealthy pro­fes­sor (Timm Sharp). In her fea­ture de­but, Kim’s Con­ve­nience writer Stone mixes prickly com­edy with in­ci­sive char­ac­ter mo­ments, sur­round­ing the ter­rific Bar­den with ris­ing stars like Riverdale’s Hay­ley Law and Camilla Men­des, Paper Year’s Avan Jo­gia and Jane The Vir­gin’s Brett Dier. The air goes out of the plot in the last 10 min­utes, but that might be in­ten­tional. 82 min. NNN (NW) Yonge & Dun­das 24 NighT SchOOl (Mal­colm D. Lee) doesn’t spend enough time in the class­room with the very funny peo­ple who should be pop­u­lat­ing it. I came to see Tif­fany Had­dish and Kevin Hart… in school. I would pay to see these two stars di­rect their trade­mark rants at vec­tors, Shake­speare or James Bald­win. In­stead the six-man writ­ing team wastes time on la­bo­ri­ous set­ups, ro­man­tic dis­trac­tions and slap­stick buf­foon­ery that sees Kevin Hart get phys­i­cally pun­ished but his tal­ents benched. 111 min. NN (RS) Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Imag­ine Mar­ket Square, Queensway, Sco­tia­bank Theatre, Sil­verCity Fairview, Sil­verCity York­dale

ThE OaTh (Ike Bar­in­holtz) takes ñ

place over one very fraught Thanks­giv­ing as a pro­gres­sive cou­ple (writer/di­rec­tor Bar­in­holtz, Tif­fany Had­dish) pre­pare to wel­come his more con­ser­va­tive fam­ily for the hol­i­day as Amer­ica slides ever closer to par­ti­san chaos. It’s a com­edy about the po­lit­i­cal di­vide in the age of Trump, which is to say it’s not re­ally a com­edy at all. But it is funny. 93 min. NNNN (NW) Sco­tia­bank Theatre ThE Old MaN & ThE guN (David Low­ery) stars Robert Red­ford as gen­tle­man bank rob­ber For­rest Tucker, who struck up a ro­mance with a wid­owed Dal­las horse­woman (Sissy Spacek) in 1981 af­ter es­cap­ing prison for the 16th time. Writer/ di­rec­tor Low­ery crafts an ex­er­cise in nos­tal­gia for the good old days when Red­ford played out­laws with hearts of gold, and cops and rob­bers re­spected each other, and men were noble and women were lov­ing and all sorts of other junk the movies have al­ways sold us. I’m just not sure he knows it’s junk. 93 min. NN (NW) Canada Square, Cine­plex Cin­e­mas Em­press Walk, Imag­ine Carl­ton Cinema, Kingsway Theatre ROOM FOR RENT (Matthew Atkin­son) min. See re­view, this page. NNN (NW) Opens Oct 26 at Imag­ine Carl­ton Cinema ShaRk­waTER Ex­TiNc­TiON (Rob Ste­wart) mostly avoids the trap of turn­ing into a memo­rial project for its di­rec­tor, who died dur­ing its pro­duc­tion in Jan­uary 2017. Un­til its fi­nale, when it shifts into full trib­ute mode, the doc­u­men­tary de­liv­ers a pro­fi­cient assem­bly of the footage shot by Ste­wart and his team as they tracked the ac­tiv­i­ties of com­mer­cial shark-fish­ing op­er­a­tions to ex­pose de­cep­tive prac­tices and en­lighten au­di­ences about the crea­tures Ste­wart spent his adult life try­ing to pro­tect. Some sub­ti­tles. 88 min. NNN (NW) Canada Square, Cine­plex Cin­e­mas Em­press Walk, Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Queensway, Sil­verCity Yonge, Var­sity, Yonge & Dun­das 24

a SiM­plE Fa­vOR (Paul Feig) is a Gone Girl knock-off star­ring Anna Ken­drick as a mommy vlog­ger who de­cides to in­ves­ti­gate the dis­ap­pear­ance of her new best friend (Blake Lively) and finds her­self drawn to the miss­ing woman’s hus­band (Henry Gold­ing). Feig has a lit­tle trou­ble find­ing a tone, but he en­cour­ages his stars to riff on the pulpy ma­te­rial and as­sem­bles a fun, en­gag­ing sup­port­ing bench. It’s not a great movie, but it’ll live on Net­flix for­ever. 117 min. NNN (NW) Canada Square, Fox, Imag­ine Carl­ton Cinema, Queensway, Yonge & Dun­das 24

ThE SiS­TERS BROThERS (Jac­ques ñ

Au­di­ard) stars Joaquin Phoenix and

John C. Reilly as si­b­ling as­sas­sins track­ing a tar­get (Riz Ahmed) and his trav­el­ling com­pan­ion (Jake Gyl­len­haal) across the West circa 1851. But it’s a Western in much the same way that Au­di­ard’s A Prophet was a prison thriller and Dheepan a refugee drama: it es­tab­lishes its cho­sen genre and then strikes out on its own di­rec­tion. Try not to learn any­thing else be­fore you see it. 121 min. NNNN (NW) Canada Square, Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Queensway, Re­gent Theatre, Sco­tia­bank Theatre

a STaR iS BORN (Bradley Cooper) ñ

casts Lady Gaga as the in­génue and di­rec­tor/pro­ducer/co-writer Bradley Cooper as the burnout who dis­cov­ers her both per­son­ally and pro­fes­sion­ally. They’re per­fectly suited to one an­other, and so is the movie, which wraps a big stu­dio pro­duc­tion around an in­ti­mate char­ac­ter drama. Yes, you’ve seen this movie be­fore. It worked then, it works now. Maybe it’s never worked bet­ter. 135 min. NNNN (NW) Beach Cin­e­mas, Cine­plex Cin­e­mas Em­press Walk, Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Imag­ine Mar­ket Square, Imag­ine Prom­e­nade Mall, Queensway, Sco­tia­bank Theatre, Sil­verCity Fairview, Sil­verCity Yonge, Sil­verCity York­dale, Var­sity, Yonge & Dun­das 24 STu­diO 54 (Matt Tyr­nauer) is a thor­ough ac­count of the 70s disco-era New York City club, told largely from the point of view of sur­viv­ing co-owner Ian Schrager. Di­rec­tor Tyr­nauer gives the club, a straight­for­ward talk­ing head/archival clips treat­ment that is not all that rev­e­la­tory, but full of de­tailed in­sight to all as­pects of the club’s op­er­a­tion and down­fall. The doc grows less com­pelling the fur­ther away it moves from the dance floor. 99 min. NNN (Kevin Ritchie) Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema, Imag­ine Carl­ton Cinema, Re­gent Theatre TRaNS­FORMER (Michael Del Monte) is yet an­other doc­u­men­tary about the tran­si­tion nar­ra­tive, but with a com­pelling twist. Be­fore Janae Marie Krocza­leski came out as a trans woman she was a fa­mous male pow­er­lifter. As such, Trans­former is as much about male body im­age as it is about tran­si­tion­ing, as Janae grap­ples with what it means to be a 250-lbs mus­cle­bound woman who can’t “pass.” Janae is open and vul­ner­a­ble when it comes to her in­se­cu­ri­ties, but Del Monte doesn’t probe deeply into as­pects of the story in­dica­tive of so­ci­etal bias, fram­ing the strug­gle for ac­cep­tance ex­clu­sively as a per­sonal one. We only get a few glimpses of what Janae’s life is like out­side her home and the gym, but for­tu­nately she is as like­able as she is ripped and has no prob­lem car­ry­ing the film. 78 min. NNN (Kevin Ritchie) Imag­ine Carl­ton Cinema vENOM (Ruben Fleis­cher) is a go­daw­ful mess, re­ally – a stand-alone ad­ven­ture fea­tur­ing Tom Hardy and a bunch of goopy CG ef­fects as the hy­per-mus­cu­lar, adren­a­line-junkie anti-hero cre­ated to be Spi­der-Man’s evil twin. But be­cause Spidey’s not in this movie, Venom has to be the good guy, run­ning around not killing peo­ple un­til he can have a a messy, point­less bat­tle with an­other near-iden­ti­cal CG char­ac­ter. And sur­pris­ingly, that’s no fun at all. Or maybe not sur­pris­ingly. 112 min. N (NW)

Beach Cin­e­mas, Cine­plex Cin­e­mas Em­press Walk, Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Imag­ine Mar­ket Square, Imag­ine Prom­e­nade Mall, Queensway, Sco­tia­bank Theatre, Sil­verCity Fairview, Sil­verCity Yonge, Sil­verCity York­dale, Var­sity, Yonge & Dun­das 24 whaT ThEy had (Eliz­a­beth Chomko) is a well-made movie about a fam­ily deal­ing with de­men­tia, fea­tur­ing a cast of fine ac­tors (Hi­lary Swank, Michael Shan­non, Robert Forster, Blythe Dan­ner) giv­ing strong per­for­mances. It’s a sen­si­tive treat­ment of an im­por­tant is­sue, in­spired by writer/di­rec­tor Chomko’s own fam­ily his­tory. And yet, in the end, it just sort of sits there, un­able to dis­tin­guish it­self or gen­er­ate much ten­sion over how things will play out. Maybe it would have worked bet­ter on stage. 100 min. NNN (NW) Opens Oct 26 at Canada Square

ThE wiFE (Björn Runge) stars Glenn ñ

Close as Joan, the wife of a No­bel Prize-win­ning novelist, Joseph (Jonathan Pryce). The film opens with the cou­ple get­ting word that he’s won the prize and all ap­pears well. But in the run-up to the cer­e­mony in Stock­holm, it’s clear that some­thing’s sim­mer­ing be­neath Joan’s quiet, sup­port­ive de­meanour. Pryce plays the lit­er­ary lion with gusto, while re­veal­ing pa­thetic weak­ness. But Close car­ries the pic, let­ting her si­lence speak vol­umes and then ex­plod­ing with a right­eous rage when she’s had enough. Why doesn’t this woman have an Os­car? 101 min. NNNN (SGC) Cine­plex Cin­e­mas Em­press Walk, Var­sity 3

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