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play­ing this week

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 movies.now­toronto.com

ANNA AND THE APOC­A­LYPSE (John ñ

McPhail) is a Christ­mas movie where the dead walk and the liv­ing sing, and some­how it all works thanks to a ra­di­ant per­for­mance by Ella Hunt as the teen hero, some in­fer­nally catchy songs, and a script that’s will­ing to use our ex­pec­ta­tions of both zom­bie movies and mu­si­cals against us. Who saw that com­ing? 97 min. NNNN (NW) Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Yonge & Dun­das 24

AT ETER­NITY’S GATE (Ju­lian Schn­abel) ñ

is an emo­tion­ally dev­as­tat­ing por­trait of a man who only knows one way to live, and his tragic ded­i­ca­tion to that pur­pose. Willem Dafoe’s in­ter­pre­ta­tion of Vin­cent Van Gogh is like an open wound – raw, and full of feel­ings he can’t prop­erly ar­tic­u­late – and the film is an en­tirely dif­fer­ent ex­pe­ri­ence than other Van Gogh biopics, fol­low­ing the pain­ter as he reaches, over and over again, for that tran­scen­dent mo­ment in which he can ex­plain him­self and his art. Some sub­ti­tles. 110 min. NNNN (NW) Canada Square, TIFF Bell Light­box, Var­sity 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 ac­tors 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) Imag­ine Carl­ton Cin­ema, Imag­ine Mar­ket Square, Kingsway The­atre

BEN IS BACK (Peter Hedges) 103 min. ñ

See re­view, page 32. NNNN (Michelle da Silva) Opens Dec 14 at Var­sity

BLAZE (Ethan Hawke) 129 min. See ñ

re­view, page 32. NNNN (NW) Opens Dec 14 at Yonge & Dun­das 24 BO­HEMIAN RHAP­SODY (Bryan Singer) is not a very good movie, ex­cept when it’s great. This broad, grandiose Fred­die Mer­cury biopic – cred­ited to Singer, but com­pleted by Dex­ter Fletcher af­ter Singer was fired dur­ing pro­duc­tion – is ob­sessed with au­then­tic­ity but per­fectly will­ing to dis­tort his­tory, weirdly del­i­cate about de­pict­ing its sub­ject’s sex­u­al­ity and buries star Rami Malek un­der sev­eral lay­ers of pros­thet­ics. But the film comes to in­ven­tive life in set pieces where Mer­cury and his band­mates fig­ure out Bo­hemian Rhap­sody, An­other One Bites The Dust and We Will Rock You, and in an hon­estly elec­tri­fy­ing fi­nale recre­at­ing Queen’s per­for­mance at Live Aid in 1985. 135 min. NNN (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

ñ BOR­DER (Ali Ab­basi) is based on a

short story by Let The Right One In au­thor John Aj­vide Lindqvist, and shares that tale’s af­fec­tion for un­spo­ken his­to­ries and strange bi­ol­ogy – but this is a very dif­fer­ent film in tone and tra­jec­tory, less a thriller than a char­ac­ter study fo­cused on a char­ac­ter (Eva Me­lander) who is far, far more than she seems. Don’t let any­one tell you any­thing else. Just go see it. 110 min. NNNN (NW) TIFF Bell Light­box

ñ BOY ERASED (Joel Edger­ton) is a

mov­ing and sober adap­ta­tion of Arkansas Bap­tist preacher’s son Gar­rard Con­ley’s mem­oir of his har­row­ing time in a gay con­ver­sion ther­apy pro­gram. The choppy struc­ture – lots of flash­backs – af­fects the film’s rhythms and keeps us at a re­move from the char­ac­ters. As Jared’s (Lu­cas Hedges) past catches up with his present, though, the film takes on a cu­mu­la­tive emo­tional weight. What’s most im­pres­sive is its re­straint. Ev­ery­one believes they’re do­ing the right thing. And that, com­bined with stats about the num­ber of states that still run such pro­grams, is the real tragedy. 114 min. NNNN (GS) Canada Square, Kingsway The­atre, Var­sity

BURN­ING (Lee Chang-dong) is yet ñ

an­other mas­ter­ful ex­er­cise in emo­tional and mo­ral tor­ment from the di­rec­tor be­hind Po­etry. Chang-dong’s lat­est fol­lows Jongsu (Yoo Ah-in), a young wannabe writer who by his own ad­mis­sion can’t make sense of the world. He’s slowly drawn into a jeal­ous love tri­an­gle, where class plays a piv­otal, prickly and barely spo­ken role – and then a slow-burn mys­tery thriller where res­o­lu­tions will re­main as far out as the hori­zon. This is a soul­ful, hyp­notic drama about a young man who ob­ses­sively seeks an­swers but has no way of grasp­ing that kind of con­trol over his own nar­ra­tive. It’s also one of the year’s very best films. 148 min. NNNNN (RS) Fox, Re­gent The­atre, TIFF Bell Light­box

CAN YOU EVER FOR­GIVE ME? (Marielle ñ

Heller) stars Melissa McCarthy as Lee Is­rael, a best-sell­ing au­thor who found her true call­ing in the early 90s as a lit­er­ary fraud­ster. McCarthy is per­fectly cast, and di­rec­tor Heller (The Di­ary Of A Teenage Girl) pairs her with Richard E. Grant as Is­rael’s en­abler/ac­com­plice Jack Hock. The ac­tors have a dis­rep­utable chem­istry that works like co­gnac on a win­ter’s night, warm­ing the film from the in­side out. It’s okay to get drunk on it. 106 min. NNNN (NW) Canada Square, Fox, Imag­ine Carl­ton Cin­ema, Kingsway The­atre, Re­vue CREED II (Steven Caple Jr.) remixes the plots of Rocky II, Rocky III and Rocky IV for a story in which Don­nie (Michael B. Jor­dan) quickly wins the heavy­weight cham­pi­onship, only to be chal­lenged by Vik­tor Drago (Flo­rian Mun­teanu) – the son of Ivan Drago (Dolph Lund­gren), the Soviet mon­ster who killed Don­nie’s fa­ther, Apollo, in the ring back in 1985. Creed II is a re­ally sat­is­fy­ing Rocky movie. It’s just that I think I pre­fer the Creed movies now. Some sub­ti­tles. 130 min. NNN (NW) Canada Square, 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 DR. SEUSS’ THE GRINCH (Scott Mosier, Yar­row Cheney) is a quaint, fric­tion­less bauble. Bene­dict Cum­ber­batch voices the cur­mud­geon whose heart is two sizes too small, which this time leaves him with barely a pulse. Apart from some rude in­tro­duc­tory ex­changes, Cum­ber­batch’s Grinch ex­presses his an­noy­ance with Christ­mas in rather po­lite ways. He avoids con­fronta­tions and even en­ter­tains light con­ver­sa­tions with Whos while wear­ing only a gen­tle scowl. Par­ents might ap­pre­ci­ate the bet­ter ex­am­ple even as they suf­fer through the su­per­fi­cial cute­ness in the lead up to an ad­mit­tedly nifty Christ­mas heist. 90 min. NN (RS) Beach Cin­e­mas, Cine­plex Cin­e­mas Em­press Walk, Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Imag­ine Carl­ton Cin­ema, Imag­ine Prom­e­nade Mall, Queensway, Sil­verCity Fairview, Sil­verCity Yonge, Sil­verCity York­dale, Yonge & Dun­das 24 FAN­TAS­TIC BEASTS: THE CRIMES OF GRINDEL­WALD – THE IMAX 2D EX­PE­RI­ENCE (David Yates) teases out the even­tual stand­off be­tween frosty, fas­cist wiz­ard Gellert Grindel­wald (played by Am­ber Heard’s al­legedly abu­sive ex-hus­band Johnny Depp) and his neme­sis Al­bus Dum­ble­dore (Jude Law) aka Harry Pot­ter’s Yoda. Get­ting there means en­dur­ing this over­stuffed, ex­haust­ing and te­dious place­holder, which con­tin­ues its pre­de­ces­sors Poké­mon GO plot­ting, though this time ev­ery­one’s run­ning around in cir­cles search­ing for dif­fer­ent peo­ple. 134 min. N (RS) 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

THE FAVOURITE (Yor­gos Lan­thi­mos) is ñ

a mag­nif­i­cently pissy com­edy of man­ners set in the court of Queen Anne (Olivia Col­man), where the pow­er­ful Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) finds her po­si­tion threat­ened by the ar­rival of the pen­ni­less but charm­ing Abi­gail (Emma Stone). All three leads are hav­ing the very best time, trad­ing veiled in­sults with crack tim­ing – and oc­ca­sion­ally re­veal­ing the rage be­neath a courtier’s pro­to­col. 119 min. NNNN (NW) Queensway, Var­sity, 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) Canada Square, Fox, Kingsway The­atre, Sco­tia­bank The­atre

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) Canada Square, Imag­ine Carl­ton Cin­ema, Sco­tia­bank The­atre THE FRONT RUN­NER (Ja­son Reit­man) ar­gues that a pres­i­den­tial hope­ful cheat­ing on his wife and ly­ing to the press about it is none of your god­damn busi­ness if you’re a good Demo­crat – specif­i­cally Gary Hart (Hugh Jack­man), whose cam­paign for the 1988 Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion col­lapsed in an adul­tery scan­dal. It’s clear Reit­man thinks Gary Hart is the hero of this story, when he ab­so­lutely is not. Priv­i­lege is a hell of a drug, I guess. 113 min. NN (NW) Imag­ine Carl­ton Cin­ema, Kingsway The­atre

THE GO-GET­TERS (Jeremy LaLonde) is ñ

a grubby mi­crobud­get com­edy about a shift­less drunk (Aaron Abrams, who co-wrote the film with his Blindspot ex­ec­u­tive pro­ducer Bren­dan Gall) and a per­pet­u­ally an­gry sex worker (Tom­mieAm­ber Pirie) try­ing to raise $98 to get out of Toronto for good, and fail­ing mis­er­ably. 83 min. NNNN (NW) Imag­ine Carl­ton Cin­ema

GREEN BOOK (Peter Far­relly) is a road ñ

movie, a buddy com­edy and a pres­tige stu­dio re­lease all at once. You’ll al­most be able to mouth the di­a­logue along with the char­ac­ters – and none of that mat­ters be­cause you get to watch Ma­her­shala Ali and Viggo Mortensen as jazz pi­anist Don “Doc” Shirley and Bronx hustler Tony Val­le­longa, Shirley’s driver on his tour of the Deep South in the fall of 1962. Their per­for­mances are so tex­tured and alive that they knock the film up the scale from “pretty good” to “god­damn tran­scen­dent.” Of course it won the Peo­ple’s Choice Award at TIFF. 130 min. NNNN (NW) Beach Cin­e­mas, Cine­plex Cin­e­mas Em­press Walk, Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Queensway, Sil­verCity Yonge, Var­sity, Yonge & Dun­das 24 HOS­PI­TAL­ITY (Nick Chak­win, David Guglielmo) goes through the mo­tions of a 90s neo-noir thriller with­out bring­ing much to the ta­ble, de­spite a de­cent ef­fort from Em­manuelle Chriqui as a B&B owner caught be­tween an ex-con (Sam Tram­mell), his old part­ner (Jim Beaver) and a dirt­bag cop (JR Bourne). The film’s in des­per­ate need of an aes­thetic ap­proach that would pull its fa­mil­iar beats into fo­cus – and even at 80 min­utes, it’s half an hour too long. 80 min. NN (NW) Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Yonge & Dun­das 24 IN­STANT FAM­ILY (Sean An­ders) is a dram­edy about a com­fort­able sub­ur­ban cou­ple (Mark Wahlberg, Rose Byrne) who adopt three sib­lings (Is­abela Moner, Gus­tavo Quiroz, Ju­lianna Gamiz). If you think that sounds like a cringe­wor­thy idea for a Mark Wahlberg com­edy, you’re not wrong – but di­rec­tor/co-writer An­ders, who spun the story out of his own home life, doesn’t flinch from the com­plex­i­ties of the adop­tion process, and the jokes grad­u­ally fall away so the story can earn its heart­warm­ing end­ing. 117 min. NNN (NW) Beach Cin­e­mas, Canada Square, Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Queensway, Sil­verCity Fairview, Sil­verCity York­dale, Yonge & Dun­das 24 LOVE JACKED (Al­fons Ade­tuyi) is made as smooth and ge­nial as pos­si­ble on Shamier An­der­son’s shoul­ders. For rea­sons too pre­pos­ter­ous to ex­plain, An­der­son’s Mal­colm agrees to de­cep­tively pose as a South African fi­ancé to Maya (Am­ber Stevens West, bur­dened with chan­nelling the most shrewish Kather­ine Heigl per­for­mances). The na­tive Toronto ac­tor’s easy­go­ing charms and comic tim­ing are among the few el­e­ments keep­ing this silly rom-com from div­ing off a cliff. 93 min. NN (RS) Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Yonge & Dun­das 24 MARY POP­PINS RE­TURNS (Rob Mar­shall) 130 min. See re­view, page 31. NNN (RS) Opens Dec 19 at Beach Cin­e­mas, Cine­plex Cin­e­mas Em­press Walk, Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Imag­ine Mar­ket Square, Imag­ine Prom­e­nade Mall, Queensway, Sil­verCity Fairview, Sil­verCity Yonge, Sil­verCity York­dale, Yonge & Dun­das 24

MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS (Josie Rourke) 124 min. See re­view, page 31. NN (NW) Opens Dec 14 at Var­sity MID90S (Jonah Hill) cat­a­logues as many sound­track and vis­ual sig­ni­fiers as it can from the pe­riod it nos­tal­gi­cally evokes in the ti­tle. Thir­teen-year-old Ste­vie (Sunny Suljic) and his friends fill out the con­tours of a comic and charm­ing com­ing-of-age tale in a film that doesn’t re­ally bother with show­ing much mea­sur­able growth on­screen or cast­ing an opin­ion on life­style, be­hav­iour and the ca­sual use of racial and ho­mo­pho­bic slurs. The film’s too en­am­ored of the mid-90s to bother hav­ing a crit­i­cal con­ver­sa­tion about it. 84 min. NNN (RS) Imag­ine Carl­ton Cin­ema, Kingsway The­atre, Re­vue, Sco­tia­bank The­atre

Mor­tal En­ginEs (Chris­tian Rivers) is a fan­tasy ad­ven­ture writ­ten by the folks who adapted Lord Of The Rings. 128 min. Opens Dec 14 at Cine­plex Cin­e­mas Em­press Walk, Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Imag­ine Carl­ton Cin­ema, Imag­ine Mar­ket Square, Queensway, Sco­tia­bank The­atre, Sil­verCity Fairview, Sil­verCity Yonge, Sil­verCity York­dale

Mowgli: lEg­End of thE Jun­glE (Andy Serkis) See re­view, page 33. 104 min. nnn (RS) TIFF Bell Light­box thE MulE (Clint East­wood) stars di­rec­tor East­wood as a war vet who acts as a drug mule. See re­view De­cem­ber 13 at now­toronto.com/movies. 116 min. Opens Dec 14 at Cine­plex Cin­e­mas Em­press Walk, Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Queensway, Sco­tia­bank The­atre, Sil­verCity Yonge, Sil­verCity York­dale, Var­sity

noth­ing likE a daME (Roger ñ

Michell) makes us privy to a con­ver­sa­tion among act­ing icons Mag­gie Smith, Joan Plowright, Eileen Atkins and Judi Dench, all over 80, as they share mem­o­ries of the stel­lar ca­reers that earned them the hon­our of Dame. Can­did and bol­stered by as­ton­ish­ing archival footage of pro­duc­tions from their early days on­stage, the dis­cus­sion ranges from funny – lis­ten to Smith rip into Lau­rence Olivier – to pro­found as they con­fess in­se­cu­ri­ties and dish on tri­umphs and col­lab­o­ra­tions. There is some sad­ness as they ad­dress their slowly di­min­ish­ing fac­ul­ties. But, though this is mostly a talk­ing heads doc and too much time is given to com­plain­ing about the rig­ors of film­ing it, it’s ul­ti­mately big fun hav­ing tea with these Dames. 83 min. nnnn (SGC) Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cin­ema thE nutcrackEr and thE four rEalMs (Lasse Hall­ström, Joe John­ston) is yet an­other E.T.A. Hoff­man adap­ta­tion about Christ­mas toys com­ing to life, but the film shows no such signs of life. This Nutcracker dies of as­phyx­i­a­tion af­ter hav­ing the for­mula that once worked in Tim Bur­ton’s Alice in Won­der­land cyn­i­cally shoved down its throat. Hey, they’re both 19th cen­tury clas­sics about young girls in fan­ta­sy­lands. Why should any­one bother think­ing about what makes these sto­ries dis­tinct? 99 min. n (RS) Sil­verCity Fairview, Sil­verCity York­dale, Yonge & Dun­das 24 oncE upon a dEad­pool (David Leitch) is a re­worked, all-ages ver­sion of the satiric su­per­hero se­quel Dead­pool 2. 117 min. Canada Square, Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Yonge & Dun­das 24 ovEr­lord (Julius Avery) takes the phrase “hor­rors of war” and re­ally runs with it, stitch­ing el­e­ments of a Gothic hor­ror movie into the body of a com­bat pic­ture and turn­ing the whole thing up to 11. It’s Sav­ing Pri­vate Re-An­i­ma­tor, if you can wrap your head around that, and it’s busy and bloody and ridicu­lous and kind of fun. I kinda ques­tion the wis­dom of re­leas­ing this on Re­mem­brance Day week­end, but if you’re look­ing for chaos, ex­plo­sions, goop and machismo, Over­lord has all of those things by the buck­et­load. Some sub­ti­tles. 110 min. nnn (NW) Sco­tia­bank The­atre pros­E­cut­ing Evil: thE Ex­tra­or­di­nary world of BEn fErEncz (Barry Avrich) gives Ben Ferencz, the last sur­viv­ing Nurem­berg Tri­als pros­e­cu­tor, a chance to of­fer up spe­cific and heart-wrench­ing mem­o­ries from the time when, at 27, he led the prose­cu­tion against Nazi death squads. His words and emo­tions cut through the doc’s cheap­en­ing ef­fects, like a rous­ing score and talk­ing heads gath­ered like a cho­rus, singing his praises. Ferencz is far more con­vinc­ing when speak­ing for him­self, and for those who didn’t sur­vive. 83 min. nnn (RS) Screen­ing se­lect days at Cine­plex Cin­e­mas Em­press Walk, Imag­ine Carl­ton Cin­ema thE QuakE (John An­dreas An­der­sen) is a dra­matic thriller about a ma­jor earth­quake in Oslo. Subti­tled. 106 min. Imag­ine Carl­ton Cin­ema ralph BrEaks thE in­tEr­nEt 3d (Rich Moore, Phil John­ston) is en­gag­ing for a cou­ple of min­utes at a time, oc­ca­sion­ally heart­warm­ing and evap­o­rates as soon as you leave the the­atre – so in a sense, it’s a per­fect rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the on­line uni­verse in which it takes place. But it’s also ut­terly un­nec­es­sary, ex­ist­ing only as a long, lumpy brand ex­ten­sion in which John C. Reilly’s ogre-like hero and Sarah Sil­ver­man’s can­dy­land racer ven­ture onto the World Wide Web. 112 min. nnn (NW) Beach Cin­e­mas, Cine­plex Cin­e­mas Em­press Walk, Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Imag­ine Carl­ton Cin­ema, Imag­ine Mar­ket Square, Imag­ine Prom­e­nade Mall, Queensway, Sil­verCity Fairview, Sil­verCity Yonge, Sil­verCity York­dale, Yonge & Dun­das 24

roMa (Al­fonso Cuarón) is an en­gross­ing ñ por­trait of live-in nanny Cleo, a young woman of Mix­teco her­itage (played by first-time ac­tor Yal­itza Apari­cio), and the up­per-mid­dle-class fam­ily she works for. Shot in black and white and set in the early 1970s in Mex­ico City, the film touches on the po­lit­i­cal is­sues of the time, like land dis­putes and class wars, but with­out ever los­ing fo­cus on Cleo. In the end, she’s the heart of Roma. 135 min. nnnnn (Saman­tha Ed­wards) TIFF Bell Light­box sEarch­ing for in­g­Mar BErgMan (Mar­garethe von Trotta) is an af­fec­tion­ate por­trait that rekin­dles the flame of one of cin­ema’s tow­er­ing fig­ures. Von Trotta first dis­cov­ered In­g­mar Bergman’s films when she moved to Paris in 1960 and cred­its him for in­spir­ing her to be a di­rec­tor. Liv Ull­mann and other Bergman col­lab­o­ra­tors pro­vide work­ing anec­dotes. Olivier As­sayas and other film­mak­ers cite his in­flu­ence. Von Trotta dis­sects the films and tosses off in­sights: Bergman was more in­ter­ested in his own child­hood than in his own nine chil­dren, for ex­am­ple. What we’re ul­ti­mately left with is the power of the films them­selves, still ra­di­ant and vig­or­ous. Subti­tled. 99 min. nnn (Paul En­nis) TIFF Bell Light­box

spi­dEr-Man: into thE spi­dEr-vErsE ñ

(Bob Per­sichetti, Peter Ram­sey, Rod­ney Roth­man) 117 min. See re­view, page 31. nnnn (NW) Opens Dec 14 at 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

ña star is Born( Bradley Cooper)

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) Canada Square, Imag­ine Carl­ton Cin­ema, Kingsway The­atre, Queensway, Sco­tia­bank The­atre, Sil­verCity Yonge, Sil­verCity York­dale, Yonge & Dun­das 24

supEr­grid (Low­ell Dean) is an ac­tioner about two broth­ers try­ing to re­trieve a pack­age in a dystopian fu­ture. 80 min. Opens Dec 14 at Imag­ine Carl­ton Cin­ema sus­piria (Luca Guadagnino) finds the di­rec­tor of Call Me By Your Name and A Big­ger Splash bring­ing his sump­tu­ous aes­thetic palette to a re­work­ing of Dario Ar­gento’s 1977 Day-Glo night­mare – and ei­ther fail­ing to un­der­stand what makes that movie a clas­sic, or choos­ing to dis­re­gard it in favour of a gor­geous but in­ert med­i­ta­tion on pa­tri­archy, witch­craft and the fail­ure of Ger­mans to reckon with their col­lec­tive guilt af­ter the Holo­caust. It’s in­ter­est­ing and oc­ca­sion­ally quite strik­ing … but it’s never as up­set­ting as it wants to be, or as pro­found. Some sub­ti­tles. 152 min. nn (NW) Imag­ine Carl­ton Cin­ema, Kingsway The­atre, Sco­tia­bank The­atre 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, adrenaline­junkie 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) Kingsway The­atre, Re­vue, Sco­tia­bank The­atre

wid­ows (Steve McQueen) trans­poses ñ Lynda La Plante’s BBC se­ries about women who band to­gether to pull off the heist that would have been their dead hus­bands’ next job to present-day Chicago – and de­liv­ers on pretty much ev­ery level. McQueen’s fol­low-up to 12 Years A Slave is a propul­sive, art­ful genre work that finds some­thing elec­tric and un­nerv­ing in fa­mil­iar ma­te­rial, el­e­vat­ing ev­ery mo­ment with per­fectly con­sid­ered cast­ing (Vi­ola Davis, Michelle Ro­driguez, El­iz­a­beth De­bicki, an all-star cast of sup­port­ing play­ers) and a will­ing­ness to find un­con­ven­tional choices and run with them. 129 min. nnnn (NW) Canada Square, Eglin­ton Town Cen­tre, Imag­ine Carl­ton Cin­ema, Imag­ine Mar­ket Square, Queensway, Sco­tia­bank The­atre, Sil­verCity York­dale, Yonge & Dun­das 24

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. 101 min. nnnn (SGC) Imag­ine Carl­ton Cin­ema, Re­gent

Al­fonso Cuarón’s Roma won the Toronto Film Crit­ics As­so­ci­a­tion’s top prize. See story at now­toronto.com/movies.

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