#TIFF19: “TAMMY’S ALWAYS DYING”
Review by David Baldwin for Mr. Will Wong
Kathy (Anastasia Phillips) has always been taking care of her alcoholic mother Tammy (Felicity Huffman). She is constantly cleaning-up after her and literally talking her off the ledge of a train platform. But when Tammy gets diagnosed with cancer, Kathy must decide if she is going to continue assisting Tammy or move on completely.
In only her second Feature film, Amy Jo Johnson has given us a riveting depiction of the cycle of abuse and the long-term trauma it leaves behind. The Film runs 85-minutes long, and Johnson uses every single second to compose a very gritty and very real experience that lingers long after the credits. The strong direction extends into excellent work from both Phillips and Huffman, who practically light-up the screen. The Supporting Cast is wonderful as well, but they cannot even dream of competing with these two powerhouse talents. While the emotional catharsis of the ending was lost on me, the Film’s only other real stumbling block is a goofy subplot involving a trashy talk show. It aims to add some layer of satire, but ends up being a distraction that takes away valuable time watching Phillips and Huffman soar.
TAMMY’S ALWAYS DYING screens during TIFF at the following times:
Thursday September 5, 6:00pm @ Scotiabank Theatre [World Premiere]
Sunday September 8, 7:00pm @ Scotiabank Theatre
Saturday September 14, 1:00pm @ Scotiabank Theatre
#FIRSTLOOK: TELEFILM CANADA ANNOUNCES “MICRO-BUDGET PRODUCTION PROGRAM” FINALISTS INCLUDING AMY JO JOHNSON FOR “THE SPACE BETWEEN”
The Micro-Budget Production Program from Telefilm Canada serves to assist promising emerging Filmmakers an opportunity at funding their first Feature Films, not to exceed a budget of $250k. Now in its third year, 15 Finalists across Canada were selected based on recommendations from 40 educational institutions and film cooperatives. Thus far, 37 full-length Films – many which have won awards on the Festival circuits nationally – have been funded through the Program which it was announced, is to be funded by the Talent Fund. The Fund over the years collected over $15 million from companies, individuals and foundations. Technicolor also generously is offering free digital distribution encoding services to cater to an ever-changing demand for viewing films digitally and online.
This morning, Finalists were unveiled at TIFF Bell Lightbox Bell Blue Room and headlining the names was a familiar face in Amy Jo Johnson for her Film, The Space Between. Johnson, known to many for her role as Pink Ranger in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, will direct and write.
New faces like upcoming Director Aidan Shipley, were present too as he works on his debut Feature, Cardinal. While he might be busy starring in Toronto-filmed Blockbuster Suicide Squad, Adam Beach through his Institute, is responsible for partnering with Filmmaker Benjamin Ross Hayden in The Edict, which will be a part of the Micro-Budget Production Program‘s Aboriginal Component. A new Official-Language Minority Communities Component also has been added this year.
For more, visit http://www.telefilm.ca.
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)