Review by Mr. Will Wong
Tyler (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) seems to be on the verge of greatness under the persistent urging of his father (Sterling K. Brown). While everything seems fine initially, things take a drastic turn for the worse after his girlfriend Alexis (Alexa Demie) finds out she is pregnant with his child and his world crumbles. In the face of a tragedy, which threatens to tear Tyler’s family apart, his father, mother (Renée Elise Goldberry) and sister (Taylor Russell) are left to pick-up the pieces and find themselves again.
Filmmaker Trey Edward Shults’ (Krisha, It Comes at Night) hits you like a tidal wave in its first act but calms into a ripples in the second. While dialogue is sparse and the Film takes a nuanced tone, this is where Waves finds its flow in its meditation on grief.
Harrison delivers pure intensity in a performance which solified him a TIFF ‘19 Rising Star, while Russell shows a quiet maturity in her ability to express a deep undercurrent of emotion with little dialogue. Shults gets the honour of a Score by Academy Award winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross which intensifies the Film. Drew Daniels‘ Cinematography is breathtaking, whether it be his gorgeous captures of the Florida waters or çloseups that bring us up-close and intimate to these characters, particularly Harrison in his panic.
While Waves’ unevenness might not be for all, it is an ambitious effort even if it asks for your patience. It screens at TIFF Tue, Sep 10 at Ryerson Theatre, 8:45pm, Wed, Sep 11, Scotiabank Theatre, 6pm and Sun, Sep 15 at Ryerson Theatre, 2:45pm.
#TIFF18: DAY TEN – KRISTEN STEWART, LAURA DERN, JAMES JAGGER, JIM STURGESS + KELVIN HARRISON JR.
By Mr. Will Wong
It’s hard to believe TIFF ’18 already has come to an end! Amidst the half-hour sleeps and hustling venue to venue we now can finally take a deep breath and appreciate what a wonderful Festival it was yet again! While this edition definitely was a bit of endurance test – we were working right to the end – it is one of those things you look back at and miss greatly. We already are strategizing for TIFF ’19 and believe us, we’ll be ready!
A warmhearted thank you to all our followers who keep us motivated on Social Media with all your encouragement and also our amazing partners: Nikon Canada, H&M Canada, Starbucks Canada, Blackberry Canada, Acura Canada, Britbox Canada, Dufflet Pastries, Chatime Canada, KANDL Artistique, INK Entertainment and CP24. We wouldn’t be doing what we do without YOU!
Also, a huge congrats to Leonardo who won our TIFF ’18 Survival Prize Pack! He was overjoyed and will be sure to spoil himself with all that swag!
This is the first year ever we’ve appeared in some form on Canada’s big three giants: Corus, Rogers and Bell Media with televised appearances on Global News, Breakfast Television and CP24 respectively. We also had to turn-down others unfortunately due to scheduling (every minute counts during TIFF), but there’s always hope we can take care of everyone next year!
I also must thank my amazing Team of Contributors who worked feverishly to get their Reviews in throughout the Festival to keep our Readers informed of what’s good. David Baldwin, Amanda Gilmore, Siobhan Rich, Justin Waldman and George Kozera, thank you for all the hard work you do!
While we simply were too exhausted to post last night, here are some Snaps from our final TIFF ’18 event, the Red Carpet of Closing Night Gala JEREMIAH TERMINATOR LeROY starring Kristen Stewart, Laura Dern and Jim Sturgess. We got to chat briefly with breakout stars James Jagger (son of Mick) and Kelvin Harrison Jr.
The Film is based on the Memoir Girl Boy Girl: How I Became JT Leroy by Savannah Knoop and is about a woman who spent six years masquerading as Writer Laura Albert‘s created teenage male literary persona JT LeRoy, directed and co-written by Justin Kelly. We ask stars Kevin Harrison Jr. and James Jagger about the importance of a story like this which examines gender confirmation and fluidity in the now.
Jagger: “I think it’s interesting in this industry that it’s taken so long for it to get to a place where it is now, there have been a lot of false hopes. I think finally we are seeing some true development. I think certain exponents of this Film have been working towards that for a really long time. I think it’s an exciting time to be alive!”.
Harrison: “We all have our online personalities that we like to put out there and this Film is the OG (original) version of what that was and I find that interesting, but we continue to be progressing.”
We ask Jagger and Harrison what drew them most to the Film?
Jagger: “It was the opportunity to be in scene with Diane (Kruger) and that really was the thing that drew me most. Diane I’ve been a fan of for a really long time. It was a good day, it’s been an absolute pleasure.”.
Harrison: “I was drawn to the idea of playing this Basquiat-type guy who gets to fall in love with someone interesting – we’re both really queer in the Movie and we love each other. That was interesting to me.”.
Harrison Jr. x Jagger
A cheerful goodbye to TIFF ’18, with waves from Dern and Stewart! See you next year!
(Photo/video credit: Amanda Gilmore/Mr. Will Wong)