#TIFF21: “MONTANA STORY” REVIEW
By Amanda Gilmore
Montana Story follows Cal Thorne (Owen Teague) who is drawn back to the family ranch to be with his ailing father, Wade. He joins nurse, Ace (Gilbert Owuor) and longtime employee Valentina (Kimberly Guerrero) as Ace cares for Wade and Valentina manages the vast property. To Cal’s surprise, he also becomes reunited with his estranged sister Erin (Haley Lu Richardson) who continues to carry her pain over past family abuse. Her decision to quickly leave is halted when she finds out what they are planning on doing to her beloved horse.
Filmmakers Scott McGehee and David Siegel have created an empathetic Film about confronting past family trauma in the face of losing the one that inflated the harm. It’s beautifully-shot and set in the vast, mountainous landscape of this Montana ranch. Anchored in its bond between brother and sister, it’s a quiet film that slowly creeps up on you. Family abuse is exposed through each sibling, showing the effects of those abused and those who keep quiet. McGehee and Siegel’s steady camerawork allows for the characters to drive the story and the actors to shine.
Richardson certifies herself as one of the strongest up-and-coming Actresses of her generation. She carries Erin’s pain and resentment for her abuse while showing compassion for the ill father who inflicted it. In one prominent scene, Erin confronts Cal for standing by as the abuse took place. Richardson exposes the anguish she feels but also the catharsis for finally letting out what she’s been swallowing her entire life.
Additionally, this scene allows Teague to show the guilt Cal has been carrying. Cal not only kept quiet but left his sister to continue receiving the abuse. Teague physically shows the guilt in this scene as we watch Cal crumble, finally being able to apologize. In turn, forgiving himself and releasing that guilt. The two of them are a perfect match in every scene.
Montana Story screens at TIFF ’21:
Sat, Sep 11 at 4:30 PM at TIFF Bell Lightbox
Sat, Sep 11 at 9 PM on Digital TIFF Bell Lightbox
Wed, Sep 15 at 5 PM on Digital TIFF Bell Lightbox
Thu, Sep 16 at 4 PM at Cinesphere IMAX Theatre
#TIFF21: DAY THREE SIGHTINGS – JESSICA CHASTAIN, BENEDICT CUMBERBATCH, DIONNE WARWICK, DENIS VILLENEUVE, REBECCA FERGUSON, HALEY LU RICHARDSON, OWEN TEAGUE + MORE
We’ve hit peak starpower at TIFF ’21 and even with Red Carpets and talent scaled back there’s still plenty enough to keep us busy!
The 2021 TIFF Tribute Gala took place earlier today at Roy Thomson Hall with this year’s Honourees taking the stage to accept their awards. Those in attendance included:
Jessica Chastain — TIFF Tribute Actor Award supported by the Tory Family
Benedict Cumberbatch — TIFF Tribute Actor Award
Denis Villeneuve — TIFF Ebert Director Award
Alanis Obomsawin — Jeff Skoll Award in Impact Media supported by Participant Media
Ari Wegner — TIFF Variety Artisan Award
Danis Goulet — TIFF Emerging Talent Award presented by L’Oréal Paris and supported by MGM
Dionne Warwick — TIFF Special Tribute Award
We caught some special moments as the stars arrived and we even saw Benedict Cumberbatch and Dionne Warwick share an embrace. R&B Legend Warwick, here for Documentary DON’T MAKE ME OVER, shared that she admittedly was a little starstruck seeing Cumberbatch, whom she admires for her work on SHERLOCK, which she was obsessed with streaming during the Pandemic! Cumberbatch is receiving tons of Oscar buzz for his work in Jane Campion‘s THE POWER OF THE DOG. Review here.
Chastain and Villeneuve, both busy with Press Days today for their respective films THE FORGIVEN and DUNE, made time to walk over to the fans, snapping Selfies and signing autographs. Chastain was stunning in a colour block Moschino outfit!
The Awards air Saturday, September 18, 2021 at 7pm ET on CTV, CTV.ca and the CTV app in Canada.
Several other Premieres took place across the City including MONTANA STORY which stars Owen Teague and Haley Lu Richardson, which many are commending for its heart and compassion. We spotted the stars and Co-Directors Scott McGehee and David Siegel, Ubering about with the Film’s stars earlier. Review to come shortly.
One of our greatest highlights finally is a moment with Rebecca Ferguson, whom we admire so deeply. This chameleon of an Actress has won acclaim for her work on the Mission: Impossible Franchise, The White Queen and more popularly, The Greatest Showman. Oh yeah, her! Ferguson stars in DUNE, which premiered at Ontario Place‘s Cinesphere and will be busy with Villeneuve with a day of press in support of the hotly-anticipated October 22, 2021 release. Review here.
One parting note, I attended a screening of Edgar Wright‘s LAST NIGHT IN SOHO and it was incredible! My thoughts below…
How amazing Wright even threw me a “like”!
We decided to take it easy tonight, wrapping early. Tomorrow will be pretty much the last day we’ll be out snapping content with more of a focus on the Films after Monday. Who knows, I might even have a little special sidekick out with me tomorrow!
(Photo credit: Mr. Will Wong)