Films We Like x Mr. Will are giving Readers in Toronto, Halifax, Vancouver and Ottawa a chance to win THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST Prize Packs. Packs include a copy of the novel and run of engagement passes to see the movie, which won the Grand Jury prize at Sundance this year.
Based on the celebrated novel by Emily M. Danforth, The Miseducation of Cameron Post follows the titular character (Moretz) as she is sent to a gay conversion therapy center after getting caught with another girl in the back seat of a car on prom night. Run by the strict and severe Dr. Lydia Marsh (Jennifer Ehle) and her brother, Reverend Rick (John Gallagher Jr.)—himself an example of how those in the program can be “cured”—the center is built upon repenting for “same sex attraction.” In the face of intolerance and denial, Cameron meets a group of fellow sinners including the amputee stoner Jane (Sasha Lane), and her friend, the Lakota Two-Spirit, Adam (Forrest Goodluck). Together, this group of teenagers form an unlikely family and fight to survive.
Running May 24 to June 3, 2018 at TIFF Bell Lightbox, the INSIDE OUT LGBT FILM FESTIVAL is set to kick-off! Several high-profile Films set to premiere at the Festival including Opening Night Gala A KID LIKE JAKE starring Jim Parsons and Claire Danes, HEARTS BEAT LOUD starring Kiersey Clemmons and Nick Offerman and THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST for which Chloë Grace Moretz won Best Actress at Sundance earlier this year. Hotly-tipped also is HOW TO TALK TO GIRLS AT PARTIES starring Elle Fanning and Nicole Kidman, which will see a digital release in early June.
Our Team preview for you some of the Festival’s most-talked-about titles and we will be providing you updates on some of these as the Festival commences!
In the meantime, here are some hidden treasures at Inside Out:
A MOMENT IN THE REEDS
Review by George Kozera
A MOMENT IN THE REEDS opens with Leevi (Jaume Puustinen) in a car with his father Jouko (Mika Melender) driving through the Finnish countryside. The emotional estrangement between the two is palpable. Leevi just arrived from Paris, where he is studying literature, to help renovate the family lake house and pointedly deflects the questions from his dad about his life and living arrangements. Arriving at the cottage, Leevi learns that his father hired a handyman to help with the renovations. A foreigner. Fortuitously, Tareeq (Boodi Kabbani) arrives, and whereas he cannot speak Finnish, his carpentry skills far outweigh Leevi’s and the father and son communicate with him in English.
When the father is called away on business, the two young men bond while working together, then drinking beers in the sauna and on the porch afterwards. The attraction between them is tangible and intense and they eventually wind up in bed together.
Whereas the plot of A MOMENT IN THE REEDS is somewhat derivative of many gay-themed dramas, the romance between Leevi and Tareeq is realized exquisitely with moments of sensuality coupled with revelations shared (Tareeq’s struggles with being a Syrian refugee living in Finland and Leevi’s emotions dealing with his dead mother). Billed as the first LGBT Romance from Finland, Writer/Director Mikko Makela fashioned a beautifully-accomplished, emotionally involving Movie. Kudos.
A MOMENT IN THE REEDS plays at the TIFF Bell Lightbox,June 3, 2018, 4:45 pm
Review by Justin Waldman
Derek Dodge’s Documentary Hurley focuses on racecar legend Hurley Haywood, and his struggles with being gay in such a “macho” sport. The Documentary focuses on Hurley’s career as well as his relationship with Peter Gregg on and potentially off the racetrack. This also serves as HurleyHaywood’s official ‘coming-out’, as he was worried that doing so would dampen his career and he would not be accepted by the racing world.
This is a Sports Documentary with an LGBTQ underbelly. It focuses more on Haywood’s career than it does his personal life and relationships. However, when it does get into his personal life and relationships it becomes a beautiful story of courage and acceptance and shows that sometimes in life being who you want to be is harder than it should have to be.
Hurley is an eye-opening examinayion about his career and the toxic masculinity that surrounded the sport in the ’70s and arguably even today, and the love that is shared between his partner and himself for being able to overcome the adversary that is Motorsport.
Hurley screens at Inside Out on Monday May 28, 2018 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, 7 pm.
Review by George Kozera
Bearded hunky Spaniard Bruno (Richard Garcia) arrives in Reykjavik, Iceland to look for his companion, Norberto, who left him without any explanation. While waiting for any kind of information from the police, his sister tells him to meet up with another ex-pat Spaniard, Arnau(Raul Portero) while there. Thus begins GRIMSEY, a journey around Iceland about a man looking for answers and/or closure.
Arnau, a tour guide, meets up with Bruno who is somewhat rude to him. When Bruno is told by the police that Norberto was last seen in a little town of Vik, he phones Arnau to apologize for his behaviour earlier and tells him he’s on his way to the small town north of Reykjavik to continue his quest. Suspension of disbelief number one: who shows at Bruno’s rental seconds before he leaves? Arnau. (How did he find Bruno and how did he know which car rental he was at?)
Arriving in Vik, only to be told that Norberto left three weeks prior heading further north, suspension of disbelief number two occurs: they meet another ex-pat gay couple from Spain who actually met and dined with Norberto. Back in the car. Scene after endless scene where we hear Bruno’s messages to Norberto which include pearls like “I feel my heart as a hotel. A hotel that you can leave without saying goodbye” and confessing that he was always a terrible travel companion with him and had been unfaithful. (No wonder Norberto ran away without a trace). We also hear Arnau’s messages to an ex-boyfriend which also doesn’t paint him in a positive light.
As a Road Trip Movie, GRIMSEY is endlessly fascinating. Iceland is a country rich in diverse landscapes and the cities they stop at are picturesque. The real star of this Movie is the beauty of Reykjavik. Written and directed by the two leads, as a narrative this Film is a bit lagging with scenes lasting longer than they should or have touches that suggest that GRIMSEY perhaps veers a bit to much to vanity rather than substance.
GRIMSEY plays at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, May 25, 2018, 7:15 pm.
OCTAVIO IS DEAD!
Review by George Kozera
In OCATVIO IS DEAD!, Tyler (Sarah Gadon) just lost her job when she finds out the father she never met had passed away and she is the sole beneficiary of his estate. Her mother Joan (played in full throttle eccentric mode by Rosanna Arquette) sees this as an opportunity to stop her years’ long medical insurance fraud and sponge off her daughter but Tyler decides to run away in the middle of the night and go to her father, Octavio’s (Raoul Trujillo), house to learn more about the man she knew nothing about. Thus begins Canadian Writer/Director Sook-Yin Lee’s atmospheric new Drama.
While rummaging through her father’s belongings in his filth-covered, book-lined apartment, Octavio appears to her in the form of a ghost. She also finds a photo of him besides a handsome young man, who she ultimately finds working at a gentleman’s club. To gain access to the facility, she lops off her hair, puts on her daddy’s suit, shirt and ties and successfully meets Apostolis (Dimitris Kitsos). They immediately bond and, consequently, secrets are revealed.
Sarah Gadon (Alias Grace), looking very much like and channeling a young Angelina Jolie, gives a compelling performance as Tyler, however unbelievable she looked and acted as a guy. It is accomplished and interesting. Best known for her work on Much Music, CBC Radio and in Film (Shortbus), Sook-Yin Lee’s writing and directing seem to be influenced strongly by David Lynch. Trying to combine supernatural elements with grotesque secondary characters and surreal imagery doesn’t always work in her favour but it doesn’t fail her vision either. Kitsos has very little to do but look pretty and be half-naked and Trujillo provides menace, tinged with sadness.
OCTAVIO IS DEAD! may be overreaching at times, but it is rarely uninteresting. It plays at TIFF Bell Lightbox on June 2, 2018 at 9:15 pm.
Review by George Kozera
In Ryerson University graduate, Drew Lint’s, feature length debut, M/M, this Writer/Director takes us deep inside a world of sexual and psychological obsession to a techno beat and rhythm. Golden-haired Matthew (Antoine Lahaie) recently moved to Berlin from Montreal. His is a lonely existence, made even more untenable with occurring dreams of statues staring at him. While at his job working at an indoor swimming pool facility, he gets a message on his cellphone, via a gay dating app, from Matthias (Nicolas Maxim Edlicher), seductively lounging across from him. Whereas nothing happens after that first communication, Matthew follows Matthias where he watches him shower, then trails him all the way to his apartment where he sees him in a sexual embrace with another guy. The obsession with the sexually voracious Matthias intensifies to not only stalking him but to Matthew changing the way he looks and dresses to mirror Matthias. When Matthias is hospitalized in a coma after a motorcycle accident, Matthew moves into his apartment and starts to live his life as Matthias does. Is it no surprise they share the same name; are they, in essence, the same person?
M/M is the most visually impressive directorial Feature Film debut I’ve seen since Kogonada’s Columbus. Drew Lint masters colours and textures seamlessly and breathtakingly. His use of whites and grays delights as does the occasional use of computer graphics. His storytelling is also impressive as it concisely encompasses many themes: loneliness, sexuality, the Social Media, art as a commodity. There are moments in the Movie that go on a bit too long or add nothing to the narrative but that can be attributed to a first-timer throwing all that he can to stimulate the senses.
M/M is a provocative, atmospheric and fascinating. Drew Lint is a name to remember and follow.
M/M plays at the TIFF Bell LightboxMay 30, 2018 at 9:15 pm
Running May 24 to June 3, the 28th annual INSIDE OUT TORONTO LGBT FILMFESTIVAL is about ready to kick-off! Some high-profile Films including recent winner at Sundance, Desiree Akhavan‘s THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST (starring Chloë Grace Moretz and Sasha Lane) are set to premiere. As announced previously, Silas Howard‘s A KID LIKE JAKE (also at Sundance) starring Jim Parsons and Claire Danes, will kick-off the Festival!
Comprised of 49 Films total, this year’s lineup includes 5 world premieres, 7 international premieres and 27 Canadian premieres from 27 countries.
Other high-profile titles include Sundance selection HEARTS BEAT LOUD (Brett Haley), CANARY (Christiaan Olwagen), HALF THE PICTURE (Amy Adrion) and 1985 (Yen Tan).
The 2018 feature film program includes a total of 49 films. The lineup includes 5 world premieres, 7 international premieres and 27 Canadian premieres from 27 countries.
We hope you’ve had a blast following along on our Sundance adventures. We couldn’t have done it without Amanda Gilmore who did a super job screening over 40+ titles, there every step of the Festival in Park City. As the Festival comes to a wrap, we’ve noticed a major theme of female empowerment over and over in some of this year’s most-buzzed Films and this couldn’t be timelier with #TimesUp and #MeToo being at the forefront of discussion right now. You’ll notice that this year’s top-priced purchase ($10 million) was Misogyny Horror Assassination Nation, centering on female high schoolers who seek revenge on assailants, indicative of the times we are in. The Film starring Odessa Young, Suki Waterhouse, Bella Thorne and Bill Skarsgård will see a release via NEON in America. It appears an early candidate for TIFF 18‘s Midnight Madness Programme.
In fact, Amanda places the Film at the top of her list of favourites from the Festival:
Sorry To Bother You
Amanda says, “This year Sundance was filled with Films involving a variety of different storytelling perspectives and a range of genres, including a lot of genre-bending Films.”.
Other Honorable Mentions:
HEREDITARY – Best Horror Film in Years!
TULLY – Would be in her Top Five but technically it was a surprise screening not an official part of the Festival lineup.
THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST – Best young-adult Film people of every age will be touched by!
The latter wound-up winning top prize at the Festival, for U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic Film. The Film by Desiree Akhavan is about a teen girl (Chloë Grace Moretz) who is sent to Conversion Therapy after it is learned she is in a relationship with her female best friend. The Film has yet to find a Distributor and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see it at TIFF ’18.
U.S. Grand Jury Prize: Documentary went to Derek Doneen‘s KAILASH, about Kailash Satyarthi and his fight to end Child Slavery.
Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic went to BURDEN by Director/Writer Andrew Heckler. The Film is about a man who leaves the KKK and falls in love with a woman who questions his behaviour. Garrett Hedlund stars alongside Tom Wilkinson and Andrea Riseborough.
Audience Award: NEXT went to SEARCH, an innovative Film by Aneesh Chaganty and starring Debra Messing and John Cho, about a father’s search for his missing daughter over Social Media and told on screens. SonyPictures purchased the Film for $5 million.
Directing Award: U.S. Dramatic went to THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER by Director/Writer SaraColangelo about a teacher who becomes obsessed with a talented child in her class leading to a downward spiral in nurturing him. Maggie Gyllenhaal stars.
Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award: U.S. Dramatic went to NANCY, by Director/Writer Christina Choe centering on a woman who believes she may have been kidnapped as a child. It also stars Andrea Riseborough, who was hot at the Festival this year with others titles MANDY and BURDEN.
U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Excellence in Filmmaking went to I THINK WE’RE ALONE NOW, a post-Apocalyptic Drama starring Peter Dinklage and Elle Fanning; Reed Morano directs.
U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Achievement in Acting went to Benjamin Dickey who plays songwriting legend Blaze Foley in this Film by Ethan Hawke.
NEXT Innovator Prize was a two-way tie between NIGHT COMES ON (Actress/Director Jordana Spiro) about a troubled teen girl who embarks on a journey with her little sister which could ruin their future, and WE THE ANIMALS (Jeremiah Zagar) about three brothers who push against the love of their parents only to become versions of them.
Complete list of Winners here. We hope to be back again next year!
To catch-up on our Sundance coverage including several Reviews for these Films, click here.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post is set in 1993 and follows Cameron (Chloë Grace Moretz) who is caught on prom night in the back seat of a car kissing another girl. When her legal guardians find out they send her to a gay conversion therapy camp.
The Film is a beautiful Coming-of-Age story set in an ugly world. Writer-Director DesireeAkhavan crafts a heartbreaking and heartwarming story of accepting who you are no matter the odds stacked against you. What’s refreshing about the story is that is never shies away from the cruelty these teenagers face at the camp.
The Ensemble is outstanding. Moretz has given one of her best performances as Cameron. And Sasha Lane who plays the self-assured Jane is enthralling. There are other great performances from Jennifer Ehle as the shockingly horrible leader of the conversion camp and JohnGallagher Jr. as the lost Reverend.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post screens at Sundance on Jan. 22 at 12:15PM at Eccles PC, Jan. 23 at 6:30PM at Redstone 1 PC, Jan. 25 at 2:30PM at The MARC PC, Jan. 26 at 3PM at PC Library, and Jan. 27 at 3:15PM at The Grand SLC.