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GiveLife.ca

    
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PRINT EDITION
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Globe Columnists
Thursday, March 30




  Johanna Schneller
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The Moviegoer



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Woody Harrelson's pursuit of happiness space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, March 24, 2017 – Page R3
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-- A lot of people are trying to get Woody Harrelson on the phone with me. There's one team in New York and another in Toronto. We're scheduled for Monday at 1:15 p.m. Then 1:45.  FULL STORY arrow
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REVIEW space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, March 24, 2017 – Page R3
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-- Wilson2  FULL STORY arrow
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Anne of Albuquerque space
How Moira Walley-Beckett went from Breaking Bad's drug-infested New Mexico to rebooting Canada's most beloved orphan
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Saturday, March 18, 2017 – Page R1
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-- Moira Walley-Beckett wrote what's widely considered the best single hour of television ever, the 14th episode of Season 5 of Breaking Bad, titled ''Ozymandias,'' after the Shelley poem about ruined greatness. In it, Hank was killed, Walt betrayed Jesse and pretty much every major character collapsed to his or her knees. She won an Emmy for it, as did Anna Gunn and Bryan Cranston. Now WalleyBeckett has a new subject: Anne of Green Gables.  FULL STORY arrow
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The future of Canadian film is ... Canadian television space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, March 10, 2017 – Page R1
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-- Sarah Polley, the Oscar-nominated, Canadian writer/director/actress, spent 20 years thinking about how to adapt Margaret Atwood's sprawling novel Alias Grace for the screen.She spent her own money to buy the rights when they came available. Then, she spent nearly two years writing, often in snatched hours during her children's naps.  FULL STORY arrow
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'Watching a movie is a dangerous thing to do' space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, March 3, 2017 – Page R3
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-- Can going to a movie be an act of protest, a form of activism? The United State of Cinema hopes so: The group has rallied 90 art houses in 34 U.S. states - plus the Royal Cinema in Toronto, and the Rio and VIFF Vancity in Vancouver - to screen 1984 on April 4, to protest Donald Trump's anticipated cuts to arts funding. (April 4 is the day Winston Smith, played by the late John Hurt in Michael Radford's film, begins to rebel against Big Brother by keeping a diary.) Some proceeds will go to local organizations or to underwrite future community-related programming.  FULL STORY arrow
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A UNITED KINGDOM space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, February 24, 2017 – Page L2
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-- 3The storytelling is straightforward, even a bit square. But the story is fascinating - and true. In 1948 England, Seretse Khama (David Oyelowo), a prince of Bechuanaland (now Botswana), marries a white office worker, Ruth Williams (Rosamund Pike). Her racist family rejects her. His relatives scorn her. But the main villain here is the British government, personified by Alistair Canning (Jack Davenport), England's representative in Southern Africa.  FULL STORY arrow
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David Oyelowo's case of political déjà vu space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, February 24, 2017 – Page R4
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-- As David Oyelowo and I spoke by phone recently, a protest against Donald Trump's immigration ban was raging outside his New York hotel. It seemed fitting, because his new film, A United Kingdom, centres on a family kept apart by governmental prejudice.  FULL STORY arrow
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REVIEW space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, February 24, 2017 – Page R4
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-- A United Kingdom3  FULL STORY arrow
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#NoNetflix=#NoSenseofHumour space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, February 17, 2017 – Page R1
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-- Dear People of Colour, I'm sorry. I apologize. I'm mortified that over the past week, many of my fellow white people watched a 25-second teaser trailer for an upcoming Netflix series, and then called for a boycott of Netflix itself, just because the series is called Dear White People.  FULL STORY arrow
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Why we can't afford another #OscarsSoMale space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, February 10, 2017 – Page R1
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-- At a luncheon Monday at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, 163 of 2017's 172 Academy Award nominees gathered for the annual ''class photo,'' six rows of people arrayed in a semi-circle around an oversized gold Oscar. What is the main thing you see in the photo? Suits. Mostly grey or blue. Men's. Once again, the question arises: Where are the women?  FULL STORY arrow
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Hollywood and the myth of the unified liberal elite space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, February 3, 2017 – Page R3
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-- Should awards shows be pulpits from which celebrities espouse their political views?Winners and hosts at this past Saturday's Producers Guild of America Awards and Sunday's Screen Actors Guild Awards certainly thought so. Maybe they were taking their cues from Meryl Streep's rousing speech at the Golden Globes a few weeks earlier, when she urged people to donate to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ). Maybe they would have done it anyway, after Donald Trump enacted his antiimmigration policy. But their celebrations became a cri de coeur from the liberal elite.  FULL STORY arrow
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No defence against Michael Fassbender's charm offensive space
The actor is naturally drawn to troubled characters who do inexplicable things, making him a natural fit in Trespass Against Us
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, January 27, 2017 – Page R4
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-- Someone nudges Michael Fassbender into my hotel interview suite. It's September; the Toronto International Film Festival is raging. Fassbender's being manhandled at 10-minute intervals to talk about his new drama, Trespass Against Us, a father-son drama set in the Irish Traveller community in rural England. (Brendan Gleeson plays his father.) It's only noon, and he's trying to be present. But he looks exhausted, pale in his black clothes, rubbing his eyes.  FULL STORY arrow
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MOTHER OF INVENTION space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Saturday, January 21, 2017 – Page R1
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-- Daughter of an iconic filmmaker and sister of a minted auteur, Catherine Reitman is ready to make her mark, one subversive breast-milk joke at a time, Johanna Schneller writes F or a terrible moment, Catherine Reitman thought her ambition had killed her unborn baby.  FULL STORY arrow
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20th Century Women director filters real life through the lens space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, January 13, 2017 – Page R1
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-- Writer/director Mike Mills didn't set out to fictionalize his mother in his new film 20th Century Women, which opens Friday. He tried to cram in as much of the real her, in all her contradictions and complications, as he could. She was a draftsperson who dreamed of being an aviator, a Humphrey Bogart-loving, Depression-era baby who ended up the single mother of a punky skateboarder in 1979 Santa Barbara, Calif. ''My friends' mothers looked like Farrah Fawcett,'' Mills says in a phone interview. ''Mine looked like Amelia Earhart.''  FULL STORY arrow
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After Fisher's death, the path for Star Wars travels close to the Dark Side space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Saturday, January 7, 2017 – Page R1
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-- The world now knows that Disney had a $50-million (U.S.) insurance policy from Lloyd's of London on Carrie Fisher, who died Dec. 27 in the midst of a three-film contract for the insanely lucrative Star Wars franchise. (Episode VII: The Force Awakens, which came out in 2015, raked in more than $2-billion worldwide, and Fisher's work on Episode VIII, to come out this December, was already completed.) According to Insurance Insider, which first reported the news, it is the largest single personal-accident insurance claim ever.  FULL STORY arrow
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Gosling's La La Land dream comes true space
'It's the best job in the world,' the Canadian says of his acting career - and coming home to Eva Mendes can't be too shabby either
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, December 23, 2016 – Page R4
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-- Ryan Gosling's Hollywood dream began with a Bedazzler. In one of his earliest memories, he comes home to find his uncle in his living room stamping jewels onto a white jumpsuit. Cut to 30 years later, and Gosling is a king of Hollywood, palling around with Clooneys, living with a screen goddess (Eva Mendes, his co-star from The Place Beyond the Pines), and plucking from teetering piles any script he fancies.  FULL STORY arrow
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And ... scene space
The 10 best moments from spending a year in the dark
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, December 16, 2016 – Page R5
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-- Sure, I remember whole movies. But when I think back over a year's worth, certain scenes - moments - stand out more than entire films. Here are 10 from 2016 that I now carry with me.  FULL STORY arrow
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All quirk and no play, that's the Cancon way space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, December 9, 2016 – Page R5
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-- Sadie's Last Days on Earth Written and directed by Michael Seater Starring Morgan Taylor Campbell, Helene Joy and Munro Chambers Classification PG; 90 minutes2Let me be clear: This one little movie is not to blame for everything that irks me about it. It's well-intentioned. It has some nice moments. Its backstory is encouraging: Its writer/director, Michael Seater, is a homegrown graduate of Canadian TV; he played the title character on Life with Derek (2005-09).  FULL STORY arrow
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What women want, and what Hollywood thinks they deserve space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, December 2, 2016 – Page R1
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-- The minute I saw Jessica Chastain apply her red lipstick - danger-red, the red of police sirens in the rain or fresh, wet blood - my heart sank. I knew she was girding for battle, and I know what that means: yet another woman who will pay a price for her ambition.  FULL STORY arrow
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Warren Beatty's rules of engagement space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Saturday, November 26, 2016 – Page R1
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-- Dear Warren Beatty, Please explain something. When you were in Toronto last month to promote your new film Rules Don't Apply - the first one you've directed in 18 years, which you also wrote and star in - we had an off-therecord conversation about politics and you were completely charming: relaxed, funny, engaged, genuinely curious.  FULL STORY arrow
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RULES DON'T APPLY space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Wednesday, November 23, 2016 – Page L2
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-- 2 If you call your movie this, you're kinda asking for it. Some rules should apply.  FULL STORY arrow
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Ethiopian-Irish actress Ruth Negga's quiet, unforgettable performance is set to seize the spotlight space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, November 11, 2016 – Page R1
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-- At age four, newly arrived in Limerick, Ireland, from Addis Ababa, Ruth Negga watched Kate Bush do her remixed version of Wuthering Heights on Top of the Pops and thought: ''That just looks like a fabulous job.'' Not the singing bit, but the emoting.  FULL STORY arrow
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The alluring mystery of Rachel McAdams space
The Doctor Strange co-star will answer any question you may have - except ones about herself
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, November 4, 2016 – Page R4
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-- Rachel McAdams knows how to hide in plain sight. More on that in a minute.She knew she wanted to be an actor from the day, age 12, that she stepped on stage at a children's theatre camp in her hometown, St. Thomas, Ont., playing a fairy in A Midsummer Night's Dream. All her senses were firing.  FULL STORY arrow
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ALSO OPENING space
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By JOHN SEMLEY, JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, November 4, 2016 – Page R5
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-- Michael Moore in TrumpLand1Against the current political climate of late night yuk-pundits ''annihilating'' American conservative ideology for simpering audiences who already agree with them, there's a certain daring in Michael Moore's decision to preach to the unconverted.  FULL STORY arrow
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'I wanted the film to feel like Roth's writing' space
Ewan McGregor and his American Pastoral cast try to untangle Hollywood's book-to-screen 'Roth Problem'
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, October 21, 2016 – Page R2
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-- Call it the Roth Problem: Brainy writers and directors fall in love with Philip Roth's novels - their boxes-within-boxes structure, their dense thickets of ideas, their soaring wordiness.  FULL STORY arrow
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Real-life horror, live at six o'clock space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, October 14, 2016 – Page R1
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-- Before Rebecca Hall even opened her script for the new drama Christine, its synopsis freaked her out. It's the true story of Christine Chubbuck, a Sarasota, Fla., newscaster who, to protest the ''if it bleeds, it leads'' mentality that was taking over news coverage, went live on the air on July 15, 1974, and shot herself in the head.  FULL STORY arrow
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REVIEW space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, October 14, 2016 – Page R5
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-- Christine3What could possibly have been going on in the mind of Christine Chubbuck, a 29-year-old newscaster at a television station in Sarasota, Fla., in July of 1974, when, to protest the sensationalizing of the news, she took a gun to her anchor desk and shot herself on air? (Many posit that she was Paddy Chayefsky's inspiration for the 1976 film Network.) How does her story resonate in today's even more overheated media climate? Those are the questions posed by Christine, written by Craig Shilowich and directed by Antonio Campos.  FULL STORY arrow
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Nothing but the truth space
The filmmaking team behind Denial dissect the dangers of pushing revisionary history, both past and present
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, October 7, 2016 – Page R3
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-- A middle-aged white man tells lies: a huge lie, surrounded by many supporting lies. He writes books containing these lies. He goes on television and, like a robot, repeats-repeatsrepeats his lies. He amasses rabid followers, who disseminate his lies. When they are confronted with facts that prove they're lying, they ''choose not to believe'' them. In ''their opinion,'' the facts aren't facts. If they repeat an opinion often enough, they are convinced it becomes fact.  FULL STORY arrow
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Rami Malek, the man in the machine space
Star of Mr. Robot and new film Buster's Mal Heart lets his guard down and opens up about the meaning of life
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, September 30, 2016 – Page R4
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-- By the middle of the Toronto International Film Festival, the last thing you expect is an unguarded interview. You've encountered too much professional blandness; you've heard too many answers with their edges polished off. And then you meet Rami Malek.  FULL STORY arrow
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Long may she reign space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, September 23, 2016 – Page R3
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-- Queen of Katwe Directed by Mira Nair Written by William Wheeler Starring Madina Nalwanga, David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong'o Classification PG; 124 minutes 31/2Consider the chess movie. As a film subject, chess is clearly not as popular as boxing (Box Office Mojo lists 50 boxing films), baseball (there are 47 of those), football (44) or even golf (10). The chess movie is the nerd of sports films.  FULL STORY arrow
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Africa's untold story space
Queen of Katwe is a transcendent, joyful story, and looks to be Disney's best chance for a live-action Oscar
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Saturday, September 10, 2016 – Page R3
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-- When the actor David Oyelowo (Selma) read the script for his latest film, Queen of Katwe, which will have its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on Saturday night, he wasn't nervous that it was being made by Disney - ''I was shocked,'' he said in a phone interview prior to his arrival in Toronto.  FULL STORY arrow
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Tales from Stephen Woolley, the festival veteran space
British director sticks with projects he believes in - even if they take more than a dozen years
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, September 9, 2016 – Page R4
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-- If the Toronto International Film Festival is about marinating in films, then no one is more thoroughly steeped than the British producer Stephen Woolley.He came to TIFF with the first film he produced, The Company of Wolves, in 1984. In 1992, he brought The Crying Game. This weekend, his 26th and 27th TIFF films will have their world premieres: The Limehouse Golem, a Victorian penny dreadful with a modern twist, on Saturday night; and Their Finest, a comedic drama about London filmmakers who make a morale booster during the Blitz, on Sunday afternoon.  FULL STORY arrow
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THE NIGHT BELONGS TO RIZ AHMED space
After HBO's The Night Of, the actor prepares to take over TIFF with two hotly anticipated films. Johanna Schneller reports on how the son of a working-class British-Pakistani family navigates a world he once thought was off-limits
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Thursday, September 8, 2016 – Page L1
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-- At this moment, it's our most important story - the international diaspora, the massive ripple effects of humanity on the move - and Riz Ahmed is at the centre of it.  FULL STORY arrow
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Gone baby gone space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, September 2, 2016 – Page R2
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-- The Light Between Oceans Directed by Derek Cianfrance Written by Derek Cianfrance (based on the novel by M. L. Stedman) Starring Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander and Rachel Weisz Classification PG; 142 minutes 21/2  FULL STORY arrow
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MISS SHARON JONES space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, August 19, 2016 – Page R2
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-- 2  FULL STORY arrow
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ALSO OPENING space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER, BRAD WHEELER, ELLEN BRAIT
Friday, August 19, 2016 – Page R3
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-- Mini reviews of recent releases, rated on a system of 0 to 4 stars.Edge of Winter 11/2  FULL STORY arrow
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How do you get to Carnegie Hall? space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, August 12, 2016 – Page R2
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-- Florence Foster Jenkins Directed by Stephen Frears Written by Nicholas Martin Starring Meryl Streep, Hugh Grant and Simon Helberg Classification PG; 110 minutes 3There are three set pieces in Florence Foster Jenkins, a comic love story set in 1944 New York. In the first, heiress and music patroness Florence (Meryl Streep) takes her initial singing lesson with her new pianist, Cosme McMoon (Simon Helberg).  FULL STORY arrow
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ALSO OPENING space
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By BRAD WHEELER, JOHANNA SCHNELLER, KATE TAYLOR
Friday, August 12, 2016 – Page R3
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-- Mini reviews of new releases, rated on a system of 0 to 4 stars.Gleason 3There's a scene in Gleason, the moving documentary about a former NFL player who is stricken with ALS, in which Steve Gleason struggles to complete a short swimming race. Seeing her once robust husband diminished physically - and this is just the beginning; he will get much, much worse - his wife cries, although she tries not to have him notice. It's a heartbreaker, one of many in a tearjerker about an ex-athlete's will to live as fully as possible while suffering from a devastating neuromuscular disease, and his efforts to help fellow sufferers do the same. We meet Gleason, a folk hero to fans of the New Orleans Saints, as he films a video journal to his unborn son.  FULL STORY arrow
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Inside the drama of love and money space
Ira Sachs's latest film examines class, love and money through the eyes of youth
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, August 5, 2016 – Page R2
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-- Inside the writer-director Ira Sachs's head, movies are always playing. In a recent 20minute interview in a Toronto pub, he referenced - vividly - Saturday Night Fever, West Side Story and The World of Henry Orient, along with two films by Yasujiro Ozu, Good Morning and I Was Born, But... - all inspirations for his new film, Little Men, which opens in select cities on Friday.  FULL STORY arrow
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, August 5, 2016 – Page R2
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-- Little Men 31/2An Ira Sachs film is all about tone and character details. He gathers twigs here, feathers there, adds some shiny detail.The result isn't a towering skyscraper - it's a bird's nest, a perfect little miracle of nature.  FULL STORY arrow
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NOW PLAYING space
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By JULIA COOPER, JOHANNA SCHNELLER, BARRY HERTZ, KATE TAYLOR, BRAD WHEELER
Friday, August 5, 2016 – Page R5
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-- Mini-reviews of recent releases, rated on a system of 0 to 4 stars.Bad Moms 3I wish I could say I was a few years off from finding the premise of two groups of moms battling over the title of next PTA president funny. But it turns out that I want all the kale jokes, the Zumba one-liners, the ''mom bra'' bangers. Like Bad Mom's star Mila Kunis, it seems I have aged into a new demographic. As a harried would-be supermom here, Kunis is sweet without dripping in sweetness and her character's nemesis - the uptight and scheming president of the PTA, played by Christina Applegate - creates good tension without letting the film fall into the overplayed story of female cattiness. The film is not without its flaws, but then again, that's its very own message: Nobody is perfect. (14A)  FULL STORY arrow
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By JULIA COOPER, JOHANNA SCHNELLER, BARRY HERTZ, BRAD WHEELER
Saturday, July 30, 2016 – Page R11
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-- Mini-reviews of recent releases, rated on a system of 0 to 4 stars.Bad Moms 3I wish I could say I was a few years off from finding the premise of two groups of moms battling over the title of next PTA president funny. But it turns out that I want all the kale jokes, the Zumba one-liners, the ''mom bra'' bangers. Like Bad Mom's star Mila Kunis, it seems I have aged into a new demographic.  FULL STORY arrow
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NOW PLAYING space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER, BARRY HERTZ, BRAD WHEELER, ELLEN BRAIT
Saturday, July 23, 2016 – Page R10
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-- Mini-reviews of recent releases, rated on a system of 0 to 4 stars.Captain Fantastic 21/2  FULL STORY arrow
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The mortifying wit of Eric Rohmer space
A new TIFF series reveals how the French director became the go-to influence for modern filmmakers
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, July 22, 2016 – Page R4
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-- I have a confession: I don't always love French New Wave films. They're often too cool for me, too: ''I have, at long last, fallen in love with you. Obviously, I can never see you again.''  FULL STORY arrow
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NOW PLAYING space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER, BARRY HERTZ, ELLEN BRAIT, KATE TAYLOR
Saturday, July 16, 2016 – Page R11
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-- Mini-reviews of recent releases, rated on a system of 0 to 4 stars.Captain Fantastic 21/2In a short review, there's a temptation to be snappy - ''Captain Fantastic isn't!'' But this movie deserves more thoughtful consideration. Ben (Viggo Mortensen) and his absent wife (we soon learn why) are conducting a radical experiment, raising their six children off the grid in the Pacific Northwest forest. For a while, it feels like utopia: The kids, brilliant thinkers with mad survival skills, seem to be thriving in mind, body and spirit.  FULL STORY arrow
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Viggo Mortensen's history of elusiveness space
Just like his Captain Fantastic paterfamilias, the actor has been known to check out of modern life
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, July 15, 2016 – Page R2
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-- The actor Viggo Mortensen doesn't live off the grid like Ben, his title character in the new drama Captain Fantastic. Instead, he's made a grid of his own, a concatenation of, among other things, David Cronenberg and Spanish-language films; painting, poetry and music; fatherhood (to Henry, now 28); and Argentine soccer fandom. He's the kind of guy who bought the two horses he rode during the three-film Lord of the Rings shoot (he played Aragorn, the one hunk to lead them all), and the kind of success to have a place to run them (he owns houses in Los Angeles and northern Idaho). He also invested a chunk of his LOTR dough in one of the more romantic follies of the 21st century: a boutique book publishing company, Perceval Press. Naturally, he prefers the more arcane spelling of the Round Table knight's name.  FULL STORY arrow
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, July 15, 2016 – Page R2
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-- Captain Fantastic21/2  FULL STORY arrow
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By BRAD WHEELER, JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, July 8, 2016 – Page R5
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-- The Debt 2  FULL STORY arrow
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Aubrey and Anna need better agents space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, July 8, 2016 – Page R2
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-- Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates Directed by Jake Szymanski Written by Andrew Jay Cohen and Brendan O'Brien Starring Anna Kendrick, Aubrey Plaza and two guys of little importance Classification 14A; 98 minutes 1  FULL STORY arrow
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The men who knew too much space
TIFF's new series, Hitchcock/Truffaut, focuses on two masters of cinema working at the height of their powers
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, July 1, 2016 – Page R4
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-- Directing is like sex, the old saying goes - you never get to see how the other guy does it. But in 1962, Francois Truffaut spent a week in a room at Universal Studios interviewing Alfred Hitchcock.  FULL STORY arrow
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'Not everyone knows this feeling of being loved' space
Hollywood legend Leslie Caron reflects on a career of highs and missteps in new documentary, The Reluctant Star
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, June 24, 2016 – Page R4
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-- Leslie Caron is as old Hollywood as you can get. She danced with Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Mikhail Baryshnikov and Rudolf Nureyev. She made films with Cary Grant, Henry Fonda, Jerry Lewis and Orson Welles. She starred in classic MGM musicals including Gigi and Daddy Long Legs, and was nominated for two Academy Awards. She had an affair with Warren Beatty. She wrote an autobiography, Thank Heaven, which came out in 2009.  FULL STORY arrow
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, June 24, 2016 – Page R4
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-- Leslie Caron: The Reluctant Star 3  FULL STORY arrow
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NO STRANGER THAN LOVE space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, June 17, 2016 – Page R2
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How to save your documentary space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, June 17, 2016 – Page R5
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-- The Witness Directed by James D. Solomon Classification PG; 99 minutes 3Tempest Storm Directed by Nimisha Mukerji Classification PG; 82 minutes 2Every documentary filmmaker has nightmares about these two scenarios: In the first, you can't uncover the story you set out to uncover; in the second, you get all the access you need, but your subject has no insight into herself. In both nightmares, you've invested time and money and you've probed all you can.  FULL STORY arrow
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Rebecca Miller's war on the romcom space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, June 10, 2016 – Page R3
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-- Waiting for financing can be a good thing. Because it took a year to pull together the funds to shoot her new comedy, Maggie's Plan, the writer-director Rebecca Miller was challenged by her cast to sharpen and deepen their characters: Greta Gerwig as Maggie, who's planning to get pregnant on her own, but falls in love with John (Ethan Hawke), who's married to Georgette (Julianne Moore).  FULL STORY arrow
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REVIEW space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, June 10, 2016 – Page R3
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-- Maggie's Plan 31/2Writer-director Rebecca Miller, expanding on the source novel by Karen Rinaldi, has delivered something as rare as a unicorn: a sophisticated, beautifully written romantic comedy for adults. Shakespeare would have loved the conceit: Maggie (Greta Gerwig), a university administrator in New York, falls in love with John (Ethan Hawke), a married writer - until she realizes she's made a mistake, and contrives to give him back to his ex-wife Georgette (Julianne Moore), a chilly academic. It works, because the dialogue is so bright and the performances so grounded. Moore, rocking a Danish accent and a wardrobe of leather, flies closest to the sun.  FULL STORY arrow
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NOW PLAYING space
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By JULIA COOPER, JOHANNA SCHNELLER, ANNE T. DONAHUE, BRAD WHEELER, BARRY HERTZ
Friday, June 10, 2016 – Page R5
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-- Mini-reviews of recent releases, rated on a system of 0 to 4 stars.Me Before You 1  FULL STORY arrow
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THE GREAT OUTDOORS space
Ellen Page's intimate apocalypse
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, June 3, 2016 – Page R1
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-- You're at home, in a wellequipped but isolated house on a forest road in the Pacific Northwest. The power goes out.And stays out. Your generator works for a while - until the gasoline goes. Your transistor radio spouts rumours: It's terrorism.  FULL STORY arrow
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OPENING TODAY space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, May 27, 2016 – Page R3
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-- The Boy and the Beast 21/2 ''Do you know why beasts and humans live in separate worlds?'' wise Iozen, a warthog-man, asks in this anime fantasy from award-winning Japanese writerdirector Mamoru Hosoda.  FULL STORY arrow
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Canada and the world vs. Hollywood space
Why did a Canadian producer help finance the new Norwegian thriller Hevn? The answer might reveal the future of Cancon
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, May 27, 2016 – Page R5
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-- A screen at the beginning of Hevn (Revenge) reads, ''Med Stotte fra Norsk Filminstitutt, Vestnorsk Filmsenter, and Ontario Media Development Corporation.'' So what is an Ontario funding agency doing in this Norwegian psychological thriller, shot on this breathtaking fjord, peopled with all these stunning Scandinavians?  FULL STORY arrow
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NOW PLAYING space
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By BARRY HERTZ, MARSHA LEDERMAN, JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, May 27, 2016 – Page R5
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-- Mini-reviews of recent releases, rated on a system of 0 to 4 stars.Captain America: Civil War 31/2It might be unfair to compare this, Marvel Studio's 13th superhero film, to something such as Batman v Superman, Warner's second, but in nearly every way Civil War represents the dizzying heights of the genre. Where Zack Snyder's clash of the titans was dark, malicious and crassly designed to wring maximum profit by promising more than it could deliver, Joe and Anthony Russo's Civil War is a shiny, immensely attractive work of pop art that acknowledges the obligations of the genre without wallowing in cynicism or cashgrab stunts. (PG)  FULL STORY arrow
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Higher education space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, May 20, 2016 – Page R3
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-- Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising Directed by Nicholas Stoller Written by Andrew J. Cohen, Brendan O'Brien, Nicholas Stoller, Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg Starring Seth Rogen, Rose Byrne and Zac Efron Classification 14A; 92 minutes 3  FULL STORY arrow
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A gentle toast to the days ahead space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, May 20, 2016 – Page R2
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-- À la vie Directed by Jean-Jacques Zilbermann Written by Jean-Jacques Zilbermann and Daniele D'Antoni Starring Julie Depardieu and Suzanne Clement Classification 14A; 104 minutes 3It takes about half an hour for the French drama À la vie to warm up. First, we meet three young women - Helene (Julie Depardieu, daughter of French icon Gerard), Lili (Johanna ter Steege) and Rose (Quebec star Suzanne Clement) - barely alive at Auschwitz at the end of the Second World War. Then we follow Helene home to Paris, and watch her try to settle back into normal life. But stick with it, because once the sun hits the three as they reunite in 1962 on the beach in Berck-sur-Mer, France, they begin to open up and let each other - and us - in.  FULL STORY arrow
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THE PRIVATE LIVES OF JODIE FOSTER space
After a brief disappearance, the Oscar-winning actress returns to the director's chair with Money Monster. Johanna Schneller reports on what happens when a spotlight-averse star finds herself back in the conversation
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, May 13, 2016 – Page R1
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-- Jodie Foster still takes it all personally. Her work, that is. She has to.''I don't know how to do my job unless I'm moved,'' the actress and director says in a phone interview. ''I'm never going to be that director who says, ''Scuba diving! That sounds like something I'd like to make a movie about!' I'm always going to have to download my personal fears and questions into my work.''  FULL STORY arrow
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How to succeed in screenwriting by trying so, so hard space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, May 6, 2016 – Page R5
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-- You are at the Toronto Screenwriting Conference on a Saturday afternoon, in a vast, windowless meeting room, trying not to freak. You and 300 others are in a session called Writing a TV Pilot That Sells, listening to the (alarming) stats of a polished, positive woman named Jen Grisanti. A former creative executive for Aaron Spelling and CBS, she has become a successful author and screenwriting coach, charging a minimum of $725 (U.S.) to read a pilot and deliver notes to a steady stream of clients. She encourages the audience to shout out ideas; to each one, she responds, ''I love it!''  FULL STORY arrow
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Peak Stream, and the illusion of choice space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, April 29, 2016 – Page R5
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-- jschneller@globeandmail.comIt has been a big week for streaming services. On Thursday, Otter Media (a joint venture between ATandT and Hollywood executive Peter Chernin) launched Fullscreen, an ad-free, subscription video-on-demand service directed at teens and young adults (available here on Yahoo Finance Canada).  FULL STORY arrow
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Young, scrappy and hungry space
Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, the young rookie actor behind the musical drama Sing Street, is not throwing away his shot
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, April 22, 2016 – Page R4
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-- It's an irresistible story: Writer/ director John Carney (Once) decides to hold open auditions for his new film, Sing Street. In cities across Ireland, lines of hopefuls snake around the block. A discovery is made. A star is minted. Next thing he knows, he's at the premiere, sitting next to Sting.  FULL STORY arrow
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What they really want to do is direct ... TV space
In a bid to escape the increasingly crowded and complex movie market, filmmakers are setting their sights on the small screen
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, April 15, 2016 – Page R3
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-- jschneller@globeandmail.comWhen director Steven Soderbergh defected to television in 2013, it felt like big news. The film business was no longer set up to make the kind of original, adult fare that interested him, he said that April in a speech at the San Francisco International Film Festival.  FULL STORY arrow
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NO ONE'S POSTER BOY space
On the surface, Sleeping Giant director Andrew Cividino is a shining example of how the CanCon industry rewards young filmmakers. But as Johanna Schneller reports, the system only works if you work the system
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, April 8, 2016 – Page R1
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-- Is the writer-director Andrew Cividino a cheerleader for the Canadian way of doing things: Be patient, work the funding steps, and rewards will come? Not exactly.  FULL STORY arrow
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Nothing but the truth ... with a few caveats space
The controversy over Robert De Niro's film-festival selection shines an unsavoury light on the documentary world
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, April 1, 2016 – Page R5
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-- jschneller@globeandmail.comIt's been a wild few weeks for documentary films. (How often do we get to say that?) On March 17, SeaWorld announced it would end its orca-breeding programs and live shows, in part because of the outcry raised by the 2013 documentary Blackfish.  FULL STORY arrow
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'Women's appetites got taken out of narratives' space
The Lobster's Rachel Weisz on ambition, truth and what happens when men are in charge of storytelling
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, March 25, 2016 – Page R4
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-- When Rachel Weisz co-starred in About a Boy, its filmmakers Chris and Paul Weitz had a tradition: Every time they changed a reel, they'd do 20 push-ups. In all the reels they changed on all their films, the only person ever to do the pushups with them was Weisz.  FULL STORY arrow
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Helen Mirren for a day space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, March 18, 2016 – Page R4
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-- Dame Helen Mirren wants you to know that she got her tattoo - two small, interlocking triangles, at the base of her left thumb - decades before they were fashionable. ''I don't know if it's a badge of honour, but I had it done when only Hell's Angels and criminals had tattoos,'' she says, chuckling. ''Long before it was bourgeois. I'm shocked and horrified that it's become mainstream. It's so unfair.''  FULL STORY arrow
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And the award for the most problematic awards show goes to ... space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, March 11, 2016 – Page R1
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-- jschneller@globeandmail.comIf I asked you, ''Will you watch the Canadian Screen Awards on Sunday night?'' would you laugh in my face? That sounds harsh, but the conundrum of celebrating an entertainment industry that's permanently on life support is such an intractable one, even the CSAs' most ardent supporters make terrible dying-animal sounds when queried about it.  FULL STORY arrow
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Enter the void space
The curious case of Gerard Butler, and other 'black hole' stars whose performances disappear from your mind when the credits roll
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, March 4, 2016 – Page R5
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-- jschneller@globeandmail.comSame face, two posters. Go to the cinema this week, and you'll see Gerard Butler, glowering - his signature (and perhaps sole) expression - on side-byside one-sheets.  FULL STORY arrow
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BORN TO RUN space
Opening a week before the lily-white Oscars, the new Jesse Owens biopic Race scores for perfect timing. But, as Johanna Schneller writes, star Stephan James is not here to play politics
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, February 19, 2016 – Page R1
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-- The timing couldn't be better.Race, the Jesse Owens story, arrives in theatres Friday, a week before the #OscarsSoWhite. It gives audiences a chance to vote with their wallets for something multicultural: a Canadian co-production starring a Torontonian, Stephan James, about a seminal black American athlete who won four gold medals at the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin, at the height of Nazism.  FULL STORY arrow
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Sarah Gadon is no one's manic pixie dream girl space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, February 12, 2016 – Page R1
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-- When does an actor know she's made it? For Torontoborn Sarah Gadon, 28, that moment could be now.She stars alongside Jamie Dornan in the thriller The 9th Life of Louis Drax, due out this year.  FULL STORY arrow
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Slouching toward the podium space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, February 5, 2016 – Page R1
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-- jschneller@globeandmail.comAlthough most Oscar races are still wide open, last Saturday's Screen Actors Guild Awards gave us two winners we're likely to see again on Feb. 28: Brie Larson for best actress (Room), and Leonardo DiCaprio for best actor (The Revenant). There's a perception out there that these two ''deserve it,'' that it's ''their time.''  FULL STORY arrow
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The next generation? space
Chris Pine is 'continually stunned' he's asked to play action heroes - but the new Captain Kirk knows that it could all easily fall apart
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, January 29, 2016 – Page R2
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-- I hope someone makes a liveaction Barbie movie, so Chris Pine can play Ken. Sculpted of forehead, even of hairline, possessed of magnificent eyebrows and a fetching drop from shoulders to waist, the 35-year-old actor is such a doll that he practically has a permanent white highlight in his eyeballs to make his baby blues sparkle.  FULL STORY arrow
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The merc without a mouth space
Pablo Schreiber plays the perfect commando in 13 Hours - and he's a good, quiet soldier on the interview circuit, too
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, January 22, 2016 – Page R4
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-- Pablo Schreiber is a good soldier. He plays one in 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi, which expands to new cities this week. He's one on the interview circuit, too.  FULL STORY arrow
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Tom Courtenay's dog days space
The 45 Years star has won his fair share of awards over the years - but at 78, he'll talk about whatever he wants, thank you
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, January 15, 2016 – Page R4
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-- If ever an actor should write a memoir, it would be Sir Tom Courtenay, whose domestic drama 45 Years opens next week. In his 78 years, Courtenay has embodied English acting, working on films with the likes of Albert Finney, Maggie Smith and Colin Firth. On stage, he's played everyone from Romeo to Lear, and from The Seagull's Konstantin to Uncle Vanya. He's received rafts of awards, from best newcomer in 1963 from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts through a Silver Bear (for 45 Years) at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival. He was knighted in 2001.  FULL STORY arrow
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Sisters are doing it to themselves space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, January 8, 2016 – Page R3
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-- If you want proof that women are dominating the current comedy landscape, check out the Broadcast Film Critics Association's six nominees for best comedy, for its Critics' Choice Movie Awards (which will air Jan. 17).  FULL STORY arrow
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Sith happens space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, January 1, 2016 – Page R1
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-- Champagne corks are still popping in Burbank, home of the Disney empire. The Mouse House spent an eye-popping $4-billion (U.S.) to buy the Star Wars franchise from creator George Lucas (who promptly pledged that money to education funds), and about another $200-million to make and market episode seven, The Force Awakens. Two weeks after that film's release, the investment is paying off wildly.  FULL STORY arrow
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I've reached a breaking point space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Saturday, December 26, 2015 – Page R8
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-- jschneller@globeandmail.comPoint Break. I can't even think of the title of the 1991 original without leaping into a surfer pose. It is to me a near-perfect film. A gang of big-wave riders wearing rubber masks of ex-U.S.  FULL STORY arrow
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And ... scene space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, December 18, 2015 – Page R3
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-- More than 900 movies were released in North America this year, and I saw roughly a third of them. Such is the power of cinema that a surprising number stayed with me.  FULL STORY arrow
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The curious case of Brad Pitt's career space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, December 11, 2015 – Page R7
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-- Brad Pitt is the smartest man in Hollywood. Scoff away, but it's true. Not many people could have massaged The Big Short, Michael Lewis's chewy book about the 2007 financial crisis, into a comic drama - especially with a writer-director, Adam McKay, who'd only made Will Ferrell comedies. It's full of mortgage jargon. Its heroes are villains - sure, they're smart enough to see the meltdown coming, but they profit from it.  FULL STORY arrow
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Dean vs. DeHaan space
The actor's résumé follows a similar pattern of intense young men - but the 29-year-old is far from the dark and brooding sort
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, December 4, 2015 – Page R2
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-- jschneller@globeandmail.comLooking at Dane DeHaan's face, whose soulful blue eyes and pouty lips call to mind a young Leonardo DiCaprio; listening to his sleepy voice, which sounds as if it's being pushed through silk; and scanning his filmography, which is full of artists, romantics and outsiders, you might make assumptions about him. You might think that he gravitates toward certain roles, or they to him, because he has in him that same kind of troubled innocence - Lucien Carr, one of the original Beat Generation, in Kill Your Darlings.  FULL STORY arrow
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Breaking into character space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, November 27, 2015 – Page R2
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-- jschneller@globeandmail.comWhen Bryan Cranston was filming Trumbo - the new drama about the screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, who was blacklisted through the 1950s for being a member of the Communist Party - he made his director, Jay Roach (Game Change), promise him something. Trumbo was a colourful guy, always adorned with eyeglasses and mustaches, a cigarette holder jammed between his teeth, a cocktail in his hand, and, as if all that weren't enough, a parrot on his shoulder (a gift from Kirk Douglas, for whom he wrote Spartacus).  FULL STORY arrow
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Hollywood: Too clever by half space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, November 20, 2015 – Page R1
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-- jschneller@globeandmail.comI was in my theatre seat, in the final stretch of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2. I'd already devoted eight hours of my life to watching Katniss and her comrades make their way to a showdown in Panem. Now I would learn everything: Would she kill President Snow? Would she choose Peeta or Gale? How did she squeeze in time for wardrobe fittings? We were at the climactic push and I was insane with ... boredom. I just wanted everyone to hurry up and die.  FULL STORY arrow
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Banderas wants to keep digging deeper space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, November 13, 2015 – Page R2
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-- jschneller@globeandmail.comIt was as close to the real thing as Antonio Banderas ever wanted to be. For his new film The 33 - based on the true story of the Chilean mine collapse that riveted the world in 2010, with 33 men trapped 200 storeys below the earth for 69 days - the underground scenes were shot in two active Colombian salt mines.  FULL STORY arrow
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Sitting opposite Drew Barrymore is like basking in a force field of emotion space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Wednesday, November 11, 2015 – Page L1
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-- jschneller@globeandmail.comIt's 8 a.m. on the first Sunday of the Toronto International Film Festival. The few people who are awake are moving gingerly. Not Drew Barrymore, though. She has been up for hours, raring to go.  FULL STORY arrow
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Anchorman: the legend of Robert Redford space
The actor has made a career out of the murky intersection of journalism and politics - but has he backed the wrong source in Truth?
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, October 30, 2015 – Page R4
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-- jschneller@globeandmail.comRobert Redford, 79, has made a career out of films that focus on the murky intersections of politics, media and morals. Most famous of these, of course, is All the President's Men, where his Washington Post reporter, Bob Woodward, helped expose the Watergate scandal. The Candidate, Three Days of the Condor, Sneakers, Spy Game, Lions for Lambs, and The Company You Keep poke into the same grey areas. Even his romance The Way We Were has a subplot about McCarthyism.  FULL STORY arrow
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Egoyan and Plummer's unforgettable collaboration space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, October 23, 2015 – Page R1
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-- jschneller@globeandmail.comThe actor Christopher Plummer, 85, and the director Atom Egoyan, 55, have been friends since 1994, when Egoyan fannishly knocked on Plummer's stage door after a Broadway performance of No Man's Land.  FULL STORY arrow
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Brie Larson knows no boundaries space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, October 16, 2015 – Page R3
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-- jschneller@globeandmail.comI don't know how Brie Larson does it, but when she looks at you - I mean, right at you - she communicates this: ''Let's not waste each other's time. Let's make this the best version of what's going on.'' It's in the steadiness of her gaze, the clarity of her brown eyes, the calmness of her brow. Even amid the clutter of September's Toronto International Film Festival, she creates a space for you and her, and makes you feel that something real could happen in it.  FULL STORY arrow
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What is Moore still looking for? space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, October 9, 2015 – Page R5
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-- jschneller@globeandmail.comJulianne Moore is showing me pictures of her kids. It's the middle of September's Toronto International Film Festival. She's wearing a chic black print dress, her hair is a red satin sheet, and she's grinning at her phone.  FULL STORY arrow
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The talented, if tone-deaf, Mr. Damon space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, October 2, 2015 – Page R1
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-- jschneller@globeandmail.comThe door to the hotel conference room swings open, and there's Matt Damon, sitting dead centre in a brown leather wing chair. He's chewing gum and scrolling on his phone. His hair is short and freshly cut, and his biceps bulge from his tight black polo shirt like Popeye's after a hit of spinach. Sitting opposite him is like hanging out with an energy-efficient generator - it's a compact package, but it emits a powerful heat. Not until he grins, however, do you fully appreciate why Damon, 44, is a movie star.  FULL STORY arrow
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Bruce McDonald's nightmare before Sundance space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, September 25, 2015 – Page R3
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-- jschneller@globeandmail.comWe're in an isolated farmhouse surrounded by pumpkin fields. The kitchen is a nightmare. Furniture is overturned, crockery smashed. Spilled sugar crunches underfoot. Honey and maple syrup ooze across the counters. Cereal and cookie boxes have been flung around. There's a hyperventilating teenager in angel wings (Chloe Rose, from Degrassi: The Next Generation); a cop waving a shotgun (Robert Patrick, who will be forever known as T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day); and a corpse in the corner, with a pumpkin for a head. It looks as if demon children got strung out on sugar and went on a rampage.  FULL STORY arrow
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Don't hate the player, hate the game space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, September 18, 2015 – Page R5
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-- jschneller@globeandmail.comAh, the vagaries of movie releasing. As TIFF winds down, this column was going to focus on a drama that premiered at the festival this past week, About Ray, whose subject matter is timely: a glimpse into family life with a transgender teen. But the Weinstein Company just bumped it to later this fall. So instead, I'm writing about Pawn Sacrifice, which played at TIFF a full year ago, yet is only now being released. That delay might work in its favour, however, because serendipitously, its subject matter is timelier than ever.  FULL STORY arrow
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How to succeed at a film festival (while trying really hard) space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, September 11, 2015 – Page R3
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-- jschneller@globeandmail.comTIFF.15What do these three filmmakers have in common: a lifelong actor; the daughter of a renowned playwright; and a University of Toronto graduate who's been attending TIFF since it was called the Festival of Festivals? They're all hoping to find distribution for their features during the next three days at the Toronto International Film Festival. The hitch: Because their work is about humans, it's considered a tough sell.  FULL STORY arrow
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Who's laughing now? space
Cusack and Brody may appear to be slumming in Dragon Blade - but the future of movies belongs to China
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, September 4, 2015 – Page R4
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-- jschneller@globeandmail.comWatching John Cusack, in his thick black guy-liner, and Adrien Brody, sporting what looks like a wig from the Elizabeth Taylor collection, ham it up with Jackie Chan and 800 extras in China's Gobi Desert in the new wuxia epic Dragon Blade, one can only think, ''I hope they got paid an armoured carful of money.''  FULL STORY arrow
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Cry August and let slip the dogs of summer space
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By JOHANNA SCHNELLER
Friday, August 28, 2015 – Page R5
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-- jschneller@globeandmail.comOh August, season of misses and messy fruitlessness, popularly known in filmdom as a dumping ground for the dogs of summer, second only to a January release as a perceived kiss of doom. And it's true, many Hollywood hopes do limp out to die in the wan August sun (I'm looking at you, Man from U.N.C.L.E. and Fantastic Four).  FULL STORY arrow
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