Categories
Film

Sobibor: A Suspenseful Russian Film

Sobibor was a cog in a chain of Nazi extermination camps in German-occupied Poland built to eradicate the Jews of Europe. Upwards of 225,000 men women and children were murdered there in just over a year. In the autumn of 1943, a group of Red Army prisoners of war who had been sent to Sobibor […]

Categories
Film

Never Look Away

Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck’s latest movie, Never Look Away, which opens in Canada on February 22, is a sweeping personal and historic drama about the artistic development of the renowned German painter Gerhard Richter and the turbulence that engulfed Germany during the Nazi era and the division of the country into two politically irreconcilable republics, East Germany and West […]

Categories
Film

Who Will Write Our History

By any yardstick, Emanuel Ringelblum was a heroic figure. As the Nazi occupation of Poland deepened, he began keeping a diary of daily events in the Warsaw ghetto, where he lived. As the oppression intensified and he came to the realization that the Germans were intent on exterminating Polish Jews, he brought together fellow Jews […]

Categories
Film

Bohemian Rhapsody

Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody immortalizes the late, lamented pop singer Freddie Mercury. This exuberant biopic rises to sublime heights at times thanks to Rami Malek’s star turn as Mercury. Malek portrays the iconic British musician as self-confident yet vulnerable, flamboyant yet lonely, heterosexual yet gay, secular yet attached to his Zoroastrian faith. It is apparent […]

Categories
Film

Vice: Vivid And Sardonic

Dick Cheney, George W. Bush’s two-term vice-president, emerges as the power behind the throne in Adam McKay’s sardonic film, Vice, which takes a dim view not only of Cheney but of Bush and many of the major figures in his administration. Superbly portrayed by Christian Bale, a British actor who imitates his monotone mid-western accent with […]

Categories
Film

Cold War — A Spare And Moody Polish Movie

Pawel Pawilkowski’s stark black-and-white Polish film, Cold War, charts the course of a tempestuous romance between two people temperamentally at odds — Wiktor (Tomasz Kot), a serious-minded musician who strives for artistic freedom, and Zula (Joanna Kulig), a flighty dancer and singer who’s content with the status quo. The lovers are loosely modelled after Pawilkowski’s late […]

Categories
Film

The Favourite

A lavish period piece set in early 18th century Britain, The Favourite brims with intrigue, personality clashes, power struggles and secret sexual liaisons. At the center of it all are Queen Anne (Olivia Colman), the last Stuart monarch; Sarah, the Duchess of Marlborough (Rachel Weisz), her childhood friend and closest advisor, and Abigail Hill (Emma Stone), […]

Categories
Film

Can You Ever Forgive Me?

A low-key but vibrant film about quiet desperation and survival, Marielle Heller’s Can You Ever Forgive Me? is never less than absorbing. The chief protagonist, New York-based author Lee Israel, finds herself in dire straits in the early 1990s. Israel’s last book about cosmetics mogul Estee Lauder has bombed and, cruelly enough, publishers are shunning her. Unable to earn […]

Categories
Film

The Wife Is Complex And Compelling

Bjorn Runge’s film, The Wife, is a complex, compelling and nuanced portrait of Joe and Joan Castleman, an elderly couple whose marriage is sorely tested by an unexpected telephone call in the dead of night and a glittering awards ceremony thousands of kilometres away from their home. It’s 1992 and Joe (Jonathan Pryce), an acclaimed […]

Categories
Film

The Catcher Was A Spy

Morris (Moe) Berg has acquired a reputation as the most educated and brainiest player in the history of American major league baseball. Born in New York City in 1902, he studied modern languages at Princeton University and law at Columbia University. Despite his bent for academia, he devoted himself to baseball. For 15 years, he […]