‘The Laundromat’ TIFF Review: Soderbergh’s Latest True Story Comedy is a Baffling Joke

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There came a point where Steven Soderbergh had announced an intention to retire from filmmaking yet it seemed all too clear that he couldn’t leave the medium. It was long-thought that his last theatrical feature film was going to be Side Effects, but he came back to the big screen with Logan Lucky four years later – which he soon followed with films that were shot entirely with the use of iPhones, Unsane and High Flying Bird. Knowing the sort of filmmaker that Soderbergh has established himself as over his prolific career, it’s only fitting that he made another film that takes down an entire system but even the results of what this could sound like turn out so much stranger than expected. As for whether or not the film is good, I’m still having trouble finding out the answer to that myself.

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‘The Goldfinch’ TIFF Review: A Gorgeous, Incomplete, Almost Incomprehensible Disaster of Sorts

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Donna Tartt won the Pulitzer Prize for her 2013 novel, but the idea of adapting such a dense novel for the screen already seemed like a daunting task in and of itself. There’s a lot to admire about the effort that director John Crowley had tried to put into adapting The Goldfinch into a film but it’s also rather apparent how much of this does at all translate well onto the big screen. There’s a great story that could easily have been told from reading Donna Tartt’s novel, but even with John Crowley’s literate directorial approach, there’s so little sense to be found out of what he could churn out from bringing The Goldfinch to the screen. At its long running time, it still feels really slight yet even then you feel like you’re being overloaded with information that won’t ever be leading yourself anywhere. The more it goes on, the more it only becomes confusing, and any trace of meaning that it’s reaching for only results in more jumping around in terms of its structure, adding up to nowhere.

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Hold the Dark is Ugly, Lean, and Mean, but Maybe Not Enough: TIFF Review

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The source material upon which Jeremy Saulnier’s Hold the Dark is based on already seems like the perfect ground for him to cover after Green Room, but coming after said film I’m also rather surprised by how much of a slog this also feels by comparison. But with a small body of work already you can see that he has established a keen eye for capturing violence on the camera, and he still retains that power in Hold the Dark, yet to a less straightforward degree. Being Saulnier’s first film to have been adapted from another source, there’s another constraint that comes on board with telling such a story for the screen but at the same time it’s so unlike Saulnier’s previous films – there’s at least something to admire about what he creates here. But the more it sits in my mind, the more I find that I’m just unsure of what to say about everything that had come prior. It feels so weird to have left a film of this sort feeling inconclusive about what it was supposedly trying to get across, but I still have faith that Jeremy Saulnier can retain such a skill to come back on the top again.

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