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Antigone

Courtesy of TIFF

  • Written and directed by Sophie Deraspe
  • Starring Nahéma Ricci
  • Classification G; 109 minutes

rating

3.5 out of 4 stars

With one brother dead and another threatened with deportation, Antigone orchestrates a plan to save her living brother by sacrificing her freedom and home in Canada. Adapted for the screen by writer-director Sophie Deraspe, Sophocles’ Theban play touches on issues of justice and morality within the Canadian justice system. Without question one of the great Canadian films of the past few years, Antigone takes a classic story and re-interprets it with fresh eyes. (Opens Dec. 6 at Toronto’s TIFF Lightbox)

In Fabric

Courtesy of Mongrel

  • Written and directed by Peter Strickland
  • Starring Marianne Jean-Baptiste, Sidse Babett Knudsen and Leo Bill
  • Classification R; 118 minutes

rating

3 out of 4 stars

Split into two halves, the first (starring Marianne Jean-Baptiste as a divorced mother trying to rev up her romantic life) is far more successful than the second (which features Leo Bill’s milquetoast repairman), but there is something undeniably hypnotizing about the whole endeavour. It is also quite hilarious and will scare you off department store sales for life. In Fabric is a beautiful, unpredictable nightmare for those drawn to giggle in the dark. (Opens Dec. 6 at Edmonton’s Metro Cinema and Toronto’s TIFF Lightbox, and Dec. 10 on AppleTV and VOD)

She Never Died

Courtesy of A71 Productions

  • Directed by Audrey Cummings
  • Written by Jason Krawczyk
  • Starring Oluniké Adeliyi
  • Classification 14A; 89 minutes

rating

3 out of 4 stars

To put it plainly, after watching even a few minutes of She Never Died (the companion to He Never Died starring Henry Rollins), it’s clear that any of us would be lucky to watch Oluniké Adeliyi read the phone book, her weekly grocery list or nod even a friendly hello. Fortunately, director Audrey Cummings gives her so much more to do, and as a result, we’re treated to 90 minutes of an actor thriving in a role as a versatile, powerful, bewitching character. (Opens Dec. 6 in Toronto)

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Brotherhood

Level Films

  • Written and directed by Richard Bell
  • Starring Brendan Fletcher and Brendan Fehr
  • Classification N/A; 96 minutes

rating

3 out of 4 stars

Brotherhood depicts a forgotten Canadian tragedy from 1926, when a band of teen boys led by First World War veterans embarked on a canoe trip that went awry when their boat capsized in a freak storm. Writer and director Richard Bell’s scenes depicting the deaths of each character are as upsetting as the increasing hopelessness the group faces as their numbers dwindle. Coupled with heartbreaking flashbacks, Bell succeeds in stripping back the mythos of what it means “to be a man” and how strong one can really be while embracing compassion, vulnerability and love instead.

The Kindness of Strangers

Courtesy of eOne

  • Written and directed by Lone Scherfig
  • Starring Zoe Kazan, Andrea Riseborough and Bill Nighy
  • Classification PG
  • 112 minutes

rating

1 out of 4 stars

Maybe Lone Scherfig titled her new film The Kindness of Strangers as a pre-emptive defence mechanism. Maybe, the Danish director thought, critics and audiences will check their own empathy levels before deciding whether they liked her new drama or not. Maybe strangers will be kind. Sorry to burst that presumption, but dear lord, I’ve been searching high and low for something nice to say about this mess, and I have come up nearly empty. (Opens Dec. 6)

Also: What’s new and noteworthy to stream

Earthquake Bird is a psychological drama.

Murray Close

Three streaming films to keep on your radar this weekend: Earthquake Bird and I Lost My Body on Netflix and Wendy and Lucy on OVID.tv. Read Barry Hertz’s reviews of the films here.


This weekly guide was compiled by Arik Ligeti, with reviews from Anne T. Donahue, Barry Hertz and Justine Smith.

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