SO many films, and finally lots of time! I have been blissfully attending VIFF since last week and have seen some of the best screenings I can recall at the festival. With Canadian Thanksgiving approaching this weekend, there are many great films left to check out. Part Two of my two-part post covering twenty VIFF film recommendations continues below, while Part One can be found here. Happy VIFFing!!
GREGOIRE directed by Cody Brown
Fort McMurray is a fascinating place—a nexus of small town Canada and major international capital. This film caught my eye both for its setting in the Alberta city, but also for its storyline following twentysomethings who must make important life choices about their futures.
LUK’LUK’L directed by Wayne Wapeemukwa
Set against the backdrop of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, this is a film that focuses its attention on urban dramas unfolding in the Downtown Eastside as the local community lives out the tensions and realities on the ground in sharp contrast to the picture perfect city of Vancouver sold to the world.
BORG VS. MCENROE directed by Janus Metz
I love a good docu-drama, and this one promises to be pretty cool. The 1980 Wimbledon Men’s Final between Bjorn Borg and John McEnroe is brought to life in this film. If nothing else, Shia LeBeouf as McEnroe has me more than intrigued!
HAPPY END directed by Michael Haneke
Any film starring the incomparable Isabelle Huppert (see Elle immediately if you have not done so already) goes on my must-see list! With Michael Haneke directing, this film set in Calais and following one wealthy French family’s personal dramas, promises to be anything but ordinary.
THE KILLING OF A SACRED DEER directed by Yorgos Lanthimos
I am not normally drawn to revenge thrillers, but this one has had so much buzz since Cannes (and starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrel) that it made my list.
THAT TRIP WE TOOK WITH DAD directed by Anca Miruna Lazarescu
This pick is purely nostalgic and tied to my own personal history as a child of Hungarian immigrants. Set in 1968, the comedy tracks a Romanian family as they make a road trip to Germany via Czechoslovakia for an operation for their sick father. Anyone who knows the history of the Eastern Bloc will already see this set-up as ripe for fantastic political commentary and observation.
THE YOUNG KARL MARX directed by Raoul Peck
Related to the reasons for the previous pick, here is a historical period drama tracing the friendship between Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels as they create the Communist Manifesto in 19th century London and Paris. For anyone who has, or has family, affected by communist politics, a must-see film.
TRAGEDY GIRLS directed by Tyler MacIntyre
Heathers (1988), an American black comedy starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater, is one of my favourite childhood films, and this one appears to have a similar vibe, but with an updated twist adding social media to the mix. Yes please!
HOUSEWIFE directed by Can Evrenol
Who can resist a gory psychological thriller playing at 11:00pm on the final day of VIFF on Friday the 13th? This one appears to have all of the makings of a scary ride.