WIFF’s Weekend Watch List — 05/22

WIFF has you covered for your weekend entertainment with Week Five of our film recommendations.

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WHIPLASH

(If you want to be impressed)  

VG: This was the clear runaway hit of WIFF 2014 and was the 2014 LiUNA! 625 People’s Choice Award Winner. Our audience was knocked-out by the incredible energy, music, and excitement of this film. At that time, it was our most attended film ever. I remember watching this film with a friend at TIFF earlier that year. We both said at the end “We have to get this for WIFF”. We actually built the whole 2014 Festival around WHIPLASH. Some years the big hit of the Festival is a surprise, but not this year. We knew months ahead that WHIPLASH would be a blockbuster. And then it went on to win 3 Oscars, and get an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. Not bad for a film about a young drummer and his intense music teacher.

Synopsis: A young and talented drummer attending a prestigious music academy finds himself under the wing of the most respected professor at the school; one who does not hold back on abuse towards his students. The two form an odd relationship as the student wants to achieve greatness, and the professor pushes him.

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ASK DR. RUTH

(If you want to be taken by surprise)  

VG: I think most people had very low expectations for this film about famous sex-therapist Dr Ruth Westheimer. And then they saw a film that touched them, got them thinking about their whole lives (not just sex) and what they want out of their relationships. We got so much feedback on this film. We had shown it at a small screening last Summer, and then brought it back to WIFF 2019 to give people another shot to catch it. Give this film a chance – you’ll be quite surprised.

Synopsis: A documentary portrait chronicling the incredible life of Dr. Ruth Westheimer, a Holocaust survivor who became America’s most famous sex therapist. As her 90th birthday approaches, Dr. Ruth revisits her painful past and her career at the forefront of the sexual revolution.

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THE INNOCENTS

(If you want a powerful drama)  

VG: Anne Fontaine is highly versatile director. Her projects are all wildly different from each other, and we have shown many of them at WIFF through the years. With THE INNOCENTS, she turns her camera to a very compelling dramatic story of nuns at moral crossroads. Very effective, not dull for a minute.

Synopsis: Poland, winter of 1945. Mathilde Beaulieu (Lou de Lâage) is a young intern working with a branch of the French Red Cross. They are on a mission to find, treat and repatriate French survivors of the German camps. One day, a Polish nun arrives in the hospital. In very poor French, she begs Mathilde to come to her convent. Mathilde life and beliefs change when she discovers the advanced state of pregnancy that affect several of the Sisters of the convent just outside the hospital where she performs.

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A COLONY

(If you like your cinema French)  

VG: This is one of the most impressive Canadian feature film debuts we have seen in a while. It’s a coming of age story of a young girl and the two new friends she meets. The film is messy, complicated, awkward and, above all, honest and relatable. The cast of teenage actors is loaded with future stars. Some films cast teenage roles with actors that are 30 years old. Not this film. These are believable, knock-out performances by actual teenage actors. 

Synopsis: Between high school pressure and family disorganisation, Mylia is trying to find her bearings. Meeting Jacinthe and Jimmy will lead her to outline a new life.

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