WIFF’s Weekend Watch List — 11/06

99 HOMES

Vincent Georgie: Starring Andrew Garfield and Michael Shannon, the film is about the social and economic crisis that ensued in the US following the burst of the housing bubble. The film has a palpable moral quandary at its core: what happens when a young man becomes an active member in a system that actually robbed him of his home? Aided by an intensive score, Garfield and Shannon are both in top shape. Strong, relevant drama that we were proud to bring to WIFF 2015.

Synopsis: A desperate construction worker (Andrew Garfield) reluctantly accepts a job with the ruthless real-estate broker (Michael Shannon) who evicted him and his family from their home.

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THE IMPOSTER

Vincent Georgie: Few films generated as much discussion, fascination, bafflement and just plain “you’ve got to be kidding me” as did this spectacular true crime documentary did at WIFF 2012. I distinctly remember that we started having problems clearing the theater because audience members were getting into full-some discussions/debates about what happened in the film, right there in the aisles and couldn’t even make it out to the lobby. In 2020, this film clearly would have been some Netflix true crime miniseries. This one’s a very high watermark on the doc true crime genre. Don’t miss it.

Synopsis: Filmmaker Bart Layton chronicles the tale of Frederic Bourdin, a con artist who seemingly tricked a Texas family into believing he was a relative who disappeared years earlier.

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STARBUCK

Vincent Georgie: A man over-donates to a sperm bank to pay his bills and he accidentally ends up fathering hundreds of children. You know, a story we can all relate to (hopefully not!). While the film was remade to modest effect in the US, this WIFF 2011 comedy was our Closing Night film. A wonderful, funny and, surprisingly, sincere and warm-hearted Canadian comedy starring Patrick Huard. Very enjoyable film (and great opening credits).

Synopsis: More than 140 people sue a fertility clinic to reveal the name of the sperm donor (Patrick Huard) whose frequent contributions resulted in 533 offspring.

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THE BROKEN CIRCLE BREAKDOWN

Vincent Georgie: I have such love for this film. The story of a Belgian couple who are American Bluegrass singers, and channel their passion and deep grief over their sick child into their musical performances. The lead performances are unbelievably good, demanding so much both musically and emotionally from the actors. They are a marvel to watch and listen to.  The music is memorable, the tears are real and, by the end, you will never forget this film. This was a real surprise breakout hit (we honestly had no idea how popular it would end up becoming) at WIFF 2013. It was later nominated for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film to boot.

Synopsis: A tattoo artist and a musician fall in love at first sight in this intensely romantic portrait of a relationship from beginning to end, set to an electrifying bluegrass score.

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