Review – Vivarium (2019): Fantasia International Film Festival!

by Vincent Leblanc

My second film of the evening on Day 2 was the North American Premiere of the science-fiction thriller Vivarium. It is a co-production between Ireland, Belgium, and Denmark. The film had its World Premiere at Cannes during the Critic’s Week back in May. The film is also setup to be the closing film of the Neuchâtel International Fantastic Film Festival in Switzerland on July 13th. 

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Official Trailer! PARADISE HILLS – In Theaters November 1st

On an isolated island, Uma (Emma Roberts) wakes up to find herself at Paradise Hills, a facility where high-class families send their daughters to become perfect versions of themselves. The facility is run by the mysterious Duchess (Milla Jovovich) where calibrated treatments including etiquette classes, vocal lessons, beauty treatments, gymnastics and restricted diets, revolve all physical and emotional shortcomings within two months. The outspoken Uma finds solace and friendship in other Paradise Hills residents — Chloe (Danielle McDonald), Yu (Awkwafina) and Mexican popstar Amarna (Eiza Gonzalez). Uma soon realizes that lurking behind all this beauty is a sinister secret. It’s a race against the clock as Uma and her friends try to escape Paradise Hills before it consumes them all.

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Review – Little Monsters (2019): Fantasia International Film Festival!

by Vincent Leblanc

It’s Day 2 of the Fantasia International Film Festival  and I started the evening with the Quebec Premiere of the Australian zombie comedy Little Monsters. It had its World Premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in their Midnight Program back in January. It then went on to play at SXSW and the Calgary Underground Film Festival. The film was written and directed by Abe Forsythe and stars Lupita Nyong’o, Alexander England, and Josh Gad.

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ODE TO JOY – In Theaters August 9th!

How does a man who is—literally—paralyzed by happiness find love? Thanks to a condition called cataplexy—a rare disorder that causes him to lose control of his muscles whenever he is overcome by strong emotion, particularly joy—Brooklyn librarian Charlie (Martin Freeman) has learned to carefully edit all delight-triggering people, places, and events out of his life. Family weddings, cute babies, adorable puppies, and, yes, romance are all fraught with peril in Charlie’s carefully managed world. But when the beautiful, spontaneous Francesca (Morena Baccarin) falls for him, the risk-averse Charlie finds himself at a crossroads: suppress his feelings of attraction, or take a chance and let love in? Based on a true story originally featured on This American Life, Ode to Joy is a hilarious and touching look at what happens when we stop being afraid and let ourselves truly live.

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Review – The Art of Self Defense (2019): Fantasia International Film Festival!

by Vincent Leblanc

Back for its 23rd edition, running from July 11th to August 1st, the Fantasia International Film Festival returns to Concordia University in downtown Montreal. To kick off my own 11th participation, I selected the Quebec Premiere of the US dark comedy The Art of Self-Defense. It was an advanced screening in a way because the film comes out on July 12th in the USA but only on July 19th in Canadian theaters. The Art of Self-Defense had its World Premiere at SXSW back in March to seemingly great reviews.

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