Rowthree Staff Summary of TIFF 2017

Our traditional round-up of impressions and reactions to the massive slate of the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival has arrived in its tenth (!) edition, here in the third row. Happy Decade to us! As always, several of the Row Three staff and contributors, along with a few a regular reader or two, provide a tiny capsule – a postcard if you will – of all the films that they saw at the festival. These are accompanied by an identifier-tag: [BEST], [LOVED], [LIKED], [DISLIKED], [DISAPPOINTED], [FELL ASLEEP], [WALKED OUT], [HATED] and [WORST].

Collectively we – Kurt Halfyard, Bob Turnbull, Courtney Small, Mike Rot, and Sean Kelly – saw a sizable chunk of the films shown at the massive public festival. Hopefully this post can act as a ‘rough guide’ for films that will be finding distribution on some platform, whether on the big screen, small screen, or streaming service, in the next 18 months.


Personal BEST: FACES PLACES [Bob], mother! [Kurt], CALL ME BY YOUR NAME [Courtney], LADY BIRD [Mike], and I, TONYA [Sean].

Personal WORST: The personal low-lights were THE RITUAL [Kurt], THE CONFORMIST [Bob], VERONICA, [MIKE], and FIRST REFORMED [Sean].
The ‘MASSIVE’ version is below. All our thoughts and impressions from offerings of the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.

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Cinecast Episode 497 – On Skis

Scheduling lately has been rough as summer winds down and school is starting and film festivals and then of course hurricanes. But we managed to pull something together with the help of our friend Darren Aronofsky and his mother! The aforementioned hurricanes actually help to facilitate a trip through TIFF that otherwise wasn’t going to happen; so there’re lots of titles there to get through from Bruckner to Zahler. Andrew has been playing catch-up on some bullshit titles of the last year or so as well as going back to earlier Fincher as refresher. Lastly, Twin Peaks Season 3 The Return has wrapped up and Kurt has a number of things to discuss about that little slice of mayhem. Lots to dig into this week folks, and we’re starting with the book of Genesis. So stick this in your ear and settle in.

As always, please join the conversation by leaving your own thoughts in the comment section below and again, thanks for listening!

We’re now available on Google Play!



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Review: The Duchess

The Duchess One Sheet

Director: Saul Dibb (Bullet Boy)
Writers: Jeffrey Hatcher, Anders Thomas Jensen, Saul Dibb
Producers: Michael Kuhn, Gabrielle Tana
Starring: Keira Knightley, Ralph Fiennes, Charlotte Rampling, Hayley Atwell, Simon McBurney
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running time: 110 min

While sitting in a theater full of seniors waiting for the most recent Keira Knightley vehicle The Duchess, to begin, I had a thought: in 20 years, no one is going to want to see a costume drama. Granted, it was an early Sunday morning screening that even I, a morning person, had a hard time getting up for but I find it hard to believe that the majority of today’s teens will grow into adults that will appreciate the drawing room dramas. I hope my observation is incorrect, I love nothing more than to curl up with a gorgeously rich costume drama and although of late they appear to be making a minor comeback, I expect the run won’t continue for much longer.

The Duchess Movie StillFor this trip down history lane, British helmer Saul Dibb takes us to 18th century England where at 17, a young Georgiana Spencer (the initial marketing for the film ensured that people remember that the late Princess Di is a relation) is married off to the Duke of Devonshire. At a time when women were little more than dowries and a means to keep the blood line flowing, the Duchess of Devonshire became a celebrity and a kind of early “People’s Princess.” People loved the young woman with a keen fashion sense and good looks and her appearance at political rallies brought out crowds more interested in sneaking a peek at the celebrity than in the politics themselves. But as expected, nothing is easy behind closed doors. She suffered at the hands of a husband whose only interest was siring a son and the loveless marriage weighed heavily on her. For good measure, add in mistresses, illegitimate children and the fact that this is a small bit of England’s scandalous past and you have a sure fire hit. Unfortunately for Dibb, there are a number of missed opportunities.

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