TIFF19 Film Review: The Personal History of David Copperfield

Written By: Riyan Bajric

As I sat down at the World Premiere of The Personal History of David Copperfield, my first TIFF film ever, as well as my first premiere, one of the most important tools on my side, was honesty. Rearranging the policy of my cinematic ethics and morals, no matter how excited, nervous or ecstatic I was, being plunged into this world of wonder, art and amazement, honesty was my policy, no matter how my levels or adornment were managed. For a first time festival critic, I had many, preordained rituals I have gotten used to while reviewing films before festival season. For example; leading up to the screening, no trailer had been released. Trailers usually give me a compass, of sorts, to see where we are going, something I have become very accustomed to. As well, I had never read the classic Dickens novel in which the film is based on, and I have never watched an Armando Ianucci film, despite what my co-workers have advised me to see The Death of StalinAs the lights dimmed, the actors came on stage with the curators as well as the cast and crew, I sat myself in my seat, soaked up all and everything about my first festival experience, and realized how unique this experience was going to be for me.  Continue reading

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TIFF40 2015: The Danish Girl

Tom Hooper seems to be the period piece go-to director for by-the-numbers Oscar films. After the immense success of the little indie that could The King’s Speech gaining massive momentum at TIFF in 2010going on to win the coveted Best Picture Oscar; then the grand and highly ambitious Les Miserables, Hooper seemed to have crafted a career out of production rich designs, strong performances and historically relevant social issues in his films. With the addition of Eddie Redmayne, fresh off his Oscar winning role in last year’s The Theory of Everything, Hooper’s newest The Danish Girl was expected to come out a clear winner. Sadly, The Danish Girl is a confused, highly theatrical and poorly constructed transparent film with laughable dialogue between its two leads Redmayne and rising star Alicia Vikander.  Continue reading