FAIR PLAY (TIFF 2023) – Review by Karen Gordon

Chloe Domont makes a fantastic feature film debut with Fair Play, a taut film that moves from drama to comedy to horror and back to drama as in it’s depiction of gender power dynamics both in relationships, and in the workplace. The film is set in the pressure cooker of a hedge fund company, Anyone who has found themselves on the losing side of a work situation will relate to what’s going on. While the gender issue is central here, the film doesn’t tip into something too simplistic.

Read more

SLEEP (TIFF 2023) – Review by Karen Gordon

Charming, and original, South Korean Jason Yu’s directorial debut is a character driven clever blend of horror and black comedy. Sleep is entertaining on the surface, but could also be read as a metaphor for a father’s fears in the face of having his first child. Jason Yu He divides the movie into three distinct chapters, gives us a trip into Crazy Town, and even gets dark, but he never loses the comedy, or–more importantly- the normality of the couple at the centre. That’s the big charm that holds this film together.

Read more

LET THEM ALL TALK – Review by Karen Gordon

There’s a lot more going on than meets the eye in Steven Soderbergh’s wise and deceptively breezy new film Let Them All Talk. The film centers around Alice (Meryl Streep) a successful Pulitzer Prize winning author. She’s working on a new novel, and her publisher, represented by her eager-to-please new agent Karen (Gemma Chan), is hoping that it’s a much longed-for sequel to her prize-winning novel You Always/You Never.

Read more

FIRST COW – Review by Karen Gordon

Some movies deal with the settling of the American West as mythic. And then there are films like writer/director Kelly Reichardt’s First Cow, which strips it down to its basics for a more human scale and poetic vision of the Western era. Minus winners and losers, villains and heroes, this is a sparsely settled, muddy world where some people seek fortunes, and others do what they need day-to-day to survive.

Read more

PORTRAIT OF A LADY ON FIRE – Review by Karen Gordon

Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Portrait De La Jeune Fille En Feu) is a stately-paced slow-burn of a film about repression, love, and the secret life of women in the 18th century, and beyond. Writer/Director Céline Sciamma sets her film in 1770 in France. Painter Marianne has been summoned to an isolated house on a rugged island in Brittany and commissioned to paint a portrait of a lovely young woman named Heloise. The job is straightforward. The circumstances are not.

Read more

About Karen Gordon

Karen Gordon is a film critic, a founding writer at original-cin.ca, broadcaster, story editor/narration writer for lifestyle/documentary tv, IMAX, and award show scripts. She has ghost written three best selling cookbooks with celebrity chef David Rocco. Karen also works in strategic communications and branding, and is a media trainer and coach. She is on the board of the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre in Toronto, where she advises on media and building engagement.

Read more