SWAN SONG (TIFF 2023) – Review by Rachel West

Director Chelsea McMullan takes the camera backstage of the National Ballet of Canada’s 2022 production of Swan Lake, choreographed for the first time by Artistic Director Karen Kain. Kain, who famously debuted in the ballet in 1971, is not only one of Canada’s most famous dancers but is recognized around the world. Now, after over 50 years with the company, Swan Lake is her, well, swan song, as she gracefully faces retirement with one last meaningful artistic vision: a Swan Lake that will resonate with contemporary audiences. Swan Song offers an intimate look at the National Ballet of Canada like we have never seen before. With outstanding visuals and gorgeous production, by the time the final curtain falls, it is impossible not to have a deeper appreciation and love of ballet. It is not to be missed.

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SWAN SONG – Review by Martha K Baker

Some films are just plot fodder, some lift up characters. Some represent a genre, and when that type usually has little appeal, the film has to call you with something else that makes watching seductive. Swan Song is that film. It nestles into the world of science fiction, and if that’s a type you ordinarily avoid like the plague, here is a reason to watch it: Mahershala Ali.

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SWAN SONG – Review by Susan Granger

Written and directed by Benjamin Cleary, making his feature film debut after winning a 2016 Oscar for his short film Stutterer,”this story is set sometime in the future, when advertising artist Cameron Turner (Mahershala Ali), who has been suffering headaches and seizures, is diagnosed with a terminal illness. Acknowledging his fatal prognosis is the first step, according to Dr. Scott (Glenn Close), who offers Cameron a unique opportunity to shield his family from grief.

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SWAN SONG – Review by Jennifer Green

In Swan Song, Cameron Turner is dying of cancer, but rather than reveal his diagnosis to his wife, Poppy and son, Cameron opts to undergo an experimental new treatment to clone himself and let the replicant continue living his life. During the final stages of the treatment under the supervision of Dr. Scott, Cameron has to face the reality of his decision and confront whether he’s ready to say goodbye to his loved ones — and life as he knows it.

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SWAN SONG – Review by T. J. Callahan

In his first starring role, Mahershala Ali hopes Swan Song trumpets his talents as a leading man for quite a while. In this near future thriller, Ali plays a loving husband and father diagnosed with a terminal illness who secretly clones himself to save his family the grief of losing him…and giving the viewer lots of moral and ethical questions to ponder.

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