TIFF 2022 – Day Seven: The End of Sex
by Thom Ernst – Film Correspondent
(September 14, 2022 – Toronto, ON) The End of Sex is the latest comedy from director Sean Garrity. Garrity is a festival favourite whose films range from the profound (Zooey & Adam) to the playful (After the Ball). But regardless of tone, sexual politics will, one way or another, work its way into the film. With The End of Sex, sexual politics stands front and center. The End of Sex is written by frequent Garrity collaborator Jonas Chernick who also stars in the film. Chernick, perhaps Canada’s best answer to Tom Hanks, plays Josh, a husband and father who, along with his wife, Emma (Emily Hampshire), bus their children off for a week at winter camp. Parenting has occupied so much of their time that without the kids, Josh and Emma are at a loss at what to do. They decide to make the most of their one week of empty nesting, the time marked by a row of seven dwarf-shaped lawn ornaments. And so begins Josh and Emma’s journey through a series of sexual misadventures from one-sided threesomes to sex-enhancing drugs and a few stops along the way. The film can occasionally overplay a joke, and the characters take too long to clue into something the audience has long understood. But the film features some genuine comic surprises and a few fun cameos for Canadian movie lovers. Plus, the movie gets an energetic boost from Lily Gao, who plays Kelly, Josh’s flirtation, sexually curious co-worker.
The End of Sex is available today on digital starting at 10 am, with an in-person screening at 2 pm at the Scotiabank Theatre Toronto.
Falcon Lake is not without its doppelgangers, but as a coming-of-age story is greatly served by the strong performances of its young actors and a formidable entry into the slice-of-life drama genre. The director travels along familiar territory, especially in Canadian dramas that use cottage lakes and small-town summer politics. Bastien (Joseph Engel) is a young 13-year-old spending the summer with his family at a friend’s cottage. The story’s grip rests around the boy’s unexpected diversion towards the teenage daughter of their host. The girl, Chloé, is tuned out to everyone in the cottage, preferring the company of a group of teenagers, mostly boys, also spending their summer at the lake. Not long into their stay, Chloé gravitates to Bastien, drawing him away from pestering his younger brother. An affection forms between the two (they even share a room). But young interests turn to subtle affection morphing into unspoken jealousies. Director Charlotte Le Bon keeps the action and tone of the film somewhat muted, bringing the viewer in for a closer look, to see and hear and even feel the details. Even its pseudo ghost story is given short attention, and only a mild recognition yet flirts around the margins of the film like a tragic hero waiting for its turn to speak. Falcon Lake screens today at 12:30 pm at TIFF Bell Lightbox.
Rosie marks the feature directorial debut of Metis actor Gail Maurice. Rosie (Keris Hope Hill) is Indigenous, orphaned, and speaks only English. After her mother dies, Rosie is placed in the custody of her non-indigenous Francophone aunt. On paper, the aunt—Frédèrique or ‘Fred’—is the last person who should be given the responsibility of raising a child, and she knows it. Fred (Melanie Bray) lives on the fringe, working in an adult sex shop and constantly avoiding the landlord. But Rosie’s infectious positivity quickly charms Fred and her band of unconventional friends. Maurice sets the story in 1980s Montreal. She packs a lot into 92 minutes of film breaking down cultural, economic, and social barriers, all seen through the eyes of her young protagonist. But the movie sometimes suffers from being too earnest, and a scene intended to emphasize a newly discovered determination by blaring an ’80s rock anthem while characters appear over the horizon seems misguided and out of place. But the film’s crux is Rosie and her endless wonder at this strange new world that fate has placed her into. Rosie screens today at 5:30 pm at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto.
A Festival Moment:
Reportedly Claire Foy took to bended knee to publicly honour director Sarah Polley during a standing ovation for Women Talking (reviewed in our Festival Day Six coverage).
Also screening today:
This Place is on digital TIFF Bell Lightbox beginning at 10 am.
Women Talking 2:30 pm and the Princess of Wales Theatre.
Soft at TIFF Bell Lightbox
Ever Deadly 5:00 pm at TIFF Bell Lightbox
The Young Arsonists 6:15 pm at Scotiabank Theatre Toronto
I Like Movies 6:30 pm at TIFF Bell Lightbox
Black Ice at 9:00 pm at TIFF Bell Lightbox
Looking Ahead to Thursday, September 15:
Bones of Crows, will screen at 11:00 am at TIFF Bell Lightbox.
Thom Ernst is a Toronto based film critic and writer and an active member of the (TFCA) Toronto Film Critics’ Association. His work has appeared in various publications including Playback Magazine, The Toronto Star, and The National Post. He is known to CBC Radio listeners for his lively contributions to Fresh Air, Metro Morning, and CBC Syndication as well as appearing on-air for CTV News Channel and The Agenda with Steve Paikin. He was host, interviewer and producer of televisions’ longest running movie program Saturday Night at the Movies. Currently he can be heard interviewing Canadian filmmakers on the Kingston Canadian Film Festival podcast, Rewind, Fast-Forward.