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TIFF 48 – Day 5


TIFF 48 – Day 5
by Thom Ernst – Film Correspondent

(September 11, 2023 – Toronto, ON) Today begins the first full week at the Toronto International Film Festival and there’s plenty of Canadian content to come.

Topping a lot of festival film lists today (Canadian audiences and others) is director Dominic Savage’s Close to You starring Elliot Page—screens today at 12:12 pm at The Scotiabank Theatre. Page (pictured above) plays Sam, a man returning to Cobourg for the first time since transitioning. Sam is there to celebrate his father’s birthday. It is not a journey that Sam is wanting to make. His dread is momentarily pushed aside when he meets up with an old friend (Hillary Baack) who shares a past, as well as her own complicated, scaring issues. Page both stars in and produces the film. Close to You has its final screening on Thursday, September 14 at 9:30am also at Scotiabank Theatre.

Backspot at TIFF, image,
Courtesy of Night is Y.

Backspot, the cheerleading drama from director (and DJ) D.W. Waterson, screens today at 3 p.m. at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. This is the final screening.

Solo, movie, poster,Lots of positive buzz floating through the festival about director Sophie Duplus’ Solo. The film focuses on a drag performer in Montreal’s vibrant drag scene. A new and healthy relationship forms between the performer, Simon (played by Théodore Pellerin) and Olivier (Félix Maritaud), and the two become duo performers. Then comes the return of Simon’s opera-singing mother (Anne-Marie Cadieux) comes to visit. Tender and affirming moments get lost in a scurry of attempts to be heard, seen, and understood—by lover and by mother. Also see Maurie Alioff’s excellent take on the feature, which has its final screening today at 3:30pm at Scotiabank Theatre.

Watch for director Louise Archambault’s war drama Irena’s Vow screens today at 3:35 pm at TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Northernstars logo imageThom 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.