Ancaster Film Fest 2004 - 2011 Patrons' Comments


(Each of the menu items links to comments concerning previously screened films. The movies are organized in reverse chronbological order with the most recent titles at the top of this page.)

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THE FATHER OF MY CHILDREN




Certainly not a favourite...feel like I missed the meaning of the film...if there was one! Monica M.

The first hour until Gregoire killed himself was exceedingly dull. The second half of the movie is a little better, but doesn’t salvage the movie. Throughout, there were several completely pointless scenes. In the scene where Clemence tells her mother that it's OK for her younger sister to take the film canister containing worthless edits of a film, she uses the expression "poubelle", i.e., "garbage". I thought, what a metaphor for this movie - it should have been consigned to the cutting-room floor. Easily the worst movie I've seen at AFF in the past three years. Jim M.

Interesting. Dorothy G.

Casting was great, acting was great, script was weak. Lise G.

This film had good acting and a very natural feeling/sense of momentum but still didn't make a strong connection with me... I 'm not sure why. Anon

Interesting but a bit depressing. Eileen H.

Downer. Maureen H.

Good movie, sad to see the fall of a good man. David B.

Very depressing! Anon

Sad but true. Judy D.

Not believable, scenes didn't flow well. Anon

Incredible! Linda K.

In my opinion, it lacked the depth. Olga R.

I know it was a good film but can't remember much about it which tells you something. Maureen M.

THE SLICE DID NOT QUITE WORK -- THE WORLD IS ONE I COULD NOT RELATE TO. Linda H.

Beautiful view of French life. Not one bit soppy. Not one cruel character. Virginia B.

Heart wrenching and reminders of hidden emotions. Carol H.

Very well done, but a downer. Liz K.

Excellent, great film. Jackie O.

Wonderful. Norma S.

I'm confused still about the significance of the papers he burned. Mary W.

Good story. Poorly edited. Bette B.

Sadly a subject which no one wants to speak of. Judy B.

No flow to the action / kids portrayal was great / subtitles may have been distracting. R. F.

Excellent acting by the children--otherwise I found it strange. Donna G.

I found this a bit disjointed. Doris C.




BARNEY'S VERSION




An entertaining tale. Paul Giamatti is excellent. I enjoyed Rosamund Pike's performance, and thought Dustin Hoffman was a hoot! Jim M.

One of the best films I have seen for a long time..Paul Giamatti gave a superb performance, he runs the gamut of emotions and manages to 'age' perfectly..great job by the makeup artists involved. Ron and Lynda V.

Very entertaining. Dorothy G.

Good acting and production but not necessarily abpout likable people. Norm B.

Loved it. Skip and BJ R.

Loved it!!! acting was fabulous. Lise G.

I loved the book and I loved the movie. Anon

Loved it, a real reprobate who I wanted to dislike but couldn't do it!! Eileen H.

Entertaining. Maureen H.

True Mordecai. Great spin on relationships. Joan A.

I loved this film and if anything was disappointed that it did not get any Oscar nominations! Lisa S.

Great characterization! Ginny G.

Was never a big Paul GIAMATTI fan but must admit that he has won me over with this role and the ones that followed. David B.

Funny and poignant. Judy D.

Witty, funny, great acting. Anon

Should have been nominated for academy awards in several categories. Much much more worthy than The King's Speech. Anon

I was deeply touched by missed joy in his life. Marilyn C. W.

Loved it. Linda K.

Very well acted and done (I've read the book as well) and enjoyed both. Olga R.

Very entertaining, fun, heart catching. Maureen M.

Good acting, but Barney was not how I pictured him when I read the book. Linda H.

The book was much better. Wife was much too perfect in the movie. Virginia B.

Funny and sad all at once. Carol H.

Funny and sad at the same time. Liz K.

Very good adaption. Jackie O.

Excellent movie. Paul Giamatti should have been nominated for Best Actor for the Oscars. Patti W.

Lovely but very busy. Norma S.

I thought this was very well done...I wonder though, why it was called a comedy. Mary W.

Delightful screenplay on Richler's novel. Good adaptation. Barry S.

Inspired me to pick up the book. Bette B.

Appreciate Canadian as subject of the story. Judy B.

Great portrait of a life presented in an entertaining fashion. R. F.

The acting was superb. Peggy G.

Enjoyed this---read the book again. Donna G.

An eye opener into a life. Doris C.

This was a look at a man, very well acted by Paul Giamatti, whose life seemed to be controlled by a gullibility and naivete and a desire to be kind and do the right thing (ie- marry his pregnant girlfriend, trusting the baby was his) along with almost uncontrollable basic urges and insecurities which led to his 'downfall' in the end he did not make choices according to what was best for him until he married his 3rd wife, beautifully portrayed by Rosamund Pike, but he was very co-dependent on her in wanting her to be what he needed her to be rather than supporting her interests and desires he alienated himself from her and when he cheated on her and lied about it he set the stage for the separation from her that let to his ultimate dementia the music was wonderful and the settings, wardrobe and make up were great also. Joanne H.



MADE IN DAGENHAM



Light but enjoyable. Jim and Monica M.

A very moving, informative and often humorous treatment of gender conflict, albeit one that is stil pertinent. Carl B.

A film with a message..this was not a piece of fluff in my eyes..Sally Hawkins was terrific and a rock solid performance by Bob Hoskins. My son was surprised when I told him the movie was made in Merthyr Tydfil where he lives! Ron & Lynda V.

An inspirational film – well acted. Paul & Barbara B.

Don't like anything resembling science fiction! Paula E.

I was sitting at the edge of my seat, cheering her on! Hope L.

Very interesting. Dorothy G.

Well made, fun predictable. Norm B.

We lived there once so were interested in locale. Skip and BJ R.

Surprised me how much I loved his film, plus you learn some history. Lise G.

Interesting story and very entertaining. Anon

Another excellent English movie, made without big names (and probably no bit budget) but told the story with humour and integrity. Eileen H.

Entertaining but educational at same time. Maureen H.

Wonderful film, loved that it was based on true story and it was one of the more uplifting ones. Lisa S.

Lived in UK at the time, remember it well! Jeff T.

Somewhat glorified but enjoyable as a result. Pamela H.

Good inspiring movie, especially in an NDP town like Hamilton. David B.

I have a friend who is very high up in CUPE - I gave her the info - she loved it. Barbara N.

Very inspirational how a group of women stood up for what is right. A small group of leaders created support from other women and the rest of the union. Anon

Great film, great story. Margot O.

Feel good movie. Judy D.

Very enjoyable and uplifting. Anon

Enjoyable/informative. Anon

Did not know about this strike. Esp. liked scene where she asks CEO to sew seat together. Marilyn C. W.

Priceless. Linda K.

Something about unions that everyone should know. Glenn H.

Interesting from the point of view of the particular time in history of Great Britain and its issues, and good acting as well. Olga R.

Those were the days. Great. Maureen M.

Predictable Norma Rae-ish but important message. Virginia B.

A great motivating movie and great memory of my days working At Ford and not being allowed to even wear pant suits. Carol H.

A great film! Enjoyed every minute. Liz K.

Hilarious and feisty. Mardie P.

Very Good. Jackie O.

Funny, entertaining & great acting. Norma S.

Reminded me of Calendar Girls because of the wonderful character actors. Mary W.

Uplifting. Bette B.

Go girls go! Judy B.

A "Norma Rae" re-production / predictable. R. F.

Most enjoyable. Donna G.

Powerful, moving. Anon

A great film that I can relate to. Doris C.

I found this very inspirational and, as a woman, almost incomprehensible how it took this long for women to have parity in the workplace and i realize this is still not happening everywhere yet, by any means for me the best quote in the movie was made by Sally Hawkin's character, Rita O'Grady, when she responded to the press when asked how they would cope if they did not get parity as the female workers were going to meet with the female labour minister; it was something to the effect of: ''how will we cope?, we're women, stop asking stupid questions.'' There were many very strong credible performances by virtually all the women in the movie and a pretty grim portrayal of the attitudes of all the men, except Bob Hoskins who supported the female workers from the start, having seen how hard his mother worked to support her children eventually sally's husband came to recognize and appreciate what she was doing and representing and then finally the male union members who voted for parity understood the magnitude and justice of the situation when women strike the world stops and Ford management finally 'got' this; that Ford did not require a bail out, like the other major American auto companies a couple of years back, makes one wonder if their more enlightened policies thanks to the English ladies of Dagenham played a role there in some way? it was also a wonderful portrayal of how women supported each other for the good of the whole, whether by lending a red dress or supporting a grieving widow friend or boosting self worth when one is tempted to sell out via a racy photo shoot. Joanne H.





INCENDIES




I just wanted to send a short email to let you know how much I enjoyed today's movie. I think it is the best movie I have ever seen (and I go to a lot of movies) with such a powerful story. Thank you for showing it. It is a very important movie and I hope it wins Best Foreign Film at Sunday's awards. Margo H

I can’t stop thinking about today’s film- I am already excited to see it again when it comes out on DVD, so I can share it with my daughter. Judy D.

Just to thank you, Julian, for to-day's (grim) selection - Incendies. This was exceptionally well made, if a BIT confusing (I think I could profit from seeing it a second time). Really powerful, and gave what seems an excellent evocation of the whole sorry, brutal story of religious. internecine conflict. Not to mention the contrasts in the country as a whole, the mores of its people, the contrasts of humanity and brutality. A far cry from Made in Dagenham (which was entertaining, but not such a good film, I think). Marilyn B-O. Incendies was quite a movie the best I've seen this year, although I was very moved by "The Father of my Children". I had a part in the chorus of the Bacchae in University - took me back to my Greek drama days Oedipus et al. I phoned my son and his wife and they went to the 7:15 and loved it. My daughter-in-law is French speaking and it was a treat for her to experience film in her first language. They hope to be back to see Blue Valentine. Allison N.

One of the best three films I have ever seen. Paul S.

Good for the most part, but plot twist at end is unbelievable. Very good photography. Jim and Monica M.

This is one of the most thought provoking movies that my wife and I have seen in a long time. It is a movie that demands an early re-viewing because its metaphorical nature implies many levels of significance concerning the journey depicted, as well as the relationship of Canada to the bitter conflicts we hear about. Carl B.

Powerful.. but I could not come to grips with the storyline..why would the mother put her twins through this?..but a well-crafted film nevertheless. Ron & Lynda V.

Our first choice. Just an excellent film. The horrors of war! Paul & Barbara B.

A very powerful excellent film. Hope L.

Very powerful. Dorothy G.

Outstanding and harsh - lots of tension, high drama but unlike many Hollywood "blockbusters" it had the necessary balancing peaceful bits of humanity. Norm B.

Very sad. Skip and BJ R.

Powerful, moving, hard to watch at times especially knowing the truth in these types of films. Lise G.

Very powerful and complex story... I could watch this many times. Anon

Very well done, a real example of why I love the Film fest, the sort of film I would never go to at the 'regular' movies but so glad I saw it. Eileen H.

Compelling, artistic, a story that stays with you. Maureen H.

Thought provoking. Beautiful scenery and wonderful acting. Joan A.

Very powerful. Lisa S.

Really difficult subject matter. Nora W.

Very unsettling. Ginny G.

Disturbing to watch, but films like this need to be seen. Pamela H.

Great movie, amazing to watch around the theater as different people figured out the end earlier than others. David B.

The best movie ever. Anon

This was the most shocking and amazing film! Flawless script. Claudette S.

So much damage in every war! Anon

Haunted me for days. Margot O.

Incredible. Judy D.

Riveting film, great acting but no mother would do this to her children upon her death. Anon

Shocking conclusion. Anon

Blown away Linda K.

I found the story disturbing, that a mother would put her children through that. Laraine B.

Disturbing but powerful cinematography. Olga R.

Will never forget one detail of this amazing film. Maureen M.

Wonderful, mysterious, heartbreaking. Linda H.

Lovely view of Canada where people can make a life despite unspeakable pasts. Lovely view of Canadians--the math professor, the notary. Story wasn't well told. You didn't care deeply about these people. Virginia B.

Loved the pathos of this film. B.W. P.

So disturbing but what a movie of one woman's courage. Carol H.

Couldn't keep the mail characters straight. Hence I was confused some of the time. Liz K.

I thought this film was one of the best I've ever seen in my life and I have seen many, many films. I would love to see it again but have not been able to find it anywhere except on Cogeco on Demand but only in French. Margo H.

Excellent, great film. Jackie O.

Dark and a difficult subject. However, excellent cinematography and acting. Patti W.

Enjoyed very much. Norma S.

Very,very powerful. Mary W.

Overrated. Barry S.

Liked the Canadian connection. Bette B.

A good narrative can move the viewer to forgiveness. Judy B.

Great story but so brutal. R. F.

Very difficult but necessary to watch. Peggy G.

Powerful. Donna G.

Powerful. Doris C.

This was a really incredible movie of such depth and tragedy and triumph of the human spirit that it left me speechless and pondering for many days, and still the settings, both in Quebec and in the middle east were very authentic and the mission Jeanne and Simon undertook at their mother, Narwal's last request was daunting again it was the women in the movie who suffered indescribable loss and pain mainly at the hands of men- murder of a lover, loss of a baby given away, rape and torture and yet, it was narwal's purpose with her letters and instructions outlined in her will to bring peace of mind to all 3 of her children (Rihad, Jeanne and Simon) via the truth and to surround them in the surety of her unending love for all of them even from the grave she elevated the basest of human intention and behaviour to the highest form of love and peace through the transformative power of understanding and acceptance and forgiveness, an example ost of us can only aspire to. Joanne H.


BLUE VALENTINE




Great chemistry between Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. A bit too much 'close-up' shots but an emotionally-charged film that tells its story and leaves you asking lots of questions. Ron & Lynda V.

Interesting. Dorothy G.

Well acted but why produce this. Norm B.

Too explicit. Skip and BJ R.

Well acted, not sure why I was enamored with it. Lise G.

Disappointing. I found it tedious, despite strong acting. Anon

A bit disappointing after all the rave reviews. Eileen H.

Couldn't relate to the characters. Maureen H.

Interesting, very raw. Lisa S.

Well done, great performances but the helplessness of the situation was heartbreaking. David B.

More depressing than hell. Margot O.

Good lesson for teenagers- should be on high school curriculum. Judy D.

Bordered on pornography. Anon

Some lovely scenes but excessive sex. Marilyn C. W.

Wonderful acting, but another slice of reality that is sad. Linda K.

For some reason, I did not share the praise it received. Olga R.

So very real. Fantastic camera work. Maureen M.

The acting was good but I felt the writer did not know how to end it and left it up in the air. Marvin R.

A little pat, a little jumbled. Linda H.

Too much fighting, too much shouting, awful view of working class--unlike Made in Dagenham. Virginia B.

I felt so sorry for the dad but for some reason not as much for the mom. Carol H.

A little far out for me. Liz K.

Sad to watch but well done. Mardie P.

Really great film but very depressing at the same time. Margo H.

Excellent, great film. Jackie O.

The acting was fine, but the movie was not. Mary W.

All middle-aged music should see this one. Bette B.

A very tragic story. Judy B.

Everyday life story / inadequate dialogue to get into the psychology of the two people. R. F.

Sad theme but very well done. Peggy G.

Great performances. Donna G.

I almost didn't go to this screening based on the comments about it earlier, but was glad i did and did not find it as depressing as was portrayed it was very well acted by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams and i felt the final outcome was more one of hope than despair as ryan walked into the fireworks even though Cindy and dean liked and maybe even loved each other while dating, their marriage was based on ''doing the right thing'' when an unplanned baby was on the way, a baby whose father was not even known for sure it was clear that each had big self worth issues from their childhood and neither had worked these through prior to marrying so, the fact that they grew apart was not a real surprise the decision to separate was a healthy one, in my opinion, though it was a pretty dramatic coming to blows to make it happen when dean lost it at Cindy's workplace i felt their daughter knew she was loved by both her parents regardless of their relationship with each other and this was the hopeful part this movie was just chapter 1 of the lives of this family...much more to come! Joanne H.         


ANOTHER YEAR




Jill and I would like to tell you that we found Another Year had a most powerful impact on both of us. It is an amazing piece of work - script, direction and acting all marvellously integrated in a work that perhaps some members would find too close to the bone. Many thanks for bringing it to us. Ian D.

Jim and I thought the couple and the other characters quite realistic. Imelda Staunton's role was most gripping at the beginning. The office clerk was headed for her lot in life it seemed and the saddest part was her realization of lost opportunities, trips etc when Katie's was talking. I thought she was an awful person, not very kind. As you see, they were real characters to me. Can't say it was an enjoyable, happy movie but certainly a good one, Thank you and your team for bringing it to us. We're really looking forward to the next one. Grace S.

Very good movie, very well acted. Leslie Manville's performance as Mary is terrific. Jim and Monica M.

Another great Festival-picked movie. I found all of the characters well-formed and compelling. Hard to find any fault with this one. The best actors and actresses look like they are not acting and Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen are the 'anchors' in this one. Ron & Lynda V.

One more or less sane couple surrounded by “characters” Paul & Barbara B.

Interesting Dorothy G.

Well acted poignant without becoming obsessive. Norm B.

So well done. Skip and BJ. R.

True to life, excellent casting, well acted film. Lise G.

Wonderful acting, great script, fascinating, complex interplay among the characters. Anon

Another low key English movie with a story to tell with 'real' actors unlike some of the Hollywood types. Eileen H.

Bit slow. Maureen H.

Delightfully, genuinely British - as only they can do it! Ginny G.

Great performances by a cast of unlikely leading actors. Gives one much to ponder. David B.

Depressing as hell. Margot O.

Entertaining, funny and insightful- excellent acting. Judy D.

Characters were too stereotypical, nowhere near as good as Secrets and Lies and Vera Drake. Anon

Beautiful story of life as it is. Anon

Loved this . So natural. Very interesting process. Marilyn C. W.

A slice of real life with fabulous acting. Linda K.

Ugh. Another year of the same old on its way. I guess that was the point. Maureen M.

How did they have so many dysfunctional friends? Such a social worker! "I'm not angry. I'm disappointed in you." Virginia B.

Many subjects touched on here, esp about singles life's; wish they could have portrayed one happy single character; only happiness portrayed was once the single became a couple. Carol H.

Great message. Norma S.

Very good. Jackie O.

Again, marvellous character actors. Mary W.

Another great piece from this team. Barry S.

One of the best this year. Judy B.

Great story, great acting. R. F.

Good movie--could only have been made with British actors. Donna G.

Excellent. Doris C.

This movie was so well acted and created such real feelings for me that i didn't like it too much, similar to Barney's version i didn't think the lonely co-worker, Leslie Manville, was the only one who drank too much; it seemed to me that the ''happily married couple'' imbibed a fair bit as well i didn't think anyone was particularly happy in this movie, but i felt it was an authentic portrayal of how people cope with their life circumstances and how honest or dishonest they are with themselves and others in the process another look at different levels of self worth among the characters with a rather dismal ending still, there is always the potential for people to change perspectives and create different circumstances for themselves though often it takes a bottoming out to inspire such. Joanne H.

MUSIC FROM THE BIG HOUSE




A quick note to say how much we enjoyed "Music From The Big House". It was amazing, interesting and informative and very moving. We also enjoyed the Q&A with Rita at the end of the movie. Thank you for bringing us such a wonderful movie. Your selections this year have been fabulous, as usual. Looking forward to seeing the last movie in May. Audrey M.

What a great year for AFF movies..another gem and having Rita Chiarelli and the producer there was a plus. Black and white is poignant where 'life' really means life. Not just about the music. Ron & Lynda V.

Another excellent inspirational film. It was great to have the lady responsible at the presentation. Paul & Barbara B.

Powerful, justice. Dorothy G.

Loved the music. Skip and BJ R.

Also was a pleasant surprise how well this documentary was so well put together, loved what I learned. Lise G.

Well done documentary. Enjoyed Q & A. thanks!! Maureen H,

Rita did a great job under trying circumstances. Joan A.

Bringing out the best. Ginny G.

Entertaining- better than I expected. Judy D.

Very informative -- gave me a better perspective. Anon

Loved the music. Linda K.

A good look into "privileged" prison life. Glenn H.

I enjoyed it as a "project" by Rita Chiarelli and the angles she managed to explore and bring out to the public. Olga R.

WOW. Awesome, as the kids say. Maureen M.

Excellent: the stories, the characters, the songs. Just some of her repetitive phrases bothered me. Linda H.

The prisoners were great. Virginia B.

This film needed more exposure to the prison and the inmates to rank as an excellent film.Rita Chiarelli should have considered recording the featured songs in a sound studio over the performance. She tends to get excited and begins to shout and not enunciate clearly. B.W. P.

Very well thought through. Great talent and leadership. Liz K.

Well done documentary; never bored. Carol H.

Excellent. Jackie O.

Great documentary. Patti W.

Nice music. Norma S.

Much food for thought, about redemption and forgiveness...fine music as well. Mary W.

Nice documentary of her work and their 'redemption'. Barry S.

Nothing like meeting the makers. Better B.

Refreshing to see something good in the big house. Judy B.

Well done--provided lots of food for thought. Donna G.

Final introduction to musicians was like a cold shower. Anon

This was really wonderful...I was very taken with the movie. Anon

Amazing film. Doris C.

I was very moved by this documentary and have the poster signed by Rita Chiarelli on the wall behind me as i write as with all of human experience, it is the juxtaposition of opposites that provides the experience and any wisdom that results so, Rita's questioning about victim/perpetrator as she worked with the inmates at Angola prison was never really solved one has to rise above the level of the acts to the place that Narwal did in ''Incendies'' to see the bigger picture the main message of this movie for me, though, was the amazing healing, elevating and inspiring role that music can play in our lives no matter our physical circumstances...it transcends all it was especially great to have Rita present to discuss with us and i have to say that both my son and i felt that none of the pictures of her, either in the movie or on the CD cover did her justice. Joanne H.





THE FIRST GRADER



Very good movie, solid performances by Oliver Litondo and Naomi Harris. Palpable tension - we expected that more violence would erupt in the "present' day. Very good photography. Jim and Monica M.

Not a misstep this season..Naomie Harris 'was' the teacher like Helen Mirren was the 'Queen'. As a young chap in England I remember listening to the newscasts about the Kikuyu and the Mau Mau uprising. Ron & Lynda V.

A great story – again inspirational – however we felt the resolutions of the various conflicts was too “Hollywood” predictable. Paul & Barbara B.

Powerful, intense. Dorothy G.

Charming and realistic - we loved it because we were involved with those same schools fifty years ago. Norm B.

Marvellous! Skip and BJ R.

Heartwarming and courageous. Lise G.

Excellent. Anon

Excellent - about a time I remember listening to the radio as a child in England and hearing about the Mao Mao 'terrorists', never their side of the story - extremely well done. Eileen H.

Wonderful story, characters you can love. Maureen H.

A true slice of life in Africa. Joan A.

I really liked this film for a few reasons, namely the acting, the fact that it demonstrated enduring strength that can be extracted from human beings and the filming itself was beautifully done. Lisa S.

Powerful and inspiring! Ginny G.

Another great film that unfolds perfectly as it goes on. David B.

Very good but the end was not believable. Anon

Very real picture of colonialsim and the challenges colonies (people) face after the rulers are gone. Unbelievable how "natives" of a country were treated and the hurt goes on. Very inspiring how an old man decides to improve his mind and get an education. His strong spirit prevailed with a little help from his friends. Anon

Inspiring. Margot O.

Educational- good exposure to what goes on in other parts of the world. Judy D.

Very well done, another uplifting film. Anon

Inspiring film. Anon

A wonderful inspiring story. Imagine the wasted human potential and the problems that wait to be solved! Marilyn C. W.

Fabulous! Linda K.

A piece of history that needs to be told. Glenn H.

Very well presented and the acting was believable. Laraine B.

I enjoyed the history behind it and the power of the human spirit. Olga R.

Well done but something was off for me. Not sure why. Maureen M.

OUTSTANDING, WONDERFUL ACTING, WONDERFUL TELLING OF A VERY SAD HISTORY; GREAT THAT IT ENDED IN HAPPINESS. Linda H.

Loved this movie. Virginia B.

Would have liked to seen something more of his considerable world-wide recognition at the end of the film. B.W. P.

Again, the strength and determination portrayed is unbelievable and knowing it is true, how can we complain. Carol H.

Wonderfully moving. A great accomplishment. Liz K.

So touching and so beautifully filmed - even the door blowing in the wind suggested movement forward. Mardie P.

Wonderful film that gives us all a reason to keep trying to achieve something worthwile in life. Margo H.

Loved it!!! cinematography, acting scenery, script storyline were all excellent. Patti W.

This movie stayed with me for a long time I found myself thinking about it over and over again. Judy W.

Great story, wonderful children. Mary W.

Reminded me of my teaching years in West Africa. Barry S.

Everyone should see this one. Recommended this one to my grandchildren. Bette B.

A wonderful story about a person who wanted an almost impossible goal. Judy B.

Great story, great acting, loved it. R. F.

Excellent! There was a write-up in the Globe on the weekend about Naomie Harris....good read. Anon

Great film that could be shown in our schools to suggest how difficult it is to obtain an education in other countries and how we should appreciate the privileges in Canada. Doris C.

Being a retired grade 3 teacher....LOVED IT!!!!! Hope L.

A wonderful portrayal, in every way, of going for what you want and deserve and have sacrificed and suffered for and are willing to work for i loved the 80+ year old Maruge in the school uniform of short pants and knee socks; that visual as much as anything he said or did spoke volumes as to his deep desire to participate and to learn and grow it is so much easier, sometimes, to laugh at and criticize and threaten than to support change as witnessed by Maruge's peers at the 'bar' and those who make the rules in government and those on the school board what an inspiration that man was to a whole nation in recovery and to those of us in far off lands and in different decades, as well...if he can stand up for what he wants (even using his goat at bus fare to go to the city to plead his case with the rule-makers), so can i! When we need a shove or a reminder to take a stand, maybe it is time to get a goat! Joanne H.


WIN WIN



Enjoyed the story line and the performances. Giamatti is superb. Anna I.

Good story of an everyday guy trying to do good but still screwing up. David B.

Contained compassion with some ulterior motives. Mary M.

Marvellous actors. Loved the boy. Maureen M.

Entertaining. Hope L.

Uplifting film. Jane G.

Wonderful acting - great story. Kathryn D.

Very enjoyable, great acting by the teenage wrestler as well as Paul Giamatti. Deb

Paul Giamatti is GREAT! Anon

Enjoyed this film and the growth of the character as the movie progressed. Gay P.

I don't usually like "Sports" movies but this one was great, did you ever see a Paul Giamatti film that you didn't just love?? Lynda V.

We enjoyed this movie very much. Mike's story was most believable character. His story was well presented in this very involving story. Jim B.

Great performance by Giamatti. Mary W.

Thoroughly enjoyable. Paul Giamatti is amazing. Kathryn D.

Paul Giamatti never disappoints! Anon

I like just about everything Giamatti does. Like his flawed protagonists - hero is stretching it. Liked his sleazy bit in Ides of March too. Georgina H.

Great story and acting by Paul Giamatti and all the supporting cast. Anon

It seems that any film with Paul Giamatti is really enjoyable. Great acting and script! Olga R.



IN A BETTER WORLD



Very familiar issues in our world today. Judy H.

Some coincidences stretched credibility. Gayle B.

Powerful plot and wonderful life lesson!! Anna I.

Fantastic film that really gave me much to think about when considering the tough decisions in the film. David B.

Very thought provoking. Mary M.

good movie, suspenseful, well acted by all, but unbelievable pat ending - hard to believe that the psychopath Christian turns into a good boy after a brief conversation with Elias' father on top of the silo. Jim M.

Very good movie. Hope L,

Interesting conflict between family and doing 'good deeds'. Jackie O.

Brutally frank - exceptional film production. Norman B.

Very realistic, makes you think about the effects of bullying. Deb

So sad but I loved the contrast and how the movie moved so beautifully from Scandinavia to Africa, another winner! Lynda V.

Compelling drama of an imperfect world; it stayed with me for days. Marlene C.

International, raised ethical questions, engaging. Ellen R.

Shows the difficulties that arise when principles clash with real life. Mary W.

Loved the ethical dilemmas, the complication of this. Georgina H.

Loved this film! Judy H.

Thought provoking. Elisabeth C.

Tough and thought-provoking. Anon



THE WHISTLEBLOWER




Great story line. Bonnie T.

Very disturbing film. Ruth M.

Brutally honest and unnerving........ Anna I.

Good story of a very disturbing situation and one person who had the courage and ethics to stand up and fight it. David B.

Very conscience rising- what else is going on to exploit young people?!!! Mary M.

So dark, so gripping. Rip your heart out. Maureen M.

Good drama, good performance by Weisz. Jim M.

Mind-boggling that such things happen in this world. Hope L.

Very powerful. Anon

Harsh but well done. Kathryn D.

Gripping. Megan D.

I loved the ending of this film, but at times it was hard to watch, always wonderful to see films based on real life! Lynda V.

Great show about 1 person. Making a difference and not backing down even when personal safety is at risk. How sad that a force meant to protect actually is responsible for terrible harm. Shame on the UN. Anon

I liked this movie because of its realism but one had to have a very "strong stomach' for some of the scenes presented. A well presented story. Jim B.

Harsh but powerful and important to see. Kathryn D.

Rachel Weisz was excellent as the lead actress, a thought provoking movie. Judy W.

The most shocking film of the season, but, in my mind, not over sensationalized. Georgina H.

The violence was a little off-putting, but other wise a great movie. Anne N.

Ouch - that these things do happen is scary. Judy H.

This film made a strong impression on me: the bravery and compassion of the main character set against the cruelty and indifference of so many others. Anon

Very unpleasant to watch at times. Didn't give me very good feelings about the United Nations. Ron B.

A very difficult film to watch; felt like I'd been hit by a truck. Kathryn C.

I do like films based on true events as it adds real edge to the story. This was a disturbing, but very informative film. Rachel Weisz did a great job. Olga R.

Very tough subject matter but these stories need to be told. Anon



THE TREE OF LIFE



What was it all about? Bonnie T.

Reflective, and somewhat confusing in parts. Anna I.

Absolutely hated the film, almost walked out on it, just way overdone. David B.

Interesting. Mary M.

A long boring movie, a complete waste of time, the kind of movie that makes you want to demand your money back. Endless scenes of children cavorting and the mother fawning over her children, pointless long scenes of the creation of the universe and dinosaurs that are not related to the flimsy under-developed narrative, etc. Where was the film editor? Why even bother having a good actor like Sean Penn in the movie if in his brief appearances all he's called upon to do is stumble around and look confused? Save money and hire the key grip to play the part. I can't say a single good thing about this movie. It was just tedious pretentious claptrap. Jim M.

Not my cup of tea. Hope L.

Conflicted by this movie, bored at times, beautifully shot film. Jackie O.

It may have been great in the 70's, but now it's passé. Norman B.

Long. Jennifer S.

While it had some amazing cinematography, a good editor and 60 minutes less film would have greatly improved it. Claudette S.

Having trouble recalling the film. Paul B.

A real examination of the meaning of life - thought-provoking and very beautifully done. Marlene C.

Appalling. Paul D.

A little slow and hard to know where film was going. Anon

Pretentious tripe. Anon

I found it this season's most soothing, beautiful to watch, but spoiled somewhat by a dopey ending. Georgina H.

Brad Pitt did a wonderful job. The long sequences of volcanoes and space became annoying. Anon

I did like the film because of its impressionistic approach and very different way of appeal to individual senses. Definitely, not for every viewer… Olga R.



SARAH'S KEY



Wonderful, emotional - sad. Norma S.

Loved the story - wonderful acting, casting. Gayle B.

Predictable. Bonnie. T.

Heart wrenching to know that people suffered through such horrid events and the effects of those events. Anna I.

Heartbreaking story that brings two stories running side by side together better then I've every seen it done. Kristin Scott Thomas is obviously an actress to watch based on her last several movie selections. David B.

Great insight into the Jewish situation in France! Mary M.

Best holocaust movie ever. Maureen M.

Wonderful actors - everyone had kind eyes. Linda H.

Dear to my heart because I am Jewish, and things like this did happen. Hope L.

Poignant, gripping. Jane G.

Excellent film, well done Kristin Scott Thomas. Jackie O.

The whole package. Mardie P.

Extremely well done - a spellbinder. Norman B.

Extremely thought provoking. Jennifer S.

I'd read the book first, and the film matched really well. The film was easier to follow due to the time shifts from present to past events, which was sometimes difficult to envision in the book. Anon

Gripping. Anon

A rare film that is actually better than the novel! Claudette S.

Very moving. Carrie M.

Very well done but the movie omits the troubled relationship between the husband and wife. Deb

Kristin Scott Thomas was perfectly cast for the role. Megan D.

A gripping story. Paul B.

Haunting in many ways. Mistakes with grave consequences occur during war time. Marlene C.

Book was much better. Patti W.

Holocaust genre plenteous, not quite up to Schindler's List) and Starbuck 9 (absolutely great comedy and morality tale. Paul D.

We need to be reminded over and over the atrocities of war. Anon

Much better than the book. Mary W.

Good adaptation of the book, the little girl was wonderful. Kathryn D.

Very good movie. Judy W.

Although impressed with the work of Thomas and the illustration of how the traumas of the past impact our present that present day part niggled somewhat. I think I would have been satisfied with the portrayal of the Vichy French horrors - a cautionary tale. Georgina H.

Surprisingly faithful to the book. Anne N.

Provocative and informative - such tragedy that never goes away. Judy H.

Amazing story brought to life in this film. Karen S.

Very good adaptation of the book. Anon

Gut wrenching. Elisabeth C.

Important but painful events make you look at this part of history with different eyes at country and its people. Olga R.

One of the rare instances when I like a film better than its book. Anon

Film and book were powerful stories. John G



STARBUCK



Hilarious - great end for season. Norma S.

Funny moments, a bit predictable. Gayle B.

Funny, sad, excellent acting. Bonnie T.

Very amusing and touching. Ruth M.

Funny. Warm. What a tasteful and sensitive handling of what is a very controversial topic. David was great reaching out to all his "children". Anna I.

A great way to end the season- with laughs and empathy. Mary M.

So Canadian, what humanity, what a treat! Maureen M.

FUNNY, TENDER, SAD -- PERFECT. Linda H.

Hilarious, and probably oh so true somewhere in the world. Hope L.

Light and very entertaining "real" not Hollywood (i.e. not glamorous). Jane G.

Great comedy on a serious subject. Jackie O.

Funny, touching, characters were real, subtitles well written. Mardie P.

Unrealistic, predictable but a "feel good" film. Norman B.

Very Uplifting. Jennifer S.

Surprisingly wonderful… touching and funny. Anon

Made me laugh and cry- a seminal screenplay! Claudette S.

Hilarious and touching. Kathryn D.

Very powerful. Carrie M.

Very funny and enjoyable. Deb

A week later, I'm still laughing about some of the scenes. Megan D.

An humorous film to watch; plot somewhat improbable upon reflection. Paul B.

This was a very interesting film and I liked that it ended on a positive note. Gay P.

I laughed and cried at this moving story, such a wonderful ending to the AFF season, thanks for bringing such wonderful film to us this season! Lynda V.

Wonderful, delightful, and thought-provoking. What a dilemma David was in. Society offers us many choices. Marlene C.

Hilarious. Loved the physical humour. Patrick Huard portrayed the character excellently. Patti W.

Not often you hear genuine laughter in the theatre; David was a great character. Mary W.

Best Film of the season. Anon

Hilarious. Kathryn D.

The only one I saw ... will see them all next year. Janice S.

The funniest film of the season. Georgina H.

Who could not fall in love with David. Anne N.

Delightful and different as the season ender. Judy H.

Silly. Elisabeth C.

The optimism and good nature carries through the whole film...You leave the theatre with the heart of goodness and hope. Great acting! Olga R.

Starbuck - I enjoyed everything about it. The comedic value was great but the reality of what could have been (on a smaller scale) was also evident. The characters were very real people with needs which created deep emotions for many. Roberta B.

A delightful combo of humour and food for thought. Anon

Great Quebec humour again. John G.

Funny but could be possible in this world of medical possibilities. Jan F.



PROJECT NIM



Amazing that people could spend so much time and effort on a project and be so callous. Anna I.



PHIL OCHS: THERE BUT FOR FORTUNE



Heart-warming. I wasn't aware of him and was very much part of that era. Anna I.

Terrific story and music! Maureen M.

Interesting. Jane G.

Great that this film was made. Some priceless original footage. Anon

Part of our history - great music beforehand too. Ellen R.



MIDNIGHT IN PARIS



OK. Ruth M

Typical Woody.........loved how "entering into the past to experience it" was incorporated into the plotAnon.

A LOVELY FILM, BUT DEFINITELY HOLLYWOOD PREDICTABLE. SHOTS OF PARIS AT THE BEGINNING WERE WONDERFUL. Linda H.

Charming movie - good work by Allan. Jim M.

Loved it! Jane G.

Should have seemed bizarre but was enchanting entry into former period. Mardie P.

Wonderful imagination would love to watch it again. Jennifer S.

Meh. Heather R.

Delightful. Anon

What a great film-maker Woody Allen is, I loved this trip into the past and found myself looking up more information on these wonderful real-life characters from literary and artistic history. Lynda V.

A delightful movie. People should read Paris Wife if they enjoyed the movie. Anon

If you're not a fan of Woody Allen, this may make you one! Rose V.

Acting is wonderful. Karen S.

Interesting approach...and idea. Olga R.

Quirky with Owen Wilson as likeable as I've seen him. However, Rachel McAdams needs a better agent. Anon



BOBBY FISCHER AGAINST THE WORLD



Tragic............sad to see such giftedness end so badly. Anna I.

I enjoyed but did not think it that great. Perhaps warranted as Fischer may have been greatest chess player ever but a puzzle the film did not seem able to unlock. Fischer non cooperative and perhaps odd - only rationale for film: odd. Paul D.



A BETTER LIFE



Touching. Anna I.

Most parents should be able to empathize with this film. Anon




IS ANYBODY THERE?




I found it very touching- I really felt for the little boy. Having been an elementary teacher, I could see how his surroundings were not conducive to a normal upbringing. It is so true that young people can touch the lives of our elderly. too bad there isn't more interaction. Mary M.

It's always such a pleasure to watch such a fine actor as Michael Caine. And young Bill Milner was a very convincing young boy obsessed with the paranormal. Claudette S.

Very emotional and well acted, again a slice of life. Linda S.

Michael Caine was wonderful and the supporting cast did an excellent job on a topic that is seldom looked at.
Is Anybody There was also great. Michael Caine is always amazing is it’s tough to watch something with him and not be impressed. Great story. Brian P.

This was a 'coming of age' picture I felt...the young boy grows through grieving the loss of his magician friend, the magician grows in spirit when he tells the truth about his wife, the boys parents grow in their relationship by listening to one another and taking responsibility for their own behaviour it was a well crafted and well acted film that evoked many emotions very naturally with an honest look at aging. Joanne H.

I hadn't remembered seeing this, so I had to check the web site to jog my memory. I thought the film was good, but not amazing (and evidently not memorable!). Heather R.

Well acted, but the subject too similar to some other films. No more lovable old geezers. Simone F.

An excellent portrayal by Michael Caine as to how an older person can still give to others by sharing their knowledge and life experiences. A very sensitive and thought provoking film. Mike W.




MOON




Nice to see a science fiction movie that makes you think and doesn't involve huge robots or aliens. Lois and Steve M.

I’m so happy you picked Moon because it’s definitely outside your audience’s comfort zone. I thought for being a low budget sci fi flick it was very well done. The music was fantastic. Brian P.

I liked this movie, though i would not say i am a sci-fi follower in general...i feel that, historically, much of our behaviour as a species has been very 'clone like' as we have been programmed to follow rules and regulations from out there, controls from outside ourselves, governments, religions, big business, conventional medicine, status quo educational systems etc. and I believe that the shift in consciousness we are now going through is a breaking away from such systems, realizing our own uniqueness, creativity, response-ability, and intuitive knowing leading to the understanding that we are actually all one, after all so this movie by intimating/demonstrating that clones have heart-felt emotions, and can work together to benefit one another is a very good model for us. Joanne H.



DEPARTURES





It was an excellent movie- very moving and very sensitively portrayed. I could see it again very easily. Mary M.

This was an absolute jewel which developed its story around a young man who, in spite of his friend's and wife's objection, found his true vocation in preparing the deceased for their journey into the unknown world of after-death. I did not find it a bit morbid, not even depressing. The movie made me glad that I have accompanied several of my loved ones (including my spouse of 53 years,) on their final journey. It also confirmed to me that the spirituality of the person's journey is so important and am not imaging that we are deeply connect to one another and life is just too short to hold grudges. Judy B.

This was a well done film but I don't enjoy movies that are depressing and make me cry. Lois and Steve M.

It was so beautiful to watch...emotionally ran the gamut (humour, sadness)...graceful. Kathy R.

This was a fabulous movie from start to finish...the musical score was magnificent and the growth and development of the main characters was moving and reverent and sad and funny and uplifting and inspiring and insightful...a very satisfying film about an important part of life...how we deal and how we don't deal with the transition of death...lovely in every way. Joanne H.

I enjoyed the understated performances - and, as a high school guidance counsellor, I appreciated the message that all work is valuable, especially when it's meaningful (at least, that's what I took from it!). Heather R.

I loved this film. Marlene C.

I thought that Departures was an incredible film. A completely different subject, a wonderful story and so well done. Marilyn B.C.





CAIRO TIME




I wonder if our society has become so accustomed to instant gratification and demonstrative acts that subtleties are missed? Oh well, it is still a great movie which didn't require a sex scene to deliver what was going on between the characters. Michelle S..

I thought the setting was interesting but there really wasn't much of a story line. I found it moved rather slowly. Mary M.

I loved the Q&A with Ruba Nadda and her sister. Claudette S..

I loved the scenery and the music and again I felt that it was very well acted. Although some felt that it moved slowly, I felt the tempo was just right for all the emotions that she was feeling. A very sensitive and heart warming story showcasing the scenery of the country. Linda S..

I think my favourite movie was Cairo Time as it had all the elements to hold your attention as well as your emotions and the movie unfolded in a beautiful fashion. Linda S..

I wanted to like this film but didn't find the lead characters sympathetic. The scenery was magnificent and I enjoyed the Q&A with the director. Lois and Steve M..

My overall favourite film was Cairo Time. The way in which Ruba Nadda captured the locale was incredible. I felt like I was in Cairo. The actors were able to connect on screen, and I could feel the energy and connection between them. It was a love story told in a beautiful manner. Michelle S..

Cairo Time is right there too. -- the best Canadian film ever, for me. Warren B..

Gorgeous scenery...Patricia Clarkson...what's not to like? Kathy R..

This was a truly beautiful movie, literally in its filming and subtly in its acting...well directed for sure and very moving in the unexpected longing it created in the main characters, Juliette and Tareq, as they found themselves relating so easily to one another … I, for one, was sorry to see the husband, mark, appear at the end, breaking the delicious, tense, tender, confusing passion building between Juliette and Mark's genteel and authentic friend, Tareq it seemed that Juliette was able to bridge the very different cultures, American and Egyptian/Syrian, that produced the 2 very different men who impacted her life...i don't think either of the men could see and feel both sides like she did was great to have Ruba and her sister present to discuss the movie...what a treat of insight for an audience to have! Joanne H..

To tell you the truth, I would've rated it lower, if not for the director's commentary at the end ... she was very articulate and engaging, so I don't have the heart to rate it any lower! I felt myself nodding off a number of times, and I thought there was zero chemistry between the two main characters ... (cinematography and music definitely were the highlights). Heather R..

Beautiful scenery but too many long long stares. Simone F..

A wonderful film with exceptional cinematography, superb acting and skillful directing. Gave the audience a real sense of life in Cairo and the nuances of the culture. Mike W..

Cairo Time was excellent and I enjoyed it very much. It brought the city and its environs to life for me. Irene M..

This is as close as I may get to seeing this beautiful city. I enjoyed the plot and the scenery, thanks to a very perceptive director. Marlene C..

Found the pace slow. Mary K..

However, I would have to say that my favourite would be Cairo Time. I just love films that are set in exotic locations and I guess that the genre appeals to me. That touch of romance is impossible to resist! Marilyn B.C..


THE DAMNED UNITED




I thought it was well done and revealed how politics and loyalties really have an impact on team work. Mary M.

Good biography. I wanted to see this one at TIFF and couldn't get tickets. Nice that it came to AFF! Lois and Steve M.

Very good - not a sports fan but excellent acting, good story about competition, power and motivation. Beverly B.

This was a good look inside the largely masculine mentality of pro sports...the duality of it all and it was also a good look at the toll on friendship and integrity this 'win at all costs' perspective can have...ego and arrogance vs trust and compassion...how losing pretty much everything of importance can inspire one to greater success through personal inner growth. Joanne H.

Good character study and very well acted. Simone F.

Superb acting by all the central characters. An excellent portrayal of the impact of ambition and betrayal on friendship. Mike W.

I loved this movie. Marlene C.


FOOD INC.




An excellent documentary to make us think about what we are eating. There is so much truth to what was shown, that we really shouldn't be eating anything! Mary M.

We were going to go for supper after the film, but we had all lost our appetite after this viewing! An important film to see. Claudette S.

It was very difficult to watch parts of this documentary but it certainly made an impact on how we view where our food comes from. We can all take steps to choose more healthy food and be very conscious of the 100 mile rule- very educational. Linda S.

Thought provoking movie that led to lots more reading and investigation of local food sources. It also motivated me to think more seriously about participating in FarmLink: http://www.farmlinkontario.ca/ to see if we can make better use of our 100 acre farm and encourage a young farmer to make a career in farming. Lois and Steve M.

Didn't see - my imagination's too vivid. Beverly B.

While much of the information in this film has been known for some time eg) how animals are raised in feedlots, poultry prisons, monoculture, huge corporate control of agriculture, collusion of government and big business for profit ( see DIET FOR A NEW AMERICA), the visual impact of this on the big screen is powerful ...how individual human lives have been impacted, by this huge corporate control was very revealing and truly a sad commentary on humanity's baser nature of greed at all costs still and all, until we the consumer act responsibly toward our planet and our own bodies which are a part of that planet, we bear the consequences in many different arenas good discussion afterwards. Joanne H.

I appreciated that the film was informative (albeit disheartening) and didn't come across as "preachy" - although I do feel as though some of the film's proceeds should go toward the poor souls in the film who took a chance with disclosure on film (ie. the female chicken farmer who lost her contract and the seed cleaner). As it turns out, the Social Justice program at my school had screened this film for students the Friday before I saw this film, and they've screened it since. The film seems to be getting a lot of attention, which is great. Heather R.

A very thought provoking and informative documentary of the food industry and its failing regulation. Challenges one to be more proactive in buying local and exercising more personal control over what one consumes. Mike W.

One of the best and most educational films I have ever seen. Barbara N.

Amazing revelations. Pretty scary how controlled the food industry is. Marlene C.

ONE WEEK




It was great to see familiar Canadian scenery. Ann P.

Excellent scenery and very touching story. Lynda S.

The soundtrack was awesome and I loved the cross country visits to biggest so and so! Claudette S.

Enjoyable Canadian travelogue! Eileen H.

The critics had it right, it’s a love letter to Canada, masterfully ‘written’. Tom P.

Captures the beauty of Canada. Deborah G.

Worth seeing a second time. Marlene C.

Loved the Canadian content and the discussions following the movie, I believe the narrator was the traveller, others thought he had died, so very interesting end. Terri T.

"One Week" was a personal revelation. Maureen M.

A thoughtful theme as well as a great travelogue for us Canadians. Judy B.

Seemed a bit disjointed but loved the tour of Canada through a biker's perspective. JR

I loved this film, and enjoyed it as much as the other thought-provoking films this year. It was Simple, in the landscape of Canada, and in the message. I wonder why I loved this film so much, and I have deduced that the main character probably is the reason. Joshua Jackson showed a great deal of depth and maturity in the acting role. Anna Maria D.

I stayed at the same hotel (The Rimrock) in Banff that was portrayed in the film and saw a lot of the same sights which was really exciting. Susan B.

Phenomenal cinematography. Patti W.

Completely Canadian and completely enjoyable. Mary W.

A Canadian English language movie with a current story...what a treat! Brian C.

The country as character is the most attractive thing about this film. Carl B.



I'VE LOVED YOU SO LONG



The acting in this movie was stupendous! It really touched my heart. Ann P.

The relationship between the sisters was realistic and wonderfully acted. Kathy S.

It shows how difficult it is to get back into society after being labelled. Mary M.

You never really know someone's story till it is shared. It is easy to make assumptions about people. Michelle S.

A film that peels the intrigue away like layers on an onion… Claudette S.

Really enjoyed this movie, seeing all the dynamics among family and friends when the woman returns from prison. Eileen H.

Very intense was a gut-wrenching twist at the end showing the depth of unconditional, protect at all cost love of a parent. Tom P.

Great acting and story. Deborah G.

Lovely film, great for a Sunday afternoon. Terri Ann T.

Moved me deeply, madly, passionately. Maureen M.

Absolutely the best actress in the lead as well as supporting. Such a sad human experience could only be portrayed through the excellence of the actors. The love and support they played out in this drama could not have been more deeply moving had it been real life. Judy B.

Mesmerizing. JR

I did not like this film as much as others. It was boring for me, and predictable. It had a message that I really didn't care for or don't really care to think about, however definitely worth seeing. Anna Maria D.

I saw this film in Calgary with my sister. It walloped us. Susan B.

Kristen Scott Thomas' performance was (10+) Brian and Karen S.

What an amazing performance from Kristen Scott Thomas! Mary W.

Excellent performance by Kristin Scott Thomas with very good supporting cast. The reflection of her pain keeps the audience curious and involved. Carl B.

Fantastic performances, but I was irritated and insulted as an audience member that we're supposed to believe her son had a terminal illness and that fact didn't come out at trial? Or through the boy's father or grandparents? Or we're supposed to believe she didn't tell a soul and no one noticed any symptoms? To what end would she keep this info to herself? (I'm getting worked up just thinking about it again - lol!) Heather R.

Actually had to rent this one since I missed movie night) 9 I thought Kristen Thomas was brilliant...I wondered if people from France could hear an English accent or not. Kathy R.



THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS



It is a movie that will stay with me a long time as will the book. Kathy S.

I brought my daughter to see this film and she was absolutely speechless for a few minutes afterward. We talked about the film the whole way home. It was also a great read! Michelle S.

I was left speechless at the end. Claudette S.

Rather unbelievable but a look at the two sides involved in the war and the way their lives were spent during the war. Eileen H.

Not very believable, too difficult to watch. Deborah G.

Excellent, I saw it twice. Terri Ann T.

I can only describe this movie as 'too cruel'. If one uses imagination to put this sad story in the realm of real life, one could imagine that many of Hitler's soldiers might have decided that their chief was not worthy of their loyalty thus changing the course of history. Judy B.

Tried to get the book and there were 70 on the waiting list at the library. Powerful-"He became one of us". JR

Very emotional and sad film, historically significant and shocking. This film did not make me cry. It made me angry and morally conscious. Anna Maria D.

An ironic twist. Loved the movie. Patti W.

Very Good but Traumatizing. Diane S.

Devastating. Mary W.

Totally uncalled for explicit horror at the end ruined this movie. Carrie M.

Grabs your heart and makes the world a smaller place when all is considered that we are in this together! Brian C.

Couldn't bring myself to see this one. Carol H.

A classic poising of the adult world and perspective against the innocence and vulnerability of children. Carl B.

Those kids were wonderful...though I had a harder time getting over the fact that Professor Lupin was a Nazi! Kathy R.



THE CLASS



This one occasionally dragged a bit. Ann P.

It was very realistic as far as middle school behaviour/attitudes went. I actually found it depressing- I would like to think our school system is more caring. I haven't figured out how the student reps were even allowed into the meeting where students are being discussed. That was something else! Mary M.

I work in social services and with youth. It was a bit too much like being at work. Certainly not my first choice. Michelle S.

I really did not like subtitles as I find them hard to follow as I am concentrating so hard on people’s facial expressions that I find it distracting to read. Lynda S.

But too depressing when you are a teacher! Claudette S.

Brilliant slice of life - wonderful. Allison N.

A very gritty look at life in a school with a lot of immigrants, I am sure there are many schools and their pupils here in the Hamilton area that are not too different from that, hopefully the teachers, admin, etc. are taught to understand how different their backgrounds, etc. are. Eileen H.

This is one I wanted more closure on. Tom P.

Interesting view of a difficult class. Deborah G.

I confess I saw this film twice, and it's not as bad as Ralph said it was. I believe I've taught each of those students at one time or other. Marlene C.

As a teacher, thought "The Class" was brilliant. Maureen M.

Well done, but very hard to watch. Certainly it is a film that shows one how complicated our society has become and the huge job the teachers have to gain the respect and interest of the young people in their charge. Judy B.

Fabulous film using the real students ad lib and did it ever capture the ambiguity of a teacher's role. JR

Again, this movie was too boring for me, and I didn't really care for the subject matter. It was definitely a Lesson in Sociology, as was the first French film. I wonder if most of the French films have a common theme this year...their own Social System. Anna Maria D.

Too slow and too long. Patti W.

Whoever directed it should get a 10+. This powerful movie still reminds us that we need to hear the children talk, if we really listen just maybe things that need to change will change... or we can go out and play soccer. Brian and Karen S.

Not my favourite Mary W.

The Class – the only movie I managed to get to this year – One of the best movies. Barbara N.

As a retired teacher I have met many in this film during my career but I felt it was very human, from the heart and not made up of Hollywood heroes! Brian C.

I enjoyed this film; as an educator, it made me think… Heather R.

I found it disturbing because I was not sure if it was really true...if it was a totally accurate documentation with no contrived ending it is a grim statement but, nonetheless, a revealing film. Joanne H.

With the proliferation of retired teachers in the group....I can imagine the range of comments on this one. Lynne M.



THE STONE OF DESTINY

Great fun. Gail W.

An absolute delight. Kathy S.

A great adventure and story. Michelle S.

A real treat in following a true event- I saw the Stone on my visit to Edinburgh castle in April and it brought the movie to mind. Lynda S.

An enjoyable Brit. romp - as an aside, one of my husband's school teachers knew some of the actual people from his university days and had told his class of the events, way back in the 50's! Eileen H.

Just plain fun with some serious undertones about pride and the universal need for parental acceptance. Tom P.

Loved it!! A great caper with historical significance and humour. Marlene C.

Light-hearted look at history, loved it. Terri Ann T.

Being a Scot, cried all through "Stone of Destiny". Maureen M.

I had difficulty understanding the dialogue because of the accent so generally did not know what was going on and thought it was a silly movie with people running around in cars. Lillian

A nice story. Judy B.

This film offered high suspense and gales of laughter. JR

This movie was fun to watch. It kept me interested, and "I was amused". A historically significant film for Scotland, funny, enjoyable, but not really relatable to me. It was light-hearted, and a refreshing break from the serious. Anna Maria D.

Totally caught us off guard --- we loved it on so many levels. Brian and Karen S.

Lots of fun. Very enjoyable. Mary W.

A light treat that was both funny and historically interesting. Brian C.

Entertaining and humorous, while also conveying a sense of Scottish pride and nationalism. Carl B.

Really a cleverly done movie; loved the idea that it was a true story; increased my knowledge of the country, and the power of the crown. Sheila N.

I loved it though I'm a sucker for a Scottish accent any day! Kathy R.

It was great movie based on historical data. I loved the Scottish/English scenery. Mary M.



THE NECESSITIES OF LIFE



An important film about human relationships, it also taught us about our aboriginal and health history. Ann P.

I am proud that it is a Canadian film and it featured a cultural group within Canada that does not receive enough attention. Michelle S.

Wow, another poignant story about our far north. Claudette S.

Every teacher and ESL teacher should see this film. Linda K.

Very significant. TB patients came to Chedoke Hospital the Inuit gallery is housed at St. Peter's at Chedoke - the stone carvings were given as a gift to the hospital (a must see). Allison N.

A sad look at the way the native people were treated, although at the time the powers that be thought they were doing the right thing. Eileen H.

An intense look at good intention gone bad. Tom P.

A great feel-good movie, uplifting. Deborah G.

A sensitive insight into the clash of Canadian cultures. Great acting, directing. Marlene C.

Moved me deeply, madly, passionately. Maureen M.

Excellent acting as well as a lesson in Canadian history and way of life for some Canadians. Judy B.

Very unusual content -excellent acting. JR

I loved this film, and another historically significant film for Canada's conservative 50's, with a great deal of social tones. Very nice film, kept me interested, and refreshing to see a "happy ending". Anna Maria D.

Well done. Loved the French and Inuk. Patti W.

This film had an amazing impact. Never expected. There were three of us who attended the film who had uncles who were in a sanatorium in Ontario in the early 50's. Love wins. Brian and Karen S.

We cannot even begin to imagine the strength of the human spirit until it has been challenged. Well done! Another Canadian classic, you hardly notice it wasn't in English as the story is so gripping. Brian C.

The movie presents a powerful evocation of the confusion and stress that issues from displacement and at the same time compels us to think about the worth of the assumptions that we possess about our culture, the southern urban culture. Carl B.

I had the privilege of nursing many Inuit people at the Mount Hamilton Sanatorium in 1958. Fortunately, (or unfortunately) there were many of them there together unlike the poor chap who found himself in such a frightening situation all alone with no language. They were kind and gentle people who were mystified by our food and customs, but continued to smile frequently a nd accept their fate gracefully. The actor who played the lead in the movie The Necessities of Life was superb! Pat H.



WELCOME TO THE STICKS



I really laughed at the comedy in this film and left the theatre feeling good. Ann P.

Too much was given away at the screening by the fellow who introduced it. It would be much better to watch it knowing nothing about the movie. Kathy S.

It was superb- a real comedy showing how stereotypes can get in the way of enjoying life. A great way to end the term! Mary M.

I know lots were laughing but I found it sort of silly. Marilyn W.

Hilarious, I loved it. Claudette S.

I loved it. It is great to have a real belly laugh, and see all the happy faces of satisfied viewers!! Anna I.

Hilarious. Marlene C.

Laugh out loud, fun. Terri Ann T.

I enjoyed the humour...........it got funnier and funnier as it progressed...........I am weak in French and so the subtitles were helpful..........I was a country mouse and came to the city and so enjoyed and related to the change of environment.........lesson learned......... can't judge a community by its name or hearsay.............. the truth is learned when you live there...........doors do close and other ones do open and growth is the reward........I am glad his wife got included in the end! Dorothy G.

One of the funniest movies I have ever seen. Maureen M.

Lots of fun along with a good lesson of what's important in life. Judy B.

Very nice film, funny, easy to watch and understand even with subtitles. It was very enjoyable, but again not a film I could really relate to. Reminded me a bit of a more comedic take on the Richard Jenkins film of "The Visitor". Anna Maria D.

Lost some in the translation. Patti W.

Would have been a 10 if the subtitles had not been printed, at times, on a light background. Carrie M.

Unfortunately did not see Welcome to the Sticks – would like to though! Lisa S.

I've haven't laughed like that in a long time. Audrey M.

Just a great movie; have not laughed so hard for a very long time. The acting was great, and while some of the situations were predictable, that did not take away from the humour of the story. This movie had it all... fun, sadness, emotion, great acting.......highly recommended. Sheila N.

Not my sense of humour, others seemed to like it. Marion F.



THE SOLOIST



Amazing, touching, important. Gail W.

I work with people with mental health issues and found the movie to be so thought provoking and well cast. Michelle S.

Well done but too slow moving, I expected a better performance from Jamie Foxx. Lynda S.

I loved the use of city sound effects that paralleled the music. This was a well crafted film. Allison N.

I had seen an interview with the journalist on 20/20 (or one of those programmes) a few weeks ago so was very happy to see the movie - gives you a better understanding of why so many people live on the streets and despite people's best efforts so many prefer to stay there. Eileen H.

Just plain uplifting. Tom P.

Great acting, a must-see story about homelessness, friendship and mental illness Deborah G.

This movie blew me away. The story, the acting, directing were exceptional. In the film our world was portrayed so chaotically with excessive noise, crazy pace of living and alienation in a crowded city that I wondered how we maintain our sanity. This film should win Academy Awards. Marlene C.

Excellent. Terri Ann T.

One of the BEST movies I have seen in a long time....so powerful...s o educational...lesson learned ... we are all one...yes we are the same and yes we are different but we are all unique and we do live by our choices...whether on or off the street!!!...I wish students in Secondary School could all see this movie! Dorothy G.

Was so happy to see the Sister who runs the "Out of the Cold" program (impressive) and could see why she was so excited about "The Soloist". The message was profound and not practised enough. Maureen M.

Thank you for sending the 60 minutes segment. Again the transforming power of friendship and music! Very true portrayal of the frustration of trying to help someone and the accompanying resistance coming from a place of fear and insecurity and lack of trust. JR

I liked this film, and very glad to have seen it. Loved the acting of Downey and Foxx. This film was significantly historical to the U.S. today. Based on fact and reality, it tells the story of abandonment in America's political and social systems and American Egoism. It is very good, and I would spend the $10 to see it. Anna Maria D.

Great story and it's real... Wow. Brian and Karen S.

I thought this was going to be just another American "feel good" movie but was I pleasantly surprised. It speaks to our current state of ignoring the needy at our own peril. The homeless and mentally ill are not without feelings. Brian C.

Very well acted. The movie presents a convincing sense of the condition of poor and confused and mentally ill population of a large city. The power of the music and the excellent acting are two of the elements that help to create an emotionally charged and gripping story. Carl B.

This film didn't live up to my high expectations, and I didn't care for the editing. However, I loved Robert Downey Jr.'s performance and I appreciated the story of the soloist. Heather R.



YOUNG @ HEART



Fabulous! Kathy R.

A good movie for all. Gloria P.

A fabulous array of varied human experiences , so gently realistic in impact . My copy has been circulating in my church choir , as we could not arrange a date for group-viewing and everyone just loved that film. Ian D.

I thoroughly enjoyed the Young at Heart movie. It showed Seniors in a new light and a way we seldom see them protrayed. Leslie R.

Street scenes were a bit intrusive. Loved the spirit and singing. Loreen G.

An entertaining documentary. I really enjoyed the editing. This is a documentary that should be bought up by television. John P.

Made me cry and laugh and was just wonderful. Hans & Eruca B.

Delightful, inspiring, feel-good type of film. I loved it. Marlene C.

Delightful. Jenny J.

Stayed with me a long time -scenes still come to mind. Maureen M.

I rented it for my elderly mother-in-law and she loved it and sang along. Claudette S.

Entertaining, hopeful messages about getting old, maybe a bit contrived. Elizabeth R.

Excellent, very uplifting. Dawn P.

Found this to be more of a documentary style, and rather predictable. Fun, but not exceptional. Thought the subject could have been engineered to be more exciting and inspiring. Diane H.

Very poignant as well as uplifting. Mary W.

A very inspiring story of living until you die. Shared it with my friends. Karen W.



THE VISITOR



I again loved this film also. Really was among the best I’ve seen this year also. It was a little slow and boring, but I think was purposely done for the effect of the film. It was about a widower, who when he lost his wife, lost a great deal of love for his life, and career as a professor. He lost interest in his work because he missed the inspiration of his wife, and the joy she brought to him, either with her music or her companionship. The professor’s acting was so well done, that he made me bored, until he met his Muslim friend. I loved this film for the simplicity of the message, and because it made me feel good and uplifted with all the ugliness we saw. I loved this film, but did not impact me as much as “Boy A”. Anna Maria D.

Excellent acting, thoughtful theme well presented. Bob L.

I was surprised by this film and enjoyed the subtle warm story told of Richard Jenkin's character coming alive again, stretching outside his comfort zone. Also a peak into the harsh realities of illegal immigrants view of immigration, a side we don't normally see. David B.

Parts of this film are still "at work " as I continue to revisit. Ian D.

It moved me. Heather R.

Great story. Good acting. A seething commentary on the underground economy but not as violent as Dirty Pretty Things. John P.

I spoke about the noteworthiness of this film to many friends. I'd see it again. Marlene C.

I would love to see this movie again. Claudette S.

I enjoyed the concept of the story and the character development. Diane B.

Excellent performacne by lead actor and insight into the experiences of illegal entrants, an important theme in this crazy world. Elizbeth R.

Low key but much food for thought. Mary W.

Wow! Loved it – really made me think! Dianne H.

Very thought provoking. Makes you ask 'how can we put more humanity into the process' of immigration. Karen W.

The acting was so good. I could feel the loneliness and repression of feelings in the lead actor and how he came slowly to 'let loose'. Mary F.



UP THE YANGTZE



Up the Yangtze did not meet the criteria for an excellent movie. The theme of this movie sparked my interest, but the content was too simple, the content too narrow. Carrie M.

I enjoyed this film, and thought it was conveying a message of irresponsible capitalism, which has destroyed lives, nature, and culture. Although, I think I have seen a documentary similar to this film on TV, I understood the value of the message the producers were conveying. It was successful in making me feel sad for the Chinese people, and the lack of caring from Americans and other people visiting China, who cannot and have not been able to understand the Chinese people. China, being one of the largest countries, in population and geography, is so silent and secretive because of their politics, has been neglected, culturally, bullied around, making for dysfunctional, and oppressed people of China. A very sad movie, but very well done. I loved this film for this social message, but loved other films more. Anna Maria D.

I gave it an 8 although it has quite a few 10 moments . Magnificent scenery! Ian D.

The sound for the DVD format was very poor, but even so I wasn't so keen on the film. Claudette S.

It was so subtle and sensitive. Many references to the way of life from the two youths to the wealthy Chinese loving the progress. Very moving. Loreen G,

Didn’t really like this one. I thought more depth was called for in characters but I realize that language and culture were problems. John P.

Yangtze was excellent- for portraying life in China. I was on the Yangtze river cruise and wondered about the "behind the scenes" life of the people being displaced. It is a harsh reality of chinese life. Mary M.

Depressing- went to china last year and had a totally different impression. Maureen M.

The DVD format was terrible. I couldn't understand the dialogue. Claudette S.

Informative but didn't grab my heart. Elizbeth R.

Very grey and dull, didn’t find the central characters too interesting. Dawn P.

Amazing look at a clash of cultures and impact of development. Mary W.

I find it difficult to get my head around daily life in different cultures. I suppose that's because one assess from one's personal perspective. Karen W.

Too 'documentary-ish' for me. Mary F.



BOY A



Stayed with me for days. Kathy R.

This one will stay in my mind forever because it raised questions one may never be able to answer. Kathy S.

Very disturbing. A very different perspective on a crime. Brenda H.

I found this movie very difficult to watch because it dealt with a dysfunctional young boy, other juveniles who found comfort among their peers, when they were young, and into adulthood; based on a true story, made it disturbing to watch because of the issues of murder, punishment, fear and abandonment. But, the young actor who starred as Boy A, was excellent. As an adult, the film and the acting, made me feel guilty and responsible. The actor was believable as Boy A, and deserves an award somewhere in England for his portrayal. He was successful in delivering the message and the feelings for the film. I really loved this film, it was down-to-earth, simple, pertinent, and would not hesitate to give this film a 9, just for the excellent acting of Boy A. But, somehow, because of the subject and excellent acting in this film, brits are afraid to acknowledge this excellent film, for its controversy and realism. Anna Maria D.

Boy A was very thought-provoking and the ending really got to me emotionally. Great acting. Deb G.

Very sad but well done film; acting was brilliant; torn between the horror of the violence of his act, and the acts of "violence"against him so that he is driven to suicide. Interesting portrayal of how his personality was developing from first getting out of prison when he is very insecure and child-like, to becoming more confident as he does his job and develops friendships and a love interest. How sad that an act of heroism, and the interference and persistency of the media, as well as the betrayal of an also insecure peer, all leads to the dissolution of his new life and possible future. Sheila N.

It haunted me. Heather R.

Very thought provoking, remembering the events it is supposedly loosely based on. To see things from the other side (the criminal's) was excellent. Eileen H. One of the most insightful pictures of the year. Les G.

Disturbing. Jenny J.

It was very depressing to think that young kids could be so violent- c'est la vie. Unfortunately, once tarred, you are marred for life. I really felt for the young man who was trying to turn his life around. Where can you go for anonymity??? Mary M.

Simply couldn't breathe through the entire film. Really superb. Maureen M.

Excellent in every way. Heart rending, "sat on the edge of my seat" as I knew it would all end badly. Elizabeth R.

Found this to be one of those “sleepers”. Really challenged my thinking process, and continued to drive reflections for many weeks. Well done, excellent selection for this venue. Diane H.

Again, very thought provoking. Everyone was trying to figure out his place 'in the universe' and the communication of this got lost in daily life. Karen W.



WHEN DID YOU LAST SEE YOUR FATHER?



Two wonderful performances by the lead characters - especially Colin. Kathy S.

Good but did not quite pull off “coming to terms with father” theme. Bob L.

Fantastic performances by both Jim Broadbent and Colin Firth. A touching story of a son coming to terms with his dying father. David B.

When Did You Last See Your Father.......loved the film; so many messages there; parent-children relationships and how we recall them is so subjective. No one can predict what part of a relationship each person is going to choose to recall, and rarely would the 2 people involved agree on the dynamics of individual events. Father very flamboyant; at times could be thought, (and was), cruel and embarrassing, especially by a teenager. I am undecided if the wife/mother was weak or strong.....whichever, she was "longsuffering". I am still trying to decide if the "cousin" was in fact a sister or not. Thought it very interesting that the approach was almost totally the father-son, the father-daughter relationship did not seem to play much of a role. I think the son might have been worried that he might be becoming the image of his father that he held. At the end I think he reconciled his feelings towards his father; we are all human, and have human failings and goodness. Sheila N.

It kind of bored me, but the performances were top-notch. Heather R.

Superb cast; made me laugh and cry. Loreen G.

Wow, I’ve never seen a film that deals so honestly with the effects of believed philandering on a son. Great acting. Great editing. John P.

great movie and cast, brought back some of those mixed feelings towards our parents from childhood and into adulthood. Eileen H.

It is one of the best films I have seen in many years. Larraine B.

very enjoyable - great acting. Marlene C.

Excellent. I enjoyed it very much. The acting was superb, the cinematography was excellent and the story was both moving and disturbing. Gerry F.

Saw it and can't remember. vague memories, obviously didn't resonate with me. Maureen M.

Poignant. Diane B.

Brilliant performances and a careful presentation of a very good memoir; interesting to see how it could be adapted to the screen. Elizabeth R.

Nice, comfortable, film. Some clever dialogue and moments. Diane H.

Amazing look at a clash of cultures and impact of development. Mary W.

Again, a lot of emotion and inner reflections. Good acting. Karen W.

Went through the same thing with my dad and the portrayal of difficult emotions in this movie felt 'real' . Of course, what does Colin Firth not do well! Mary F.



OUTSOURCED



Just loved this one. So today, happening now, caused much conversation with my buddies. Told my friends to rent it a must. Gloria P.

A little too predictable. Kathy S.

I couldn't decide about "Outsourced". While it certainly played well and was true to its genre, I was bothered by the naiveté of Josh. I know that for plot purposes and to make the point of the "Ugly American" type he had to be as portrayed yet no company is going to send a person into that milieu so woefully unprepared nor one so gormless (my mother's favourite Lancashire word for a 'deer-in-theheadlights' person, someone with nothing on the ball). The necessary 'bedding' of the female star was a little much; pandering to the audience which wants a little titillation methinks. Other than that, a nice gentle film with some salient points and some good laughs. A nice ending to the fall season. Chris F.

Romance, travelogue, social commentary, comedy, good acting all combined in an excellent romp. Bob L.

Great movie! A well balanced view of both sides of the issue surrounding the present reality of outsourcing, told with a comedic flair. A definite crowd pleaser. David B.

I really enjoyed the delightfully funny and upbeat Outsourced. Deb G.

Outsourced......great little film.....lots of laughs and smiles. Loved the story line.Relationships that developed among the characters was wonderful. Interesting to learn more about the culture of the country as well. i would highly recommend it. Sheila N.

Good one-person story . Many folks who have experienced this themselves would be able to add much raw reality to this film. Ian D.

It amused me. Heather R.

I laughed, held my breath, learned a lot, loved the setting and what I relearned about India. It actually overcame some of my sorrow for a country. Overcome with population. The ending was a delightful twist. Loreen G.

An entertaining film but extremely weak in plot line. A highly educated, single person is outsourced. The plot line deals only with people with great on-job skills. John P.

Really enjoyed, seeing life on another continent and the realization that the world does not revolve around the USA and its way of seeing things. Eileen H.

This film has affected my behaviour - made me more tolerant and patient - great film. Marlene C.

Entertaining and a glimpse into another culture and what they face in trying to move into the modern world. Les G.

One of my all time favourites - totally entertaining - humorous with serious overtones, romantic yet not sentimental. Surprising at times and thought provoking. An open-ended ending - did she call him in the US ... ? This wasn't the greatest film in some ways but it was totally enjoyable - maybe it was just the need for some escapism due to the world economic. Ruth and Gerry F.

Truly delightful. still makes me laugh. I love the heavy intense movies but was REALLY ready for a light hearted one at that point. Maureen M.

I liked the perspective of India and the little twist in the end. (outsourcers outsourced). Claudette S.

Enjoyed the humour. Diane B.

Was amusing but some of the culture clash circumstances weren’t very original (have been seen in other Indo/US/UK films). Dawn P.

I loved going home feeling good. Carol H.

Think of it every time I am contemplating making a tech support call. Mary W.


LARS AND THE REAL GIRL



Loved the premise of this movie. Ryan Gosling and Patricia Clarkson are two of my favourite actors. Nancy J.

Hilarious. Patti W.

Amazing product, great acting - very charming; the acting and directing made the story plausible. I totally loved the film. Marlene C.

Great film. Audrey M.

A very surprising film; much better than I expected. Gerry F.

A rather bizarre film but an absolutely amazing performance by Ryan Gosling. David B.

Brilliant plot line. Warren B.

I rented it to see it again. Laraine B.

Bought a copy. Terry C.

Quirky and a tiny bit disrespectful of mental disease; silly. Wendy P.

I loved this movie from start to end...great acting, hilarious but very moving...a prototype of what a community could and should do to support an emotionally challenged young man, especially since they knew why he was like that...a wonderful look at what a compassionate, honest physician can do in such a circumstance...great portrayal of soul searching and facing oneself by the brother...Ryan Gosling was fantastic and the rest of the cast also wonderful... the feel of the setting was familiar so I was not surprised to see that it was filmed in Ontario - Uxbridge, I believe... I will add this to my video library for sure and am still looking for box sets of ''6 feet under''! Joanne H.


INTO THE WILD



Beautifully photographed, excellent direction and acting. Too bad it did not get more attention. Abigail C.

A personal journey of self discovery gone awry. How easily something wonderful can turn to tragedy. I left the theatre feeling sad for this boy and his family and very protective of my own son. Marilyn B-C

Quite a story and well done. Audrey M.

Good movie, better than the book and incredible scenery. David B.

Really liked this film. I enjoyed the book and also enjoyed the movie. Let's you know that bad things can happen if you are too arrogant. Missy B.

An amazing film, my 18 year old granddaughter says it's the best thing she's ever seen!! And I agree. Gail W.

Interesting "biopic", beautifully filmed, loved Hal Holbrook. Wendy P.

This was a very well done movie...so well, that as a mother I was uneasy throughout most of it (hence the 9 not 10- maybe it should be 11)...excellent acting and settings, but the sense of foreboding hung too heavy for me, so I would not call it an enjoyable movie...but it was a true story that aptly captured the agony and despair of parents who did not see or hear the effects of their behaviour and values on their son until too late, too late. Joanne H.

Very touching, and emotional movie – I found it very difficult to watch – but I loved it. Anna Maria D.

BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD



Dark and violent but excellent plot and acting. Patti W.

I personally did not like this movie as I watched it. I felt almost sick about the human nature as it was depicted by every character - it was totally black, with no traces of nobility in anyone. The acting and directing were excellent, and after putting some distance between the viewing of the film, I can see how powerful the message was. The film could have been called NO REDEMPTION. Marlene C.

This was a very good movie with an unusual plot. However, I had trouble getting beyond the basic premise which I found extremely disturbing. Marilyn B-C

Too dark, no real conclusion. Mary B.

Incredible movie.......Hoffman has to be one of the best actors I have ever watched; I think he is incapable of a bad performance;...... difficult watching a family destroy itself......everyone was so dysfunctional Sheila N.

Strong cast, unfortunately I think I'm scarred for life after seeing Philip C. Hoffman's bare butt. David. B.

Disturbing -- but interesting camera work -- and Philip Seymour Hoffman always is worth something. Kathy S.

Liked this film. Really starting to think that Mr. Hoffman is being type cast and that he really isn't a nice man.......Missy B.

Super. Gail W.

Excellent film. Laraine B.

Only rated this low due to Phillip Seymour Hoffman's nude scene; otherwise really good. Wendy P.

Interesting, and thought-provoking film. – I loved the films artistic effects, and the intellectual challenges it gave me – loved it. Anna Maria D.

AMAL



The Q&A with Rupinder Nagra and the directors was a real treat. Nancy J.

Depressing but realistic. Patti W.

This was an excellent film with a wonderful story. I would recommend this to anyone! Marilyn B-C

Enjoyed everything about it - great film. Audrey M.

Really enjoyed the actor who came and answered question - gave added insight into the film. Gerry F.

By far my favourite movie that I have seen all year and it was a treat to be able to meet the star, writer and producer. It is the film that I have recommended more than any other this year. David B.

Best film at the film fest so far, in fact best film I've seen all year. Loved this movie and meeting the actor and director. Missy B.

Absolutely wonderful. Gail W.

Not bad, but the ending made it rather pointless. Terry C.

Nearly perfect. Wendy P.

THE SAVAGES



Great acting but too depressing!!! Patti W.

I didn't particularly care for this film. Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Laura Linney were very good but I didn't find the story personally compelling. Marilyn B-C

Excellently performed - thought provoking and grateful for comic relief. Audrey M.

I didn't really enjoy it - maybe it hit close to home and challenged us too much. Gerry F.

The camera work was interesting -- between the white sun and the precipitation. Kathy S.

The motivation for the incident in the bathroom could have been reaction to a bully not dementia. Alexandra G.

Dismal topic, great acting. Warren B.

I thought this was very thought provoking. Laraine B.

Depressing tale of two relatives putting father in a nursing home(!) Terry C.

Perfect. Wendy P.

THE KITE RUNNER



I think my experience of the movie was coloured by having read the book. It was hard not to compare the two and to evaluate the movie on its own terms. The book was more compelling. Nancy J.

Loved the book, loved the film. It was everything I wanted it to be and more. Great acting, great directing. Marlene C.

A respectable screen adaptation but still not quite as good as the book which I rated as one of the best books I've ever read. Marilyn B-C

Could have showed a little more about what happened to the other boy who stayed in Afghanistan and less time on the actually kite flying. Mary B.

One of the best films I've seen. Audrey M.

Read the book first and found the film a sensitive reflection of the thoughts presented in the book. Gerry F.

Again liked the movie better than the book. It was a touching movie that did indeed show that the lead character could be good again. David B.

Terrific. Warren B.

Read the book and was really looking forward to the movie. I wasn't disappointed as I sometimes am after I read the book. Missy B.

Lived up to all my expectations after reading the book-sometimes a film doesn't always support the story-this did! Gail W.

Not as good as the book; loved the actor who portrayed the father. Wendy P Another excellent story that evoked a wide range of emotions and showed both the worst and the best humans have to offer in relationship with each other...the far reaching effects of dishonesty and just how much it takes to make one stand up and speak their truth are ongoing themes in the human experience and well developed here... I felt a profound sadness of how devastating war is on the natural landscape...the devastation then is clearly reflected in the impact it has on the souls of the men and women and children on both sides of the conflict, so barbaric and fear based. Joanne H.

I didn't like it as much as the other films I saw at the festival. It was okay, but not my favourite. Anna Maria D.

THE DIVING BELL



Very Good. Patti W.

I had read the book and found it to be outstandingly inspirational. The film was extremely well done - to visualize the tedious process of writing a book with only a blink of an eye, or of scribing by reciting the alphabet and recording each letter, is to marvel at the creative beauty and compassion which exist in the human mind. This film is totally opposite Before The Devil Knows You're Dead. Marlene C.

An amazing story! Marilyn B-C

Very haunting. Mary B.

Amazing acting -heart wrenching knowing it is a true story. Audrey M.

Another very "moving" story........great direction and approach to the life and "views" of the stroke victim.......a real heart tugger...... the tenacity of his medical support people was incredible. A very disturbing picture of what "locked in syndrome" would be like...... I could feel his frustration and desire to just want to die and end it all. Sheila N.

Good, but disturbing movie. Strong performance from the lead actor who was limited to expressing himself through blinking but still could portray his feelings. David B.

Overwhelming on many levels -- this was amazing camera work. Kathy S.

Dismal topic again, great acting. Warren B.

Again a great film. Very disturbing, caused some tears, but just a fantastic film. Missy B.

What a story! Gail W.

Extremely well filmed. Laraine B.

A stunning piece of work. Jan and Ian Downie

For me, a very bitter-sweet story of courage and inspiration on top of unspeakable catastrophe in one mans life... remarkable rally of support by the women in his life, both former loves and new acquaintances/therapists...thank goodness for what bits of humour there were to offset the entrapment... I keep going back to Roger Ebert's comment: ''at the end we are left with the reflection that human consciousness is the great miracle of evolution, and all the rest (sight, sound, taste, hearing, smell, touch) are simply a toolbox that consciousness has supplied for itself''...he is speaking from some personal experience as well...this movie was well shot to convey, in some measure at least, what it must have been like to be experiencing 'locked in syndrome'... I expect most of us in the audience could identify with at least one of the reactions to jean do depicted by the many people who came in contact with him... I know my 'nurse' self came out for sure, even though I have not actually nursed for decades...this is the show I brought my son to... food for thought/feeling for him as well. Joanne H.

I really loved this film! And its artistic merit – It was one of my favourites. Anna Maria D.

THE BAND'S VISIT



I can't remember when I last laughed out loud in a movie so many times. The roller rink scene was wonderful -- and if I recall correctly the actors don't even say a word after the scene is set up. Nancy J.

A wonderfully quiet story of the most noble human beings in the world. We must all seek to find that gentleness and love within us. I laugh every time I think of the seduction scene where a young Israeli man is being taught how to communicate with a girl. Communication is so important, isn't it. Marlene C.

A little slow in parts but funny. Mary B.

Entertaining. Audrey M.

I enjoyed it, great underlying vein of humour...........a very different group of musicians who just seemed to have somehow fallen together as a "mixed bag". Sheila N.

Nice comedic relief and a treat to see a Jewish/Muslim film without bloodshed. David BAudrey M.

One of the best ever shown at Ancaster Filmgroup, the female lead was Oscar worthy. So much better than someone with an English accent mimicking the Queen. Brilliant. Warren B.

Just a bit of fluff that I enjoyed. A few good chuckles. Missy B.

Enjoyable, but didn't catch my heart as the others had. Gail W.

Could have been funny, but really went nowhere. Terry C.

An excellent portrayal of relationship among and also self reflection of many different characters, very real ones, that clearly raises the question ''why do we fight and kill each other when we are really all the same inside?''...excellent use of the landscape as with the kite runner, to reflect the emotions of the characters...good use of humour at the roller skating arena...and a look at music and how it can help us overcome the worst of pain. Joanne H.

I also loved this film, and the scenery was spectacular, even though it looked desolate. Anna Maria D.

A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION



I know that it was supposed to be good, the cast was excellent but the movie just didn't appeal to me. David and Missy B.

Enjoyable but not that demanding a film to watch. Gerry F.

I have heard the radio show and found it entertaining. Dave T.

Interesting subject. Margaret T.

Glad to have a chance to see this before it came to hamilton..know lots of people who saw it afterwards and didn't like it at all (mainly younger folk) we both really enjoyed it Wendy V.

Great story and acting. Terri Ann T.

8: I didn’t know all those people could sing John P.

Excellent film! The movie was haunting in so many ways; it stayed with me for days. Definitely worth seeing again. The acting was outstanding. I have a new respect for Lyndsay Lohan's acting talent; she created such a believable character, which touched me deeply. Maureen C.

Great performances, but the story didn't engage me. Heather R.




A SIMPLE CURVE


I enjoyed this film very much, and was able to relate to its significance as a film, its message, and its beauty. I pleasantly watched this film, and was touched, with a message that could speak to our modern way of thinking. The cinematography alone was breathtaking. Maria D.

I really enjoyed this - an all round good movie that drew you in with strong lead characters and spectacular scenery that created a sharply realistic feel. Margaret T.

Didn't know what to expect but this movie is a good example of why we attend. We both would give it a 9 at least. beautiful acting and scenery and great story. Wendy V.

Loved the story Terri Ann T.

Good performances, but I could barely stay awake. Heather R.

C.R.A.Z.Y. did a better job of father-son relationships. John P.

Great acting, beautiful scenery and great character dynamics. Sylvia B.

This was a great movie, the kind that I come to the Film Festival for. A Good Canadian Movie that stood on its own without a big Hollywood budget. David and Missy B.




JOURNALS OF KNUD RASMUSSEN>


Knud Rasmussen had great subject matter and beautiful scenery, but I found it very hard to follow the plot and it was rather slow. Curve seemed more like an-hour-and-a-half long big-screen soap opera. Ron B.

Journals could have been a great 1 hour documentary. Charles G.

I really, really, enjoyed this film. I don't think alot of people could appreciate it, but I think it was very well written, directed, and staged. It had a very moving message. Though some would think it was boring, I never thought the film was at all. I liked this film very much because the quality was very high. I think it was even better than the other films. Maria D.

I got "car-sick" 20 minutes into it from the camera work...looked down at the floor for the rest of the film....made trying to read the subtitles very difficult! Kathy R.

Might be a 10, but I’m still mulling the contents John P.

Poor- because I either just wasn't getting it, or because I had expected something else entirely. Most likely my fault for not preparing enough (ie. checking into exactly what I was seeing!). The spirit sex scared me, and I was left with the feeling that this was like March of the Penguins, but with people, and without Morgan Freeman's lovely over dubs. Why the hell didn't they just head south? Sylvia B.

A very challenging film to watch, most interesting but not as enjoyable as others. Gerry F.

Oh dear- I was so frustrated by the length of the Rasmussen film that I was beyond the point where I could find any positive in it. Looking back - sure it had some great points of value but I question whether it was worth the long sit. Elaine S.

I really wish to avoid ever having an experience like my wife, mother-in-law and I had last night. The most difficult part of the movie was literally staying awake. It presented a film basically without plot, theme or character development that went no where. Most of it was filmed in such extreme close up that it was really eye-straining. Even my mother-in-law, who usually loves everything, hated it. The most fun we had was afterwards cutting the movie up. We even devised a plan to show up at the second sitting to warn others! :-) Terry C.

This was not a typical crowd pleaser but it was fascinating. There were so many different levels and things happening in this film where hardly anything seemed to be happening. Please keep showing unique works like this. Margaret T.




WORDPLAY


Wordplay is something that intrigues me and I often wondered how puzzles were designed. Shortz was great - John P. tells me he was one of the minds behind Games Magazine as well! I almost felt like staying for the 7:00 showing that night. Ruth F.

Was also a very enjoyable film for me to watch, and something I could also identify with, since I enjoy Crossword puzzle too. But, it was documentary-like, and it really didn't try to share any social messages. It was funny, and fun to watch. I liked this film very much. Maria D.

Neither of us do crosswords. However, it was a good little film and very interesting. One that we have certainly talked about perhaps more than the others this season. Wendy V.

Very enjoyable, very well done, but it helps to like crosswords and other puzzles! Gerry F.

Fun movie, informative documentary Terri Ann T.

Saw it, loved it. Liked the documentary like presentation. I am a crossword buff and really learned a lot about how they are put together. Highly recommended. 10. Sheila N.

Who knew crosswords and crossword fans could be so interesting?! Sylvia B.

8. Probably would have been lower, but I’m a big fan of Will Shortz John P.

I'm still not a big fan of Documentaries but must admit that this one wasn't bad. I learned some things I didn't know and enjoyed learning about that Crossword Masters. David and Missy B.

Has me trying the crosswords! Diane B.

Fascinating treatment of the NY Crossword Puzzle Tournament. I enjoyed watching all of the contestants prepare for and participate in the 2005 competition. I worked on a crossword right after seeing the movie. Loved the documentary. Well done. Maureen C.




JOYEUX NOEL


Hi – I made it to only 2 films this year, and I rate Joyeux Noel as one of the best films I have ever seen – so a 10 + Lourdes J.

Joyeux Noel deserves a 10. It is by far the most powerful movie I have ever seen. Prairie comes a close second - 9.5. Marilyn M.

Absolutely an incredible movie; have recommended it to everyone. The only part I would question as being realistic is having a women present on the battlefield, but poetic license I guess and it made for a wonderful story. It was so moving; difficult keeping a dry eye. Would put it in the same category as A Beautiful Life I think it was…. the Italian movie that was so highly awarded a few years ago. I will be buying this video for my personal library. Grade as 10+++ Sheila N.

9: Not quite as good as A Very Long Engagement. John P.

Such brilliant film!! Very powerful and surprisingly uplifting film on WWI - horror and tragedy are not minimized, but the nobility of the fraternizing soldiers daring to break the code of hatred for the enemy on the eve of their first Christmas at war elevated this film to great heights - war brings out the best and/or the worst in people. Maureen C.

Excellent, a very enjoyable film, it seemed a little contrived at times but it was most interesting and moving. Gerry F.




HALF NELSON


I enjoyed Half Nelson very much, especially Shareeka Epps' performance. She seemed wise beyond her years and her facial expressions, were subtle but affecting. I also liked that a major turning point of the movie (in the motel room near the end) was done very subtly, as another filmmaker might have forced it more. I would give it a 7-8. Abigail C.

Thank you to both you and your gang that put these seasons together. We really do look forward to our Monday evenings at the theater. I am glad that you are not afraid to put forward excellent films (Paradise Now, Half Nelson) even though they might disturb some of your members. We appreciate your efforts. David B.

The story was so depressing that I could not see if the film had any redeeming value! Dave T.

Did not see and was very disappointed this was evening only as evening showings are difficult for me and this was the film I most wanted to see as I prefer films with an 'edge'. Carol T.

Not an easy movie to watch but great acting and lots of symbolism. made you think. Wendy V.

Parts on drugs I found disturbing - a very "dark" movie Maureen R.

Gritty, real, important subject matter Terry Ann T.

This was a good movie, with great acting. Not as depressing as I thought it would be, and I was left with a feeling of redemption for the 2 main characters, as long as they could draw strength from one another. One scene that did really impress me was when the teacher went to his parent’s home for dinner…each generation seems to have their own drug…for the parents it is alcohol, for the teacher cocaine. I would rate as 8…because not everyone would like the story line. Sheila N.

Still has me thinking. Diane B.

Enjoyed the pacing and exploration of human frailities. Really appreciated the open ending- not everything has to be tied up neatly! Sylvia B.

I admire your bravery for screening a film like Half Nelson without havin g seen it. For me as good as CRASH, and i picked CRASH to win the Oscar standing in the parking lot 10 minutes after i watched it and never changed my mind in the 8 months that ensued. Not an easy movie to sit through but brilliant nevertheless. Warren B.

Loved this film and especially Ryan Gosling's Oscar-calibre performance! Did you see how much emotion he conveyed with only a stare? Hated the shaky filming at the beginning, but that soon passed. Loved that the story wasn't conventional! Heather R.

A good movie that did a fine job in portraying the characters realities. It was disturbing and depressing. I couldn't help but feel for the characters as they struggled. David and Missy B.


CATCH A FIRE


Excellent portrayal of South Africa. Having visited two of the townships in South Africa, I was impressed with the authenticity of the message and the way the climate of the country was captured. Anne N.

A fantastic movie - very moving. Gail L.

It was a very powerful film, with powerful acting, and a very intense message. I loved it very much, and would place it second to my favourite film in the Festival, because it was very difficult to choose my favourite this year. Maria D.

Great film, very graphic, kind of in the group with “Blood Diamond” Diane H.

Fantastic story, superb acting. Gerry F.

Powerful, Igniting film. Maureen H.

I loved this film. Anna Maria D.

The terrible things that went on in apartheid South Africa are not news to us but how they led to the creation of terrorists was the real story here. Marilyn B.C.

Fabulous acting, authentic settings...gruesome injustice in spite of good intentions … amazing overcoming by the human spirit...you just wish the west would leave Africa alone!! Joanne H.

Very thought provoking of a horrible time in S. Africa's history Eileen H.

Sensitive subject, well done, excellent performances David and Missy B.

We really enjoyed Catch a Fire. It was well done in our opinion Jim D.

I really enjoyed the movie. Very thought provoking. Thanks a lot. Nancy B.

I was speechless after viewing Catch the Fire. I really appreciate the introduction for the film as it enriches the experience for me. Thanks for your efforts. Pat P.


VOLVER



I liked it...but it was different... i am just thankful for people like you and your team which allow us the opportunity to see these films. Wendi V.

I was a little on the fence, a bit, with this film. I don't think I enjoyed this film as much as I would have if not for the lovely story about tradition and surviving, I don't think it made a very great impact on me. But, I did enjoy it. Can't wait for the next film....even it doesn't move me as much. I love the opportunity you bring to the Ancaster Film Fest. See you at the Movies. Maria D.

I really enjoyed Volver. I look forward to the Ancaster Film Festival movie night. Thank you to all. Brenda W.

Yes, we did come to Volver (I had to leave early from work!).. Great movie! We really enjoyed it. I was glad the room was almost full (as the earlier screening, as we were told). I hope it is the same in all your screenings, not only for a movie as popular and as known as the Volver. I do insist however, that something must be done to attract younger crowds to it; from what I saw last night (and in other nights), the average age is more than 50. (Yes, I agree, a time slot change is not the cure for it.) Nicholas C.

Penelope is wonderful Wendi V.

This quirky story was entertaining. Loved the mother! Marilyn B.C.

Wasn't a huge fan of Penelope, but she was great in this movie as were the other women Betty Z.

Beautifully portrayed look at how women survive and thrive told with humour and grace...an enlightened male who made this Joanne H.

Very pleasant and funny film, which left me with very good feelings at the end - a great deal of hope. Also I loved the acting of Penelope Cruz. I think it was one of her best acting I have personally seen. Anna Maria D.

Cinematography was exceptional – loved the story line and that tongue in cheek approach. Penelope Cruz was wonderful. Diane H.

Enjoyed this film very much - the acting was outstanding - very good. Marlene C.

Great performance by Penelope Cruz, moving story with moments of comedy. David and Missy B.

A very strong film with a good performance by a popular actress. Witty, unique film. Maureen H.
Volver was wonderful. Although some of the subject matter was disturbing it was dealt with in a tactful way. The relationships between the women were delightful and the acting was superb. I loved the mother and the way the daughters and the whole village interacted with her. The scene with her in the trunk of the car was great. See you at the movies Kathy S.

I really enjoyed Volver and was really glad to be able to see it through Ancaster Film Fest. Otherwise, I would have had to wait until April. Abigail C.

No doubt you've received lots of positive response from appreciative viewers of Volver, but I'd like to add my voice. I loved it and will probably see it many times over on dvd when it's available. Thanks for making it available to us film fest subscribers. In your introduction to Volver you mentioned several other Almodovar movies, none of which I have seen. Any chance of a special side series featuring this director? Looking forward to Snow Cake. Margaret T.



SNOW CAKE - THE DANISH POET


Just an incredible movie!!! David and Missy B.

Enjoyed this film equally well - enjoyed the drama integrated in the Canadian setting Marlene C.

Definitely worth seeing again. Sigourney Weaver was amazing in this part – it was a great use of her natural style. Diane H.

One of the best character studies! Alyssa M.

I had difficulty understanding both the plot and the symbolism. The cinematography was excellent. Anne N.

Very enjoyable, wonderful acting. Gerry F.

Wonderful on so many levels. Wonderful acting, great story. Sigourney Weaver had the mannerisms of an autistic person perfectly. If you didn’t “buy” her acting, then the rest of the movie didn’t work but it did. There was so much wisdom in the film…. The importance of forgiveness of others and yourself, not judging others by appearances, moving on with your life after tragedy, living for today etc. Gwynneth S.

Story line a little heavy, but acting was fabulous - loved the ending! Betty Z.

This was tremendous acting by all concerned ...another very poignant topic...relationships and hardships and taking the higher ground in the end...Sigourney great as an autistic mom...new young actress as the daughter excellent...Ryckman and Moss also terrific...a real feel of our northland for sure Joanne H.

An informative look at a person living with autism. Eileen H.

A very beautiful film. Very poignant, and moving. Testing my emotions of anger and love. The simplicity was so effective, with help from great acting like Sigourney Weaver and others. Anna Maria D.

Canadian Film with a difficult subject (autism) northern characters & locations great photography, unknown actors.

Loved the films and loved the interactive with Jayne Eastwood... Good work - we have been members since you started and both really enjoy this wonderful addition to Ancaster! Thanks for all your hard work. Jennifer and Jim P.

Kudos to you and your team for picking another winning movie – 2 actually including the Danish Poet. I loved the simplicity of Snow Cake and the insight it projected. Acting was superb. And what a wonderful idea and bonus for us to see The Danish Poet. My son is in his last year in Animation at Sheridan, and I have since been educated on how much work goes into the animated films! Theirs was shown at the International Animation Film Festival in Ottawa last Sept, and then taken to Istanbul and Taiwan and may end up in Portland. Lourdes Y-J.


THE ITALIAN



Very gritty setting in a Russian orphanage, surrounded by a waste land with few sympathetic characters. Nonetheless, certain people do rise above the rotten lot they have been dealt. Few or no professional actors. This one will really open the sluice gates. The last shot says it all...well filmed to portray the mood of the piece…again we see the power of the human spirit to move both young and old to sacrifice everything to reach a goal...heart-warming Joanne H.

I am so grateful to the AFF for choosing films that encourage us to look into our hearts for compassion for the tough & sad existence of the children of the new Russia while a few get rich off their backs. It's disgusting as is all abuse of innocent children in every country! Josephine T.

Didn't see this film but heard marvelous comments from those who did. I'll see this on video for sure. Marlene C.




THE PAINTED VEIL


I loved this movie and think it is one of my all time favourites. Sandra C.

Predictable but lovely scenery and a well matched cast Alyssa M.

Loved it and what you told us about the movie prior to its start. Wendi W.

Really enjoyed the drama of this film - very glad I saw it. - I enjoyed also the beautiful Chinese settings Marlene C.

The scenery was beautiful – but bit of a predictable tear jerker. Diane H.

Wonderful story, great acting, incredible scenery. Gwynneth S.

I'm a big Ed Norton fan. I bought the book for my son as we didn't get the "painted veil" connection in the movie and we were curious as to what the title referenced to in the story. Marilyn B.C.

Amazing movie - cinematography was outstanding, as were all of the actors Betty Z.

Glorious, the perfection of human imperfection and how that plays out in the most difficult of conditions...betrayal, honesty, sacrifice, forgiveness, passion, pain, joy, integrity, irony...scenery and music to reflect the majesty and the sorrow of the lives of the characters portrayed...this movie stayed with me for days and days...a real tribute to all involved Joanne H.

Really enjoyed this movie, very interesting look into what was happening in China in the 1920/30's. Loved the acting, scenery and generally the whole experience (except having to sit in the front section as the house was so packed) Eileen H.

I loved this film, especially Edward Norton. The film's scenery was breathtaking, and the story was a very good adaptation to film because the characters were revealed cleverly. It showed the many flaws and humaneness of people during that time in history. It also showed the brilliance of the author himself. The film did not take away from the greatness of the original book. I loved it, and I especially loved the acting of Norton. It was one of my favourites. Anna Maria D.

My son and I both attended the screening of "The Painted Veil" and enjoyed it immensely. The lines in the film were distracting for about the first 3 minutes. After that I think that I just tuned them out as you do when you are watching vintage films. Marilyn B-C

FANTASTIC film last night. It has "stayed with me". The textures and senses were just remarkable - haven't been to a movie where all the senses were operating for a long while!!It is rare that after seeing a film, I want to go back and reread the reviews but this one I wanted to nod my head as I reread the critics comments to say - "you got it!!" Thanks also for the short! Elaine S.

I couldn't resist seeing both the Painted Veil and The Italian yesterday and they were both amazing. Thank you for once again orchestrating a wonderfully entertaining evening. Liz K.

I really did enjoy "The Italian" yesterday and look forward to seeing "The Lives of Others". Both could perhaps be described as "living hell". Marion F.

I just want to say what a great movie you selected in the Painted Veil. As well, we appreciate all the work and passion you and your team put into this endeavour. Fernando G.

I just loved the Painted Veil. The story was simply amazing. I thought Ed Norton made the film spectacular. He was beautiful, and I think I fell in love with him in this film. I'm sad I didn't get to see the Italian at 4 pm, but I am really looking forward to the next amazing, inspiring, sensational, intellectual, valuable, ............ film. Well done, Maria D.

I particularly enjoyed The Painted Veil, because some of it seemed to be filmed in Guilin an area which I have visited [it was indeed filmed in this area] and which is a very beautiful place. Also, my father was stationed in Hong Kong in the 20's with the British Navy and was always up the rivers, particularly, the Yangtze, as part of "Gunboat Diplomacy". There is a book called "Treaty Ports: 1843-1943, a bit boring to read but explains the various nations that tried to trade with parts of China at that time. The Englishman in the film could have been right out of the book. Pat M.



THE LIVES OF OTHERS



Another gritty one, makes one thankful to live in a free society. A look at how much time and effort is spent on useless tasks while society crumbles. A salutary lesson!!

The “Lives of Others” is one of those rare films that crosses over all boundaries. The film successfully explored the search for “goodness” in the unlikeliest of places. The film pushes us to think about the very nature of what is good and evil and how one keeps hold of goodness within the constraints of our lives. Awesome film. Tina D.

Hard to follow but well acted Alyssa M.

Did not see this film but really want to see it on video. Again I heard great comments. Marlene C.

Incredibly moving story, One of the best most thought provoking movies I've seen. Jaskot

The most compelling subtitled movie I've ever seen. The characters were so realistic at portraying the paranoia & madness of power hungry warmongers & the tragedy of besetting friend against friend. A frightening & unnerving thought! Josephine T.

Wonderful on so many levels. A real joy to see. Incredible story and great acting. As one critic said, knowing the lives of others either gives you great power or humanity. How wonderful to see the latter happen even though it was at great expense to the individual. Gwynneth S.

I thought this was a tremendous movie. My son missed out on it as he was out of town for the screening. He insisted on me telling him the entire story which was easy to do since it was so vivid in my mind. He was quite impressed and is anxious to see it when it becomes available on video. Marilyn B.C.

I cried when the Stasi agent opened the book to find it dedicated to him...again, someone choosing the higher path even though it meant putting himself at risk. Ironic and so sad and so inspiring.. to witness the suicide of the actress (she did not understand her audience as he interviewed her), but the playwright did understand his sacrifice and acknowledged him in a very moving way with the dedication of the book...he would not have know n for sure if that agent had heard him play the 'sonata for a good man' nor that his love had called that same agent 'a good man' in the bar...wonderfully intimate in horrifically fearful times...mood well portrayed by the filming also. Joanne H.

Hard to believe this was history happening in our times. Eileen H.

I liked that film very much too. Was also one of my favourites of the Film Fest also. It was very frightening to see this happening in the modern world. Anna Maria D.

Outstanding, very moving, disturbing, well worth seeing a second time! Gerry F.

Needs to be seen again – very intricate story with many layers. Because of the subtitles, I suspect I missed a lot of the more subtle moments. Diane H.

This film was very well done. Laraine B.

Powerful, gripping film. Maureen H.


AWAY FROM HER



Julie Christie is beautiful and Sarah did a wonderful job with this film Wendi W.

This film was so poignant and emotional to watch. I marvel over the talent not only of the actors but also of Sarah Polley as director. She has an amazing talent depicting the human conditions as they are. She puts Canada on the map Marlene C.

Absolutely the best portrayal of a heart-wrenching time that happens all too often. The acting, the story, the presentation all came together. Diane H.

It just didn’t work for me. I have 2 parents with Alzheimer’s so I know the pitfalls first hand but I found the screenplay boring. Gwynneth S.

Congrats to Sarah Polley. The story was a little too real for us. What a great approach to an awful disease. - The actors were wonderful and it was nice to see familiar scenery. Betty Z.

Found the acting quite stilted at times, but a somewhat scary look at what may be ahead for some of us. Eileen H.

While very well done it left me feeling down and somewhat hanging. Gerda and Don M.

To tell the truth, I did not really think this film was as good as the other films in the Festival. The film did not affect me emotionally, as much as I was expecting. The great acting of Gordon Pinsent made this movie worth watching. Maria D.

My friend Janice & I are thrilled to be members of the AFF especially when you show films of this calibre. For me, seeing this movie was a deeply moving & spiritual experience that persuades us to look at life & death & the complexities of enduring relationships. I felt especially challenged to think about how little we know about ourselves & what we may be capable of forfeiting in the name of love & compassion. Josephine T.

I felt quite angry and depressed after this film. I'm not sure why, perhaps because the nursing home scene is part of my life. I suppose this strong reaction proves the quality of Away From Her. Grace S.

There were a lot of parts of the film that were unbelievable. For instance having someone so self-possessed and actually putting herself into the home is not the way it happens—these people lose confidence very quickly and tend to cling to what they can still remember. Also, all those patients at all those table playing bridge??? That requires exceptional memory, those people would likely even have trouble with Euchre, Bingo might be possible?? Also, I have never known that an institution would require a 30 day visit-free period. The film has the mark of a very young, inexperienced, director with little knowledge of Alzheimers. However, I must go back and read the story. The film “IRIS” with Judi Dench is much more real. I would like to hear from someone who actually works currently in one of these institutions. Mary A.

Comments from the x-c ski instructor were great! Gave the film another dimension. Sarah Polley is an excellent actress & filmmaker and I feel she is more respected around the world than in Canada. Something has to change! Lynne P.

Sarah Polley is showing signs of brilliance, looking forward to her future works. Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent manipulated the audience's heart strings with their brilliant performances. David and Missy B.

This film left me feeling such a sense of hope yet at the same time a sense of sadness, an excellent film. Laraine B.

Totally Canadian with two stars in the cast. Many kudos to Sarah Polley. This should be seen by everyone.

Great acting, a good story line for a difficult subject. Maureen H.

Away From Her was also memorable but obviously somewhat depressing and not for everyone. While I thought it was well done it is not one that I could generally recommend to other people. Les G.

THE NAMESAKE



Very moving. Hans & Erika B.

I could feel how cold and stark and lonely an immigrant's life must be when they first come to Canada or to the northern USA as in this movie. This movie also shows how teens everywhere long to fit in and conform until they develop self esteem and the ability to value their own uniqueness. Mary F.



LA VIE EN ROSE



Piaf was portrayed extremely well. It left me mesmerized long after the movie was done. Al W.

We think the power of the music influenced us in giving this a 10! Nancy J.

Are big fans of Edith Piaf. Hans & Erika B.

Fabulous acting. Wendi V.

A little disjointed for me as I love chronological order. I printed off her biography off the internet after the movie which then enlightened me as to who everyone was in the movie. Patti W.

AMAZING GRACE



They did an amazing job portraying period, the topic, and how it happened back then........I know there are many similarities in then and now, but THEN there was more room for spontaneity, perhaps because the media was slower. Al W.

Absolutely wonderful in every respect. Kathy S.

An educational as well as an enjoyable film. Wendi V.

Very well acted. And a very good story….I was unaware of the role the English had played in this slave transfer industry. I was quite intrigued with how the bill finally got passed….sort of through the back door. Sheila N.

Very well done film. Stephanie A.

I couldn't talk for 10 minutes after this movie the lump in my throat was so huge. I thought I knew just about everything about the slave trade. What a good man with a good cause and perseverance can do! Mary F.

I loved it as I studied British history in university. Patti W.

Epic. Marlene C.



SHAKE HANDS WITH THE DEVIL



I'm amazed at the number of cruel, self-centred, greedy people in the world that show no regard for other humans. At the same time, I'm equally amazed at the number of loving, caring, helping people in the world who love their fellow man. Al W.

Very disturbing, especially since not much has changed since. Hans and Erika B.

Haunting. Wendi V.

I was anticipating a very sad story, but in no way was I prepared for this movie….it was overwhelming….definitely did not have the " Hollywood kiss' on it. The lead actor was amazing, and should be given every acting award available….he did not "act", he seemed to live the character of Dallaire. He made you feel the anguish, torment and frustration of the situation. How angry and disappointed it made me feel of the Western world who continues to allow this genocide to go on. In the scene where Dallaire "cuts" himself, I was so moved and totally accepting of that as a means of trying to release some of the pain he had. This is an incredible film…. needs to be seen world wide….and by all ages. Perhaps we need to feel the anguish and see the horror, and then there will be some changes effected. I would recommend….with a box of Kleenex to accompany you. Sheila N.

Even now I wonder how this really could have happened. It makes me value what we have here in Canada all the more. Mary F.

First film I've seen which actually comes very close to the book on which it's based. John P.

(Important film - but as a narrative film, it struggled). Tina D.

Outstanding!!! Patti W.

Although difficult to watch at times, this film captures the catastrophic events of the Rwanda massacre. Marlene C.

WAITRESSS



Very delightful. Hans and Erika B.

Keri was terrific. Am still singing the song. Wendi V.

The characters were very well written and rich and one of the messages I really liked was that if you are good to others, you never know how you just might be repaid. I also liked the quirky humour. Abigail C.

An excellent film, well worth watching. It lead to a lot of thought-provoking discussion with Ruth and her experience with the girls at the Manor. Gerry F.

This movie had it all! very thought provoking and entertaining. Stephanie A.

For a few days I had a craving for pie. John P.

Quirky!! I loved it Patti W.

Loved it. Marlene C.

MON MEILLEUR AMI



Excellent movie, by the way. I rate "Ami" a 10 !!!!!!!!! it certainly made me think about my friendships and life………………..and called my best friend when i got home !!!! Lourdes J.

I enjoyed this movie. It was funny and contained a lot of 'food for thought'. Al W.

Very enjoyable. Hans and Erika B.

Not my favourite but very good. How about Hugh Grant for the lead? Wendi V.

What an incredible film……humour and pathos all in one sitting. Really made one question what makes a "friend", and also how we treat and keep friends……the nurturing that is required to maintain that very sensitive bond that ties people together. The acting was great and very natural; you could relate to the two men on an even scale, which indicates we are all the same under the skin I guess. Highly recommend. Sheila N.

Another excellent film. Worth a second viewing due to the need to read the subtitles and therefore missing some of the acting. It too lead to much discussion among the "walking group" - particularly - is there a difference between how men and women experience "best friends". Gerry F.

Very enjoyable film...loved the 2 main characters. Stephanie A.

Certainly better than what passes as "Blockbuster". It's interesting to note that the cynicism of people who use people isn't limited to what I would have called American mentality. John P.

The best film I've seen in a long time. The theme, the acting, the humour, - wonderful. Marlene C.




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