Meg Shields

TIFF 2021 | Dune (Denis Villeneuve, US/Hungary)

By Meg Shields / September 13, 2021

By Meg Shields In retrospect, Denis Villeneuve’s career has always been hurtling toward Dune, given its fateful melange of unadaptable sci-fi (Arrival), closely guarded cult objects (Blade Runner 2049), and morally fraught political sandstorms (Sicario). Adapting the first half of Frank Herbert’s monumental sci-fi novel, Dune begins with an uneasy exchange of power: the transfer…

Read More

Knives Out (Rian Johnson, US) — Special Presentations

By Meg Shields / September 13, 2019

By Meg Shields Knives Out is a massively fun, if blissfully unsubtle, old-school whodunnit from Star Wars helmer Rian Johnson. The film takes place in a manor presumably built by the same contractor behind Laurence Olivier’s mansion in Sleuth, and revolves around the mysterious death of the Thrombrey family’s patriarch, Harlan (Christopher Plummer). The writing…

Read More

Clemency (Chinonye Chukwu, US) — Gala Presentations

By Meg Shields / September 10, 2019

By Meg Shields Clemency was awarded the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance festival, and maybe it’s time we accept that the altitude is having some pernicious effect on Utah audiences. The film follows Bernadine Williams (Alfre Woodard), a beleaguered Death Row warden who takes her job very seriously, but is starting to feel…

Read More

My English Cousin (Karim Sayad, Switzerland/Qatar) — TIFF Docs

By Meg Shields / September 8, 2019

By Meg Shields My English Cousin is probably what it would actually feel like to be a fly on the wall: people scratch their asses, bicker harmlessly with loved ones, and pack and repack their bags. It’s a hard truth: most people just aren’t that interesting. The documentary follows director Karim Sayad’s cousin Fahed, who…

Read More

My Life as a Comedian (Rojda Sekersöz, Sweden/Belgium) — Discovery

By Meg Shields / September 7, 2019

By Meg Shields Within the first several minutes of My Life as a Comedian, it becomes readily apparent that something terrible is going to happen: the kind of inevitable third-act tragedy that leaves now-grown protagonists with weighty shoulders and instant recoil at the mention of hometowns. This is certainly the case with Juha, a now…

Read More