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David House [Film Festival 09.04.20]

While it's already wrapped, our coverage of Fantasia International Film Festival's 2020 virtual edition continues with another batch of capsule reviews.

Stay tuned for more coverage to come!

The Oak Room

During a raging snowstorm, a drifter returns home to a blue-collar bar in the remote Canadian town where he was born. When he offers to settle an old debt with a grizzled bartender by telling him a story, the night's events quickly spin into a dark tale of mistaken identities, double-crosses, and shocking violence.

This is an excellently made film in every regard. All of the acting is very strong. The script is adapted by playwright Peter Galloway from his own award-winning play. Although the dialogue-driven story is set in a couple of bars and doesn't feature a lot of action, the cinematography and music do a great job in creating tension and moving the film along at a brisk pace. I particularly enjoyed the performance of RJ Mitte, who I hadn't seen in seven years since his work as Walter White Jr. in the TV show “Breaking Bad.”

Although it's always best to see films in the theatre, I don't think that The Oak Room suffers so much as some more cinematic fare in being viewed at home on monitors and TV screens.


There's some nice dark humor and a bit of good music in this fine drama from Poland.

Mary is a 50-year-old virgin who lives in an apartment filled with her collection of statues of the Virgin Mary. On her 50th birthday, a visit to her doctor brings a diagnosis of the onset of menopause and a prescription of hormone therapy patches. The resulting awakening of Mary's long-dormant libido takes the film on a wild and crazy and highly entertaining ride.

Climate of the Hunter

Like a couple of other films at this year's Fantasia film festival, this movie deals with the question of whether one of the characters is actually a vampire.

This is a drama, with horror hovering over it, set in a hunting lodge in the woods. A reunion after 20 long years of a couple of most interesting sisters with the mysterious Wesley. Add in someone's daughter, and someone elses resentful son; stir in a history of psychotic episodes, delusional disorder, and an institutionalized wife. Add several evenings of fancy meals, lots of wine, stargazing trysts on the porch at midnight, and be prepared to have some fun on this strange weekend.

Is Wesley really a monster, and what kind? You will be surprised, perhaps amused, or titillated, maybe annoyed, or even scared, but you will be entertained.

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