We asked Toronto critics and film writers to tell us what film they’d recommend to their moms for National Canadian Film Day 150 (NCFD 150). If you’re looking for suggestions for your mom (or for yourself), here are a few of their picks to get you started.
Many critics picked beautiful, emotionally stirring dramas for their moms. Makes sense to us.
The big winner was Philippe Falardeau’s MONSIEUR LAZHAR. National Post’s Chris Knight said “I would tell my mom to watch [it], and to follow it up with anything/everything else he’s done. It’s a wonderfully touching story.” CBC’s Eli Glasner agreed, telling us that “with the tumultuous world we live in the themes of isolation and dislocation seem ever-more prescient in this quiet gem.”
Geoff Pevere (a critic, author, teacher and Program Director of the Rendezvous With Madness Film Festival) thought the best pick for mom would be Sarah Polley’s AWAY FROM HER.
Another vote for Sarah Polley came from the Toronto Star’s film critic (and president of the Toronto Film Critics Association), Peter Howell. He’d recommend STORIES WE TELL to his mom, who he thinks “would be fascinated by the family secrets Sarah Polley unearths and addresses.”
Norm Wilner (the senior film writer for NOW Magazine and the host of Someone Else’s Movie, your new favourite podcast) would suggest his mother watch THIRTY-TWO SHORT FILMS ABOUT GLENN GOULD, “since it combines her fascination with eccentric artists and her love of classical music. And the structure is just experimental enough to be enticing instead of alienating.”
Norm’s colleague at NOW, Susan G. Cole, selected Deepa Mehta’s WATER because “it’s by a brave filmmaker who cares about women. And it’s spectacularly shot.”
Of course, not everyone wants to show their mom a tear-jerker on NCFD 150. We were pleased to see that a few writers went the comedy route.
Barry Hertz of The Globe & Mail thought the “the easy crowd-pleaser STARBUCK” would be the right fit for mom, while Jason Gorber (critic at ScreenAnarchy.com and CTV NewsChannel’s weekly Sunday movie segment) would recommend GOON. (No, Jason’s mom isn’t a die-hard hockey fan. Jason wouldn’t just recommend GOON to her; he’d recommend it to absolutely everyone.)
Only Greg Klymkiw (writer, filmmaker and self-proclaimed “curmudgeon of cinema”) recommended something that’s not on our 150 Canadian Films list at all. His pick for mom is the bloody and hilarious slasher film Father’s Day, by the Winnipeg filmmaking collective Astron 6.
We’re not sure we’d recommend that one to our moms, but we bet there are some moms out there who would love it!