The Whistler Film Fest starts today and there’s so much on offer that it’s a little overwhelming. With over 23 world premieres and 17 Canadian premieres, it’s a hot ticket event. I’ve compiled a list of my top picks for each day of the festival: an easy guide to help you sort through everything going on. For a complete list, check it out here.
The festival opens with the Western Canada premiere of La La Land @6:30! Starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone, this musical from Damien Chazelle has been a big Oscar contender since it’s August premiere at the Venice Film Fest.
From the Land of the Moon @3pm (subtitled). Marion Cotillard refuses to accept a loveless marriage, and is treated as mentally ill in her small town. Also Friday 10:30am.
Miss Sloane @6:30pm. Another Oscar contender, this one for Jessica Chastain’s performance as a lobbyist who won’t back down. Also Friday 3:30pm, Sunday 10pm.
Bear With Us @6:30pm. Trouble ensues in this romantic comedy after a man convinces his girlfriend to go into the woods to overcome a fear of bears. Also Friday 12:30pm.
Mostly Sunny @9pm. The story of a Sarnia-born Indian-Canadian who became a Penthouse Pet of the Year, porn star, and now Bollywood film actress, and the difficulties she must deal with as people reject her career choices.
An American Dream: The Education of William Bowman @10pm. If you’re looking for a satirical look at post-Donald Trump America, then you’ve come to the right place. Also Sunday 6pm.
Land of Mine @12pm (subtitled). A tense post-WWII drama based on the true story of German POWs removing landmines by hand on Danish beaches. Suspenseful, emotional, and a moving anti-war essay all rolled into one.
Last Days of Summer @2:30pm. Character actor William Fichtner has no passion in his life until meeting the beautiful young woman who just moved in next door. It’s Hitchcockian, slow-building, with a great payoff.
Red Mile @6pm. An edge-of-your-seat roller-coaster ride that is many cuts above your average cookie-cutter American thriller, it’s something new for Canadian cinema. Shot in as few takes as possible in real time, a drug addict wakes up and realizes the woman he’s with may have OD’d – so he flees. Also Saturday 11pm.
As You Are @8pm. Two teen boys meet in the days surrounding Kurt Cobain’s death, finding a love of grunge music and a bit more – until their parents break up.
Trespass Against Us @9:30pm. Brendan Gleeson and Michael Fassbender play father and son in this taut crime thriller. Also Saturday 10:30am.
The Space Between @12pm. A man discovers his daughter might not be his, and that his wife seduced a younger man because she thought he was infertile. What do you do, in a situation like that? Also Sunday 10:30am.
Anatomy of Violence @4:30pm. An in depth look into the cultural conditions that led to the brutal 2012 gang rape of a woman inside a New Delhi bus. But this is no apology, instead pointing out the inequity, male entitlement, and lack of education that allows rape culture to continue.
20th Century Women @7pm. Annette Bening is a bohemian mother to a teenage son, renting out rooms in their house. She is joined by Greta Gerwig and Elle Fanning, all eccentric and exploring new possibilities for love and freedom in 1970s Southern California. Also Sunday 1pm.
A Hundred Streets @10pm. Three stories coincide to create a mosaic of modern London. Starring Gemma Arterton, Idris Elba, and Franz Drameh. Also Sunday 11am.
The Void @10:30pm. The scariest film of this year’s listing, it’s set almost entirely in a remote hospital as some patients and staff are transforming into something inherintly inhuman.
It’s Not My Fault and I Don’t Care Anyway @2:45pm. This is an unusual one, but manages to fit everything together into a hilarious, cohesive story. Alan Thicke is a narcissistic self-help guru that cares for no one but himself, and then his daughter gets kidnapped by a drug gang for ransom. Also Friday 5:30pm.
Menorca @3:30pm. If you thought the moms in Bad Moms were bad this summer, you haven’t seen anything yet. Claire is living a hedonistic lifestyle: partying, hooking up, and going off to do what she wants, until one day she decides she wants to reconnect with her estranged son. Also Saturday 5:30pm.
The Cyclotron @5:15pm. Shot in black and white aboard a speeding train, there is a swoon-inducing romantic subplot, a quick lesson in time-shifting quantum physics, and it all leads to the heart-pounding realization that an atomic bomb prototype may actually be on the train. Also Saturday 6pm.
Lost Solace @6pm. American Psycho meets Limitless, as a psychopath suddenly develops empathy towards his victims and wrestles with how to move forward. Also Friday 8:30pm.
Hunting Pignut @8:15pm. A teenage girl goes in search of Pignut, the man who stole her father’s ashes, and experiences life on the streets to find him. Also Saturday 7:30pm.
Free Fire @10:30pm. Cillian Murphy, Brie Larson, Armie Hammer, and Sharlto Copley come together for this dark comedy turned violent exercise on social anarchy. IRA members arrive in Boston in 1978 for a gun deal, but it goes sideways. AlsoThursday 9:30pm, Friday 1pm.