Italy, Canada, France
The charismatic Giuseppe Marinoni has been making some of the most desirable bicycle frames in Canada for decades. A competitive cyclist in Italy in his youth, he decides, at age 75, to attempt a World Record for distance cycled in one hour for his age group. Giuseppe’s determination and perseverance lead him back to his native Italy for his training and, ultimately, his attempt at the record. This is a film not only for the spandex-and-helmet crowd but for anyone who believes that a man’s reach should exceed his grasp.
France, Poland, Denmark
Polish-born, UK-based filmmaker Pawlikowski (My Summer of Love) returns to his native land for this evocative, resonant art film about a novice nun discovering a family secret in the 1960s. Beautifully shot in black and white, this award-winning drama has been compared to the work of Francois Truffaut and Robert Bresson.
"In a very short time, Pawlikowski’s film tells us a powerful, poignant story with fine, intelligent performances." — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
"This story of faith and despair is gracefully told, its simple, uncluttered spaces and luminous black-and-white photography harking back to Robert Bresson." — JR Jones, Chicago Reader
"It’s absolutely stunning, one of the year’s best films, and a fulfillment of the promise that the director has shown for so long." — Oli Lyttleton, Indiewire
Fed up with her abusive family situation, lack of school prospects and the “boys’ law” in the neighborhood, Marieme (Karidja Touré) starts a new life after meeting a group of three free-spirited girls. She changes her name, her style, drops out of school and starts stealing to be accepted into the gang. Tomboy director Celine Sciamma may not approve of these choices but she revels in the exuberance of adolescent discovery - the euphoria of first love, fast friends, and living on the edge - while lip-synching to Rihanna.
“It’s the feminist answer to Boyhood, yet it manages to dig deeper ... Girlhood is one of the most exceptional films you’ll see this year. Truly a must-see. Highly recommended!” — Jeff Nelson, DVD Talk
"One of the best coming of age movies in years!" — Eric Kohn, Indiewire
"Beautifully observed, precisely directed and acted with wonderful conviction, it pulls us into the life of its protagonist in a deeply involving way." — Kenneth Turan, LA Times
This crisp, unexpected drama from regular Laurent Cantet collaborator (and Les Revenants creator) Robin Campillo oscillates between thriller, social realism, and gay love story without ever missing a beat. It begins with a classic mis-step. Bourgeois businessman Daniel foolishly picks up an Eastern European hustler at the Gare du Nord, and invites him back to his apartment the next day. But when he buzzes in his new acquaintance, he’s in for an unpleasant surprise…
"Fascinating... Sleek, shape-shifting... by turns a frightening home-invasion drama, a tender love story and a tense hide-and-seek thriller." — Guy Lodge, Variety
"A surprisingly resonant thrill ride." — Bob Mondello, NPR
"Explores interlocking themes of sexuality, immigration and power dynamics with a cleareyed sensitivity and refuses to demonize even its shadiest characters." — Stephen Holden, New York Times
A favourite at VIFF 2014, this enormously affectionate film celebrates the artisans who crafted fabulous haute-couture outfits for Dior, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent: M. Gérard Lognon, a third-generation specialist in pleat-making; M. Bruno Legeron, a designer of perfect artificial flowers whose atelier opened in 1880; and M. Lorenzo Ré, one of three remaining sculptors of wooden forms for hat-making. But can small remain beautiful in today’s big money world?