Adventures in Public School and Allure have a few things in common. Both films played at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival. Neither film played at the 2017 Windsor International Film Festival. Both films made the TIFF Top Ten Canadian films of 2017. And both films played under different titles at TIFF 2017: Public Schooled and A Worthy Companion, respectively.
They each has a recognizable American actress — Judy Greer and Evan Rachel Wood. They have a young Canadian TIFF Rising Star — Daniel Doheny and Julia Sarah Stone. And both films are currently playing on demand in the United States.
As we noted in reviews last week, the films could not be different in tone or presentation. While both films are in the TIFF Top Ten, we strongly recommended one of these films and suggested avoiding the other film.
Film reviews are supposed to be objective, so even if horror or rom-coms aren't your thing, you can weigh in on the artistic merits of the film.
Most good films have a few weaknesses. Wilby Wonderful wasn't a perfect film but was a delightful watch. Some bad films have redeeming merits. Hello Destroyer and The Other Half had significant struggles, but there were positive elements in those films.
War Witch was a good film but hard to watch. Mommy was an amazing film that was easier for me to watch than other people thought.
For the record, we don't talk up or flatter a film because the film is Canadian. That is counterproductive even if the goal was to promote Canadian film. You learn to trust the integrity of a film critic.
We pick Canadian films based on a few basic parameters: basic appeal, strong publicity for a film (such as Allure), or simple availability outside Canada (such as Encore +). The Windsor trips give us a cross-section of Canadian films that we don't get to choose.
Goin' Down the Road is a classic example of publicity. We were going to review the film once we were able to see the film, regardless of whether it was good.
We have reviewed enough bad Canadian films. There was the dreadful documentary glorifying goons in hockey. There was the French Canadian film that went on about the perils of being in prison. Vic and Flo Saw a Bear showed me to not trust Denis Cote films. The small film (Ashes) with the really cute actors that didn't have much of a plot.
For every one of those calls, there are multiple films on the other side of the glass, such as Window Horses, My Internship in Canada, Empire of Dirt, Trigger, Tu Dors Nicole, Picture Day, and All the Wrong Reasons.
The film reviews give you a chance to know why some films work better than others. We laid out scenarios for both films to give you a chance to decide which films might appeal to you. You might see both Adventures in Public School and Allure and decide Allure is the better film. Chances are that you won't.
If you know of a Canadian film that we should review, let us know in the comments section. Hopefully, we can access the film to watch for ourselves. You can access our film reviews and our overall film coverage in the links above.