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Toronto Stories

The omnibus city film concept reaches its nadir with "Toronto Stories," a complete zero featuring some major Canadian talent behind and in front of the camera.

With:
With: Gil Bellows, Sook-Yin Lee, Tygh Runyan, K.C. Collins, Joris Jarsky, Carly Pope, Lisa Ray, Samantha Weinstein, Ricardo Hoyos, Toka Murphy.

The omnibus city film concept reaches its nadir with “Toronto Stories,” a complete zero featuring some major Canadian talent behind and in front of the camera. The combined brainpower of writer-directors Aaron Woodley, Sook-Yin Lee, Sudz Sutherland and David Weaver, plus thesps like Gil Bellows, Lee and Carly Pope, manages to leave no memorable moments over the span of four wan short pieces about Torontonians in search of a city. Local ticketbuyers may flash brief curiosity; those in greater Ontario and provinces beyond, however, couldn’t care less.

Pic isn’t helped by inserting the narrative thread of a silent boy (Toka Murphy) from afar wandering through the city, first affecting Woodley’s boy-girl pair –who are concerned with a mythical neighborhood monster –in “Shoelaces.” Lee’s “The Brazilian” tells of an emotionally phony relationship between a New Age-y woman and a grown guy who knows nothing about sex. Sutherland’s “Windows,” throwing together a hard-working guy (K.C. Collins), his ex-con buddy (Joris Jarsky) and an ex-g.f. (Pope), is pointless and rushed. Weaver’s misbegotten “Lost Boys,” strains to engage in soul-searching between Bellows’ homeless alcoholic with a past and Murphy’s still-wandering boy.

Toronto Stories

Canada

Production: A Seville Pictures release (in Canada) of a New Real Films presentation of a New Real Films production. Produced by Jennifer Jonas, David Weaver. Directed, written by Aaron Woodley, Sook-Yin Lee, Sudz Sutherland, David Weaver.

Crew: Camera (color), Samy Inayeh; editor, Kathy Weinkauf; music, Eric Woodley; production designer, Mark Gabriel; costume designer, Denise Cronenberg. Reviewed at Toronto Film Festival (Contemporary World Cinema), Sept. 10, 2008. English dialogue. Running time: 88 MIN.

With: With: Gil Bellows, Sook-Yin Lee, Tygh Runyan, K.C. Collins, Joris Jarsky, Carly Pope, Lisa Ray, Samantha Weinstein, Ricardo Hoyos, Toka Murphy.

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