Oliver Sherman premieres tonight at the Toronto Film Festival. The first couple of reviews – both pretty positive – are already online.
“There’s little doubt, however, that the film boasts an impressive undercurrent of suspense, as one is never entirely sure if the whole thing is meant to come off as a subtle character study or as something just a little more sinister (ie what is Sherman up to, exactly?)
Dillahunt’s remarkably subtle performance certainly goes a long way towards holding the viewer’s interest, yet it’s worth nothing that the narrative is occasionally just a little bit more predictable than one might’ve liked (ie when Sherman offers to carry two plates of hot dogs, you just know something is going to go horribly wrong).
And while this does ensure that the movie is often more effective as an actor’s showcase than as a fully realized cinematic experience, Oliver Sherman is certainly never dull and it’s also worth noting that the expectedly low-key finale does pack far more of an emotional punch than one might’ve anticipated.” [Reelfilm]
“These sorts of domestic thrillers were quite popular in American cinema back in the early ’90s, with movies like Unlawful Entry and Pacific Heights ushering in Christian anxieties about cultural change negatively affecting the traditional family unit. But this particular film is Canadian, and first-time feature writer/director Ryan Redford isn’t interested in employing cheap thrills to sell his narrative. He takes his time with the characters, building conflict organically and allowing the tension to come from quiet, passive-aggressive remarks and escalating pseudo-threats.
Resultantly, while occasionally awkward in editing and scene composition, this xenophobic parable shows a maturity and acuity beyond most character-based psychological thrillers, taking a highbrow approach to the subject. What’s more, it shows a new talent in the Canadian filmmaking scene, being one of the more assured debuts to come from English-speaking Canada in quite some time.” [Exclaim]