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TIFF 2023 Review: North Star

While attending the third marriage of their mother, three sisters find themselves having to deal with past and present-day issues.

While on a Hollywood talk show, Victoria (Sienna Miller) talks about her father and stepfather who were best friends and died while serving the British Royal Navy; their tragic presence looms over the starlet and her two sisters, Katherine (Scarlett Johannson) and Georgina (Emily Beecham).   The three siblings reunite for the third marriage of their mother (Kristin Scott Thomas) along with their children and in the process, a number of personal issues come to the forefront threatening to unravel the celebration.

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Kristin Scott Thomas has had an amazing career as an actress and has tried to expand her creative talents into writing and directing but the results are hardly stellar.  The cast is not lacking in talent as Scott Thomas stars with Sienna Miller, Scarlett Johansson and Emily Beecham.  However, the humour falls flat and situations come across as being contrived as the story tries hard to capture the charm of The Big Chill and Peter’s Friends.

The incorporation of French is a smart choice and unsurprising as Kristin Scott Thomas has consistently moved between French and English movies.  The decision to use charcoal animation to reflect how Katherine remembers the past is intriguing and novel.  The speech at the graves calls into question how we remember people and what they were really like.  The shift in context is a jolt but also something that was bound to happen.  The movie is dedicated to the two fathers who raised Scott Thomas which demonstrates that she looks upon them fondly and influenced the refreshing choice of not relying on sexual abuse to define the father/daughter relationship.

The 48th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 7-17, 2023, and for more information visit    

Trevor Hogg is a freelance video editor and writer who currently resides in Canada; he can be found at LinkedIn.

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