TIFF 2017: Our Review of ‘Montana’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Movies, Theatrical, Theatrical, TIFF 2017 by - September 10, 2017
TIFF 2017: Our Review of ‘Montana’

Israeli director Limor Schmilla brings her feature length directorial debut to TIFF with Montana, a film that is set in her own hometown of Acre. The story of a woman returning home after years away upon the death of her grandfather is far more complicated than it may first appear.

Efi (Noa Biron) was taken away from her home as a young girl by her mother and despite missing her grandparents, has never returned. After arriving for her grandfather’s funeral, Efi develops an intimate relationship with Karen (Netta Shpigelman), a teacher who is married to her Uncle Jossi’s (Avi Malka) best friend. As Efi and Karen’s relationship intensifies, Efi is conflicted with past traumas resurfacing and how they will affect the future.

Schmilla has delivered an intimate film but has packed a whole lot of dramatic elements bubbling under the surface. The film succeeds mainly on the strength of the performances from its 2 female leads. The chemistry is palpable between the pair and it’s evident from their first meeting that Efi and Karen will end up entwined in the steamy affair that follows. Biron’s may have the meatier role, but Shpigelman more than holds her own when they are together.

The small town that plays as the setting for the film also acts as a character, as we see that the community may be complicit in ignoring the crimes of the past. The film builds to a satisfying conclusion that will allow audiences the ability to share in Efi’s vindication.

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Kirk Haviland has spent over 20 years working in Entertainment Retail which has enabled him to have a unique opinion and perspective on film and music. Along with being a well known figure around Toronto film festivals and movie repertory houses with his trademark spiked locks and jovial attitude, Kirk is also works for the "Blood in the Snow" Canadian Film Festival in multiple positions. Opinionated and outspoken yet easily approachable, Kirk writes for multiple outlets in the city of Toronto, and is very happy to bring his unique perspective to the readers at IN THE SEATS.