TIFF 2023: Our Review of ‘Quiz Lady’

Posted in Festival Coverage, Film Festivals, Movies, TIFF 2023 by - September 10, 2023
TIFF 2023: Our Review of ‘Quiz Lady’

Dear readers, I am delighted to report Quiz Lady is a damn delight! Directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Jessica Yu, it stars Sandra Oh and Awkwafina as sisters who are total opposites but ultimately form a formidable team. Brought together when their mother disappears to Macau with her new boyfriend, the sisters must find a way to pay off their mom’s gambling debts to appease the gangsters who are holding their beloved pug for ransom. When unruly older sister Jenny (Sandra Oh) suggests buttoned-up trivia maven Ann (Awkwafina) win the ransom money on her favourite gameshow, high-jinks ensue!

Overall, Quiz Lady is a well-made comedy. Yu’s direction is fast-paced and sleek, and Jen D’Angelo’s screenplay is full of jokes that are  raunchy and sometimes even straight-up disgusting (a gag about pooh is pivotal to the plot). For fans of the Jeopardy-style shows Quiz Lady parodies, there’s a lot of bowtie-related comedy, too. And it must be said Will Ferrell gives a winsome performance as a gameshow host who is also Ann’s parasocial father figure; however, the movie’s secret sauce is Awkwafina and Oh’s chemistry.

Both playing against type, a lesser movie likely would have flipped the casting of the sisters; however, Awkwafina shines as the straight man who balks at her bohemian sister’s hair-brained schemes to “manifest” their goals. And for her part, Sandra Oh has never been funnier than she is playing this rowdy big sister with a big heart. I’d watch a sequel just to see them hang out some more! Yep, comedy is back, baby!




This post was written by
Sarah Sahagian is a feminist writer based in Toronto. Her byline has appeared in such publications as The Washington Post, Refinery29, Elle Canada, Flare, The Toronto Star, and The National Post. She is also the co-founder of The ProfessionElle Society. Sarah holds a master’s degree in Gender Studies from The London School of Economics. You can find her on Twitter, where she posts about parenting, politics, and The Bachelor.
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