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TIFF movie review: Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang

An image from "Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang"

3.5 out of 4 stars

Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang
Directed by
Laurent Cantet
Raven Adamson, Katie Coseni, Madeleine Bisson, Claire Mazerolle, Paige Moyles, Rachael Nyhuus, Lindsay Rolland-Mills

Joyce Carol Oates's 1993 novel about a fifties girl gang was an exercise in romantic feminist myth-making, mostly Robin Hood but with elements of Animal Farm. Though previously filmed in a 1996 version starring a young Angelina Jolie as the catalytic "Legs" Sadovsky, the current version is far more faithful to the source and unabashedly political. Following his success with an unknown cast of non-professionals in the Palme d'Or-winning The Class, Laurent Cantet has used an unknown, completely credible real-girl Canadian cast for this teen-feminist tale, with Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., standing in for a small town in 1950s upstate New York. Though arguably long, the film is filled with well-observed touches, including the era-specific relative formality of everyday speech (reminiscent of Far From Heaven), and the evocation of the pervasive sexism that pushes the girls toward ahead-of-their-times political extremism.

Sept. 10, 5:45 p.m., Ryerson; Sept. 11, 3:30 p.m., Yonge & Dundas

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