Press & Awards

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The Entitled

“A smart, engaging, polished and esoteric film… utterly unafraid of providing an alternate and capricious perspective for audiences to mull over for days after your first viewing. 4 ½ out of 5 stars.”
        -Kindah Mardam Bey, Press+1

“An extremely engaging experience.”
        -Joseph Airdo, Phoenix Examiner

“The movie's twists have you questioning your allegiances so often, you risk whiplash… I'll confess to being fooled and/or surprised at a couple of reveals… damned if it doesn't work. And work well.”
        -Rod Lot, The Oklahoma Gazette

“Every single shot, every turn of plot, propels the story, which becomes increasingly compelling as it continues to reveal itself… Zegers’ portrayal gives just enough emotional weight to keep Paul sympathetic while displaying his obvious intelligence, which, along with a very believable crime caper storyline and a delicious twist, is what makes The Entitled such a satisfying and suspenseful thriller.”
        -Christel Loar, Pop Matters

“Pulsing along at a fast pace, The Entitled offers new angles on an old noir arrangement with sharp direction, sublime technical specs that make the clarity of the DVD image sparkle like high definition, in addition to a performance by Zegers that’s not only so authentic that it should be criminal, but so impressive it’s bound to open more doors for the up-and-coming actor.”
        -Jen Johans, Film Intuition

“A film that leaves you thinking about its characters and their actions long after it’s over. If you like a good thriller, I highly recommend picking this one up. You’ll be glad you did."
        -videoviews.com

“With The Entitled there is no question that Woodley has a good eye for storytelling.”
        -David Voigt, Examiner

“Surprisingly riveting, The Entitled is an entertaining crime thriller that brings an original take on the ransom storyline. A-”
        -Victor Medina, The Movie Pool

"A timely and extremely engrossing flick that spins a clever web of intrigue... twists and turns galore.”
        -Jason Coleman, Starpulse

“If you like a good crime drama with a few thriller elements, then you’ll be abundantly happy with this one. The Screenhead Ten Scale, meanwhile, gives The Entitled a full ten out of ten, and wholeheartedly recommends it. This is some fantastically screwed-up crime drama… it will leave you breathless and cheering due to the sheer intricacy of the plot.”
        -Steve Anderson, Screenhead

“Director Aaron Woodley keeps the tension high through malevolent planning, double-crosses, false accusations and murder… an exciting kidnap thriller that looks at class structure and wealth. Full of thrills through misdirections and double-crosses, this is a film that needs and deserves a larger audience.”
        -Michael Allen, 28 Days Later Analysis

“Suspenseful and intelligent, The Entitled fulfills the demands of a crime suspense movie, and then some. It sells good dramatics and a clever perfect-crime scheme much more plausible than expected, and comes through with a number of memorable characterizations.”
        -Glenn Erickson, DVD Savant

“Surprisingly taut thriller… I was thoroughly entertained for the entire 91 minutes.”
        -Real Movie News

“The film is nice-looking and director Aaron Woodley's style is clean and unobtrusive. Writer William Morrissey maintains a deliberate pace throughout and never rushes things, letting the twists and turns of the plot hold our interest till the end.”
        -HK and Cult Film News

“[The Entitled] has high quality production values, strong acting with a few recognizable names to keep you hooked… The film succeeds in showcasing the intense drama and emotions involved in carrying out the plan as well as capturing the response between the kidnapped’s parents. Much kudos should go to the veterans Ray Liotta, Victor Garber, and Stephen McHattie.”
        -Brandon DuHamel, Blue Ray Definitioz

“[The Entitled] weaves an intricate story in which the threads overlap but are never lost in the design; it's a movie with surprises that are never truly out of the blue… a balancing act that a lesser films would struggle with until the very end, but it's one that this film handles beautifully.”
        -Jason Jarman, The HD Room

“This psychological thriller is well worth the pick up. 4 ½ stars out of 5.”
        -16 Bit Monster



Toronto Stories

“…make[s] Toronto look very good indeed, by turns accessible and mysterious, livably bourgeois in some places , raw and gritty in others, hip and modern but with a sense of history… There is in each of these tales – as in good short story writing – hints of darker places and hidden pain as well as a sense of hope and redemption. It’s those nuances and solid character portrayal throughout that make a second viewing rewarding… Cinephiles looking for the next generation of directors to follow in the footsteps of James Cameron, David Cronenberg and Norman Jewison may find it in this cadre of filmmakers.”
        -Bruce Demara, Toronto Star (December 12, 2008)

 “Woodley’s piece is the best of the bunch… The young actors do a remarkable job… and the director inventively treats the Don Valley as a nightmarish playground filled with surprises and dread.”
        -Barry Hertz, The National Post (December 12, 2008)

“The city acts as both backdrop and subject matter. But really this collection of highly crafted shorts by a host of Toronto’s name directors is a showcase for their divergent styles.”
        -G.D. The Globe & Mail (September 5, 2008)

 “…showcase[s] some sharp young talents.”
        -Jim Slotek, Toronto Sun (December 12, 2008)

“Make[s] Toronto look splendid, funky, gritty, cosmopolitan, harrowing and possibly even cool.”
        -B.D. The Toronto Star (September 3, 2008)

 “Woodley’s visually impressive tale of two kids searching for the Cabbagetown monster turns Riverdale Farm and neighbouring ravines, parks and bridges into baroque playgrounds.”
        -P.E., NOW Magazine (September, 2008)

“An excellent movie.”
        -Don Young, Futureale Magazine

“…a very unique and personal vision of the people and places in Toronto.”
        -Steve Veale, metro (December 12, 2008)

“Woodley bathes his young leads in an exaggerated, eerie blue light, creating a magical, dreamy realm that perfectly complements the characters’ journey into adolescence.”
        -Erin Oke, Exclaim! (October 2008)

“…a visually stunning narrative of downtown's most well known spaces; the resulting vision is a powerfully familiar yet unpredictable Toronto.”
        -BlogTO (December 10, 2008)

“…[In “Shoelaces”] the charm of Riverdale and the colourful young actress Samantha Weinstein shines.”
        -Marc Glassman, Classical 96.3 fm



 Tennessee

“Visually arresting… Mariah Carey as a Texas waitress who joins Carter and his sick younger sib Ellis on their journey to the childhood home they escaped from years ago, makes for a naturalistically sweet, tough and sexy bit of counterpunch casting to the beautiful male brooders at the center.”
        -Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times (December 5, 2008)

“Screenwriter Russell Schaumburg has a knack for subtly unrolling his script’s themes of forgiveness and second chances… and an unexpectedly empathetic performance from pop superstar Mariah Carey.”
        -Tim Grierson, L.A. Weekly (December 3, 2008)

“Director Aaron Woodley demonstrates visual talent… Carey gives an understated and very effective performance.”
        -Stephen Farber, The Hollywood Reporter (May 1, 2008)

“A touching tale… [Carey gives] a natural, effortless performance.”
        -Liz Smith, Variety (April 28, 2008)

“What is most impressive about the film is Carey’s brave, understated, deglamorized performance as an ensemble player rather than star.”
        -Howard Feinstein, Screen Daily (April 28, 2008)

“Watching Tennessee one can tell that director Aaron Woodley is in love with the varying landscapes in these United States, as he takes loving wide shots of terrain ranging from the desert of New Mexico to the lush hills of Tennessee. It makes for a great backdrop… Woodley makes sure that the exploration of how people can overcome their pasts and redeem themselves is at the forefront of his film.. Peck in his first film role is remarkable as Ellis.”
        -Joel Keller, Cinematical (April 30, 2008)

Tennessee is a good old fashioned road movie where traveling along an actual highway is a metaphor for making progress along your personal journey of life… [Carey’s] understated, downbeat performance is so natural.”
        -BBC news (May, 2008)

“The affecting story of two brothers… carried by the unforced chemistry between Rothenberg and Peck.”
        -Michael Dequina, The Movie Report, (December 2008)



Rhinoceros Eyes

*Discovery Award – Toronto International Film Festival, 2003

“Rich in atmosphere, Rhinoceros Eyes is an impressive directorial debut on many levels.”
        -Denis Sequin, Screen International (October 6, 2003)

“Woodley’s film has plenty of inventive elements and an intriguingly offbeat romantic paring at its center.”
        -David Rooney, Variety (September 18, 2003)

“A Tim Burton movie on acid…the funniest movie I’ve seen in awhile.”
        -Ain’t It Cool News (April 9, 2004)

“Promising feature debut.”
        -Lou Lumenick, NY Post (April 23, 2004)

 “Rhinoceros Eyes doesn’t blink: The world’s partly crazy and partly real, and the two states exists in an uneasy détente.”
        -Liam Lacey, The Globe And Mail (March 10, 2006)

“Utterly original.”
        -Ken Fox, TV Guide (April 2004)

"Surprising and inventive...an intelligent shocker."
        -Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune (September 15, 2003)

 “**** (four stars) A fabulous surreal comedy… a ridiculously accomplished debut… a smart, tricky, visually intoxicating movie.”
        -John Griffin, The Montreal Gazette (April 14, 2006)

“Woodley makes a strong impression with this worthy debut.”
        -Katherine Monk, The Vancouver Sun (March 31, 2006)

“Thankfully, this completely original and innovative movie is finally coming to theatres… Rhinoceros Eyes is a very strange, but wonderful movie. It's modern surrealism at its best, using the false reality of movies to create a world where anything might happen. Woodley has a made a movie that exposes the magic of cinema, while mining in it for its fantastic world. This is a bit like David Lynch stumbled onto a Tim Burton set, and then they called French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and then they all made a movie together. If only all movies were as imaginative as this.”
        -Jesse Wente, CBC Radio

 “Rhinoceros Eyes is without a doubt the work of an artist. There are moments in it that glitter and fascinate, shimmering.”
        -Norman Wilner, Metro News (March 10, 2006)

“Strongly drawn characters with enough props to decorate A Terry Gilliam film. There is great promise in this first feature by writer/director Aaron Woodley.”
        -Chris Knight, National Post (March 10, 2006)

“***1/2 (three and a half stars) A terrific digitally shot expressionist painting with creepy stop-motion animation. Part comedy, part horror and part stream-of-consciousness.”
        -Jim Slotek, Toronto Sun (March 10, 2006)

“Processing its own visual language, a visionary visual sense and a natural talent for surreal, romantic melodrama, Rhinoceros Eyes overflows with imagination. The film is a modest and heartfelt lovesong to cinema… a true treasure.”
        -David Gomez Martinez, Cronicas Derhoofian

“A Canadian gem, Rhinoceros Eyes is guaranteed to please connoisseurs of smart movies.”
        -db magazine, Australia (March 2005)

“I really enjoyed this quirky, well shot fable of (and for!) the outcasts. Fun and clever.”
        -blaze media, Australia (March 2005)

 “Put this on your list of films to see. Final Grade: A-”
        -Edward Havens, filmjerk.com (April 18, 2004)

 “Never mind the menacing puppets, fright masks, scenes of self-mutilation and that elderly can-can dancer, Rhinoceros Eyes is a sweet story about first love and the rite of passage to adulthood. It's that rare breed: a midnight romantic comedy...While [the film] may not be the first surrealist coming-of-age story to emerge from the indie pipeline, it is one of the wilder, wittier ones.”
        -Lisa Rose, New Jersey Star-Ledger (April 24, 2004)

Top Ten Of The Year
        -Steve Gravestock, Festival Magazine, Toronto (Jan.-Feb 2004)

"**** (four stars) An audacious debut for Toronto filmmaker AaronWoodley...the delightful animations and twisted humour recall Tim Burton's early works."
        -Jason Anderson, Eye Weekly, Toronto (September 2003)

“***1/2 (three and a half stars) A lovely, dark fairy tale told in unembarrassed allegory with verve and intelligence.”
        -Walter Chaw, filmfreakcentral.net (February 13, 2004)

“Highly original.”
        -funprox.com (February 7, 2004)

"Rapturously deranged."
        -Jason Anderson, Eye Weekly, Toronto (December 18, 2003)

“Aaron Woodley’s Rhinoceros Eyes is so assured and engaging that it feels like a revelation. For its humour, and its faithfulness to the darker aspects of the quixotic fairytale dreamscapes of the Brothers Quay and their winsome heroes, Rhinoceros Eyes is a stupendous debut.”
        -Walter Chaw, filmfreakcentral.net (October 2003)

"Egoyan meets Lynch meets the Brothers Quay."
        -Jason McBride, Toronto Life (September 4, 2003)

"Just fabulous...alive and vital."
        -Walter Chaw; filmfreakcentral.net (September 2003)

"Woodley displays a sureness expected more from a veteran filmmaker than a first-timer. A disturbing movie and a new talent to watch."
        -Peter Howell, Toronto Star (August 31, 2003)



Bed & Breakfast  (short film)

*Best Short Film – Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival, 2000
*Best Canadian Short Film – Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival, 2000
*Best Canadian Cinematography – TWWSFF (2000)

“Aaron Woodley deftly plaits a chilling mixture of surreal stop-motion animation and subtly performed live action, into this dark, engrossing drama…highly recommended.”
        -Guardian Unlimited, UK (March 30, 2004)

“What an amazing talent! I thought that Bed & Breakfast was so moving – families are all about open and closed doors, and Aaron captured it all magnificently.”
        -Atom Egoyan, Filmmaker

“One of the best Canadian short films I’ve seen in years.”
        -Cameron Bailey, NOW Magazine, Toronto (2000)

“A deeply disturbing film about voyeurism, incest and the infinite powers of the childhood imagination. Imagine a film that combines the chillingly creepy visions of the Brothers Quay and Atom Egoyan.”
        -Take One Magazine (2000)



Downpour  (short film)

*Best Animated Short – Santa Monica Film Festival / Moxie! Awards (2001)

 

The Wager  (short film)

*Best Short Film - Austin Film Festival (1998)
*Best Short Film - Santa Monica Film Festival / Moxie! Awards (1998)
*Best Actor - Yorkton Short Film & Video Festival (1998)
*Best Canadian Cinematography - Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival (1998)
*Audience Favorite - Palm Springs International Short Film Festival (1998)
*Best Cinematography - New York Expo of Short Film & Video (1998)
*Jury Prize - New York Expo of Short Film & Video (1998)
*Honorable Mention - Pacific Coast Film Festival (1999)

“An unsettling, dark drama.”
        -The Village Voice (December 8, 1998)

“Evoking the mood of Se7en, this stylish film recalls David Mamet at his best.”
        -Rhode Island Film Festival (August 12, 1999)

“Brooding Suspense.”
        -Sid Adilman, The Toronto Star (February 5, 1999)

“Inventive, dramatic, amusing, with a real hint of horror.”
        -David Gilmour, CBC On The Arts (January 15, 1999)

“Reminiscent of Se7en, it has similar grisly overtones, but mixes them successfully with a dash of comedy. It’s a sure bet this film will garner some acclaim.”
        -Vue Weekly, Edmonton (February 25, 1999)