Sladen Peltier is a young Saul in Indian Horse. (Elevation Pictures image)

Reel Reviews: Residential schools and makeup challenges

We say: “Indian Horse could have been better and I Feel Pretty is Schumer’s best work so far.

Saul Indian Horse is a native boy growing up in the 1960s Residential Schooling system in Canada. Developing a talent for playing hockey, Saul moves up in the ranks until playing for a National Hockey League farm team. Racism and ignorance follow Saul through the 1970s until he gives up on hockey, losing himself to alcoholism. It is only through confronting his past pains that Saul finds his way home.

Plain Jane, Renee Bennett’s (Amy Schumer) life isn’t what she thought it would be. She works for a cosmetic company tucked away in a room from everyone, her nights out consist of doing shots with her two best friends and worst of all she lacks confidence in herself. After knocking herself out at her local spin class she awakens to find herself feeling beautiful and empowered.

We say: “Indian Horse could have been better and I Feel Pretty is Schumer’s best work so far.

TAYLOR: Indian Horse is a fine film, well made and important, but not without its faults. It’s a little over-explanatory, with titles and narration, where the subtraction of both would increase artistic merit. It sometimes felt like a television special for its more educational aspects. These aspects are worthy of our attention and I may be biased in my critique by having some understanding of them. I just felt that I would have been able to appreciate the film more, without it being explained to me when it was already being shown to me.

HOWE: I thought I may have drawn the short straw this week with I Feel Pretty, but to be honest I was surprised by how good this was. I am not a fan of Schumers’, to me, she is another overbearing, loudmouth and crude female in the mould of Melissa McCarthy. I am pleased that in this film she gave another side to her acting skills. Yes, she is still all of the above, but she turned the crudeness all the way down to nearly off and instead gave us a vulnerable and sensitive side to her that we haven’t seen before.

TAYLOR: In Indian Horse, at least, there is one surprise and it carries with it a pain that the audience can appreciate, simultaneously with Saul. I have to score the film slightly higher than I might have, without this one trick, but it’s well laid out. This is a film about an uncomfortable subject, but it is not uncomfortable viewing, except when it needs to be. It’s not a feel-good movie, it’s a feel-bad movie, but it’s effective and that’s what matters.

HOWE: Schumer reminds me of an early Will Ferrell, she has all the right tools she now just needs to get the right platform to perform them. And in I Feel Pretty, I think she is going in the right direction. It made me laugh out loud on more than one occasion and guys, this is more than just a chick-flick. Grab the popcorn, sit back and have a few laughs, you won’t be disappointed.

Taylor gives Indian Horse 4 trips to Timmins, Ont out of 5.

Howe gives I Feel Pretty 3.5 makeup brushes out of 5.

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