Brie Larson

Family dysfunction in The Glass Castle and contrasting aboriginal lives in Wind River and Rumble

Also a rare peek inside a Hasidic enclave, anguish over infidelity in New York and mild scares from a haunted doll

Kong is big but unremarkable, Window Horses is diverse and whimsical and The Last Word welcomes back Shirley MacLaine

And notice especially the passionate defense of journalistic courage in All Governments Lie

Creepy brilliance in Room, lament for TV news in Truth and political games in Our Brand Is Crisis

Also night moves in Berlin, royal intrigue in old China and Bradley Cooper as a chef in England

Room, Haida Gwaii among top picks for VIFF this week

Room is a gem, Haida Gwaii a paradise, Remember a well-acted implausibility and Amina Profile recalls an international deception

For Christmas time: Meryl Streep as a witch, three films about painters, plus war and gambling

Also in the spirit of the season, the “Best of the Year” make a brief return