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CASTING BY: TORONTO REVIEW

 
 
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"...Donahue and ace editor Jill Schweitzer make the case that casting directors should be considered partners in the creative process..."

TORONTO - The fact that casting is the only main-title film credit not recognized with an Oscar category is a sore point aised with eloquence in Tom Donahue's highly entertain documentary Casting By.  Primarily a tribute to trailblazing New York casting director Marion Dougherty, but by extension to the entire, largely unsung profession, this is an illuminating close-up on a vital cog in the moviemaking machine and a fresh perspective on key episodes in the birth of the New Hollywood.

 
 
 
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NYFF REVIEW: 'CASTING BY' A WONDERFULLY ENTERTAINING DOC SHINING A LIGHT ON THE ART OF CASTING

 
 
 
 

"'Casting By' zips past with boundless energy and sharp editing..."

 
 

In the early days, actors signed multi-film contracts and became "studio players."  This meant that they were wedded to each production company, assigned to a number of different films each year playing a role probably familiar to their last.  Actors were cogs in a machine, and it was rare that someone worked their way up from small-time character actor to full-blown star.  If you looked like a Leading Man, you became a Leading Man, or you were soon out of the business.  There's a whole generation of filmgoers that don't understand that non-traditional casting is a relatively contemporary invention, and for them, the documentary, "Casting By" should prove to be tremendously enlightening.

 
 
 
 

'THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE': FILM REVIEW

 
 
 
 

"...the film advocates for the creation of a Behavioral Health Corps that would consolidate mental health services throughout all military branches. The case it makes for its necessity feels impossible to refute."

 
 

Of all the fact-filled graphics Tom Donahue delivers in his documentary about the appalling lack of mental health treatment afforded veterans, it's this one, shown at the very end that will send you out of the theater reeling: "while you have watched this documentary, a veteran has committed suicide."

 
 
 
 
 

'THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE' ADVOCATES FOR MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES FOR MILITARY VETERANS

 
 
 
 

According to one of the unsettling statistics cited in "Thank You for Your Service," for every American soldier killed in combat, 25 die by suicide.  Tom Donahue's moving work of advocacy journalism draws on a range of experts on the military and its mental health crisis, but it's the first-person chronicles of the walking wounded that give the documentary its urgency and power.