Dorothy Woodend has been the film critic for The Tyee since 2004. Her work has been published in magazines, newspapers and books across Canada and the US, as well as a number of international publications.
Dorothy worked with the Vancouver International Film Festival, the Whistler Film Festival and the National Film Board of Canada. She is a member of the Vancouver Film Critics Circle, and sits on the Board of Directors of the Alliance for Arts and Culture in Vancouver. Dorothy is also the Director of Programming for DOXA Documentary Film Festival in Vancouver.
Reporting Beat: Film.
Dorothy's Connection to BC: Born in Vancouver and raised in the wilds of the Kootenay, Dorothy's favourite spot is her family's farm on Kootenay Lake.
Stories by Dorothy Woodend
Not too offensive, not too feminist, it’s not too much of anything. Still, there are spectres of a decent flick.
Both combatants are long, sleek, with beautiful teeth. But who'll win in this shark versus Blake Lively flick?
The latest from South Korean director Na Hong-jin may be best watched backwards.
Maria Bamford's autobiographical hallucination is hilariously brave.
Five-film program at Cinematheque catches balance of sorrow and joy in a world of hard times and bad choices.
It's a sci-fi flick just alien enough to make sense of the world again.
Films like '10 Cloverfield Lane' appeal to the worst in human nature. But we're more than endless warring factions.
Michael Moore's uniquely American quest to steal the best ideas of other countries and save his own is a worthy watch.
Because hints of change are all around us, just not at the movies. Yet.
Celebrating scarcity in the age of endless-scrolling cinema.
Another diversity-challenged awards season. We know how it ends, so let's watch something else.
Looking back on a whirlwind of wins, phone-ins and bro shows.
In money, God and even football. Yet America dreams on.
Drawn, painted, even made out of puppets, here are two gorgeous examples.
Laurie Anderson's rumination on death accomplishes something rare. See it at Vancity Theatre Dec. 31.
'The Force Awakens' took me back to that magical first moment.
Mad Max meets Parisian heartache in Dorothy Woodend's guide to 2015 films.
That depends how distracted you are by all the brooches, teacups and bowties.
As festival floodgates open, Tyee's reviewer sketches your survival guide.
One of many calls for earth-shaking action, the doc makes oddly conventional appeal.
I took my teen son to a film that invokes Michael Brown's America, but conceals another history.
Guy Ritchie directs a 1960s carbon copy for our culturally exhausted age.
Nothing like Eastern European cinema to fuel the bonfire of your cynicism.
Peen hits the big screen in 'Magic Mike XXL' and 'The Overnight.'
It's always about a boy: 'Me and Earl and the Dying Girl' and 'Ben's at Home'.
Ready your binge-watching pants: the Litchfield women are as real, ribald and hilarious as ever.
Once again, creators of 'Spirited Away' recapture the wild mystery of childhood.
Humane, complex characters fill this wild ride of a reboot.
DOXA fest is almost here! Dorothy Woodend tells you what not to miss.
We've all wished to live inside a nostalgic '80s flick. These six brothers did.
Willing to let your critical mind lapse into quasi-vegetation? This might be your film.
Adam Curtis's new epic, 'the story of Afghanistan,' is a veritable sea of images, music and ideas.
Or, what it's like to be a woman forced to sit through 'Blackhat' and its macho ilk.
The result is 'Top Five,' a film with warmth and levity.
From 'The Babadook' to 'Virunga', these played a cosmic xylophone on my vertebrae.
Don't miss this Aussie nightmare of a film, starting a limited run at Vancity Theatre.
Edward Snowden doc reveals struggle in acting alone.
Joss Whedon said it best: 'It's an ugly time because change is happening.'
This jazz thriller rocked the house at Vancouver's film fest and hits theatres this weekend.
Our reviewer takes a whiff of flicks with fragrance.
Following this season's track record of great films on trains, here's a festival must-see.
With hundreds of films, how to possibly find gold? Our reviewer sharpens her pick.
'The F Word' may be sleepy, but there are many classics to ignite the stormy heart.
When climate change deniers risk our future, is this film's monster tornado hero or villain?
A gang of ne'er-do-wells set out to save the universe with sass and banditry. It should be fun, right?
Because it's so brilliantly timely. So why won't they show it at your local theatre?
And why 'Tammy' veers into a ditch full of hatred for the poor and heavyset.
Grave history replayed, starring aliens and Tom Cruise. Somehow, this film is a damn hoot.
CineCoup's 'film accelerator' contest has movie-makers mug for votes. Is this really the new model?
Wishing for climate science as resilient as this franchise? Me too.
Another summer remake with daddy issues, but the beast himself redeems.
World domination update: ruthless oligarchs plan Marvel hero movies to 2028.
You'll need to take a pee break during this giant bathtub of a movie.
Looking for true romance on screen these days? Stick to the good, messy stuff in your head.
Are you a lover of irresistibly inept cinema? Here's a genre classic.
This screwy world is slow to change. Movieland isn't much better. Our critic reflects.
In an epic year of pop culture sexism, Martin Scorsese lathers on a last, large dollop.
You're staring at a screen right now. Is that anywhere to find love and happiness?
Numbed by all the on-screen competitive sludge is a craving for genuine revolt.
And lord knows the Miley Cyrus generation isn't up for the job.
This season of spooks, celebrate horror's most unlikely cinematic miracle. And pray for more.
Fall film and reads to help unleash that deeply-craved howl of freedom.
Film and song that honour the piercing beauty of life's sadness, with Vancouver film fest picks.
A doc that gives a genocide a fantasy turn, and a fictional film that ends in curious, murderous reality.
Simon Pegg's latest could do with more fighting robots, less existential angst.
Movies may be scary, but family always presents the truest terror.
Earth is a dirty smudge of deep inequality and plain weirdness in this sci-fi film. Not much of a stretch.
Race, class, power, and caged heat. This show's got everything but the prison sink.
Its robots, monsters and valour charm, but not enough to save the movie industry.
Some good pulpy fun in this flick, but zombie-loving hordes may leave theatres hungry.
Box office tripe can make it feel like film's end of days. Don't forget its wonder.
There aren't enough females directing, writing, critiquing, or starring as anything other than wieners.
Hollywood feeds our anxieties by refining images of ultimate terrorist mayhem.
Miyazaki explores young love. Former Disney stars portray young lust. 'Tis the season.
Sure, Hollywood's mostly do. But here's why I can't agree cinema is over.
In today's films, sad old guys express manhood with firearms. It's not so different offscreen.
This year's critics' choices in film reveal a big, white blind spot.
Yup, Apatow is a threat to humanity. But many times cinema scintillated.
From 'My Neighbour Totoro' to 'Spirited Away,' don't miss Vancouver's mini-fest this holiday season.
Catch this moving, mournful, joyful film as it rips through Vancity and feel so alive!
When reality goes wrong, why do we yearn for crazed, primordial survival stories like AMC's series?
Another movie theatre bites the dust as attendance dives. Blame Hollywood's withering heart.
Opening night, VIFF-goers critique Salman Rushdie's 'un-filmable' novel set to screen. Plus more fest picks.
I should know better but can't help but get a little excited about these TIFF hopefuls.
Nothing like a Kootenay summer, and Hitchcock, to make you reflect on animals as friends or murderous foes.
Sex and violence barely submerged. Why 'Jaws' remains the perfect summer movie.
Time to overthrow the superhero bros, billionaire boys, and the Internet gremlins who bully their critics.
Today's kids yearn for movie heroes who ditch the parents and fly solo, as in 'Brave'. Let's take a hint.
Let us give fangs to God: Ridley Scott's Bible borrowing prequel to 'Alien.'
No graceless subject untouched in HBO's series about clueless millennials.
Note to Wes Anderson: Puppy love is a sharp-toothed thing that nips and bites.
So decrees 'The Hunger Games'. A tall order given the seduction of Netflix.
What spawned this uterus worshipping film? Sex, Republican style?
Again, a film that feels like real childhood memories. How does Miyazaki do it?
Real as its popcorn butter, Vancouver's Rio Theatre is a classic worth defending.
Film as cultural crime. This is how they create historical amnesia.
From 'Mission Impossible' to 'The Descendants,' current films fail to arouse.
A fictional sex addict, and the real life of pornographers who feed his hunger.
Could money-sucking, worker-shedding Hollywood be more out of touch?
Ghost of Steve Jobs looks on as mechanical fighting flick shadow boxes with old classics.
Young toughs mug the wrong crash-landed alien. Satisfying cinema ensues.
Hollywood's heavily into payback lately. Now comes the remade 'Straw Dogs.'
In a world gone ape, this monkey learns some hard lessons of humanity.
One more super hero released from storage. But how much moral high ground is left to protect?
Films seen long ago meld with personal dramas, making the mind one weird Cineplex.
Is it a masterpiece if it makes you think about big stuff... maybe too much?
Surviving the season of guns, explosions, cool gadgets, bad guys, pretty ladies, aliens, Nazis, that sort of thing.
Is 'Bridesmaids' really that funny? Yes, miraculously, it is.
From 'Paul' to 'Prometheus' to 'Battle: Los Angeles,' the invasion appears unstoppable.
The film is swoon-worthy. But what carries the power of a young girl's first reading of Charlotte Brontë's masterpiece?
Here come the Oscar nomination announcements. Sheesh.
Mathieu Amalric's film 'On Tour' is a love story with passels of swinging tassels.
'True Grit' and other options for those in search of stories instead of stuff.
It's 1950s again but with a thick layer of porn on top: an anti-review of 'Burlesque.'
There's more to this Dennis Hopper picture than meets the eye. It's a snapshot of a bygone punk rock Vancouver.
Good old-fashioned demonic possession isn't what it used to be but new creeps are always scratching at the window.
Some beautiful films at the Vancouver International Film Festival show the way.
A Czech visual masterpiece, a García Márquez magical dream, and much, much more.
From 'Cannibal Girls' to 'Idiocracy,' four fun films that won't make your brain sweat.
How did a film about lesbian parents and sex end up so very old-fashioned?
A cinema classic with a live orchestra. A literary mash-up manifesto. Everything is new. Nothing is new.
New extended restoration of iconic 1927 film is fresh as a whiff of G20 tear gas.
Sundance winner portrays the growing, alienated American underclass that used to be called hillbillies.
'Sex and the City' makes family, friends, fashion, love look easy. A lie to salve our aching solitudes.
Two small films offer an antidote to Hollywood's idiotic portrayals of class division.
'The Erection Man,' 'Orgasm Inc.' and 'Male Domination' are among DOXA's offerings next week in Vancouver.
There's a fresh bunch of documentaries in Vancouver, bringing messages of hope, fear and beauty.
Hell hath no fury like a teenage girl with a daddy fixation in Nobuhiko Obayashi's cheesy, psychedelic and occasionally scary 'House.'
Down, down, into fiery depths of French auteur Clouzot's imagination, and his unfinished masterpiece 'Inferno.'
Let the year's best, showing at Vancouver's Pacific Cinematheque, cure your Olympics hangover.
Feeling manipulated by the Olympics' brand boosters? See these two timely documentaries.
'This is why we're f'd up about love,' says my sister as we listen to old movie soundtracks. We are, indeed.
Well worth pouncing on while prowling next week's Victoria Film fest.
No! to the boomers, yes! to the Yes Men.
A brilliant, beautiful film about marriage, cages and one's own inescapable nature.
Above the boozy parties and orgiastic groans at the eclectic Whistler Film Festival.
Your chance to spend a bit of quality time with the world's foremost doomer.
Vampires are everywhere nowadays, but weirdly drained of menace.
A few picks from the wonderful (small) world of Vancouver's film fest.
Politicians don't value it. Why would they? It threatens them.
God is goods, says the architecture that enfolds retail worship.
After watching this, can you summon empathy for a dolphin killer? Should you?
Director Kathryn Bigelow's war makes men choose pain over nothing.
Film offers a broad menu of gross facts. Where's the recipe for action?
Want to get by on almost nothing? I'm glad to share some (free) tips.
Ninety minutes with my head in the toilet.
DOXA's documentary film fest is a living, breathing, sighing communal moment.
'Act of God' explores death by lightning. Plus, more electrifying films at DOXA.
Don't let Uncle Walt near the kids and the animals.
A family tries to give up oil, and home life seizes up.
A few cranky notes on watching 'Earth Days' at the otherwise cool Projecting Change Festival.
We're all pirates now, so how will films and journalism get made?
No one did exploitation like Aussies in the '70s.
Film fest proves it's universal. Parents and children drive each other crazy.
Two very different travels down country roads.
A parent's guide to scaring your kid.
Is this Clint Eastwood's self-pitying swan song?
Not feeling It's a Wonderful Life? Try these.
'Fierce Light' and 'Food Fight' at the Whistler fest.
What will become of the children who could not tie their shoes?
Big studios teach kids to insult casually, crudely. It takes a Dutch film to tell the truth.
Blurring the line between telling the truth and just telling tales.
For now at least, we have NFB films to set our history right.
An insider's guide to the best of this year's VIFF.
What does Woody Allen really know about the human heart?
America's violent haze produces a bad buzz.
Beware the horrific rage of this Canadian working man.
Looking for love and meaning on a garbage planet.
Four summer campy movie classics to kick off the lazy season.
More self-esteem cinema for today's coddled cuties.
What terrible hold do these aging Barbies have on us?
Fluid sexuality in 'Crossing' and 'she's a boy i knew.'
In Vancouver, a bunch of great film events.
Nettie Wild's new doc about nurses in the trenches.
After peak oil comes what fresh hell?
A frantic return of great dames.
Will Ferrell, America's noble idiot poster boy.
Reel 2 Real's film fest of gems for children.
'Continental, a Film Without Guns' is one of the best.
As the two forms mix, we've entered a new aria.
Aging novelist, sexy grad student. Who's got the write stuff?
The mumbly new wave of films for young people.
How long until films are wired straight into our minds?
Daft Punk's wordless ode to robot 'heroes.'
Bright spots of 2007, resolutions for the new year.
Women who yearn to shop, not grow up. They're 'Enchanted.'
Avoid the plexes, tuck into these filmic fests and feasts.
Hey kids, learn to love the hive.
Scary films are hot. Where's the art of empathy?
It's a feast of films this year.
Best of the Vancouver International Film Fest's new green flicks.
Smart TV show recalls when men were men, and women weren't glad.
'3:10 to Yuma' mans up.
Mr. Bean's cure for summer smut.
'Superbad' is fun. But girls need not apply.
Why we're hardwired for explosion movies.
'Plagues & Pleasures on the Salton Sea'
'Ratatouille' dishes up imagination and tasty thoughts.
Moore or less, can America heal itself?
But 'In Vanda's Room' is the real thing.
'Paprika' is a pure giddy delight.
David Lynch and Guy Maddin's new unfiction flicks.
'You Never Bike Alone' suggests a new, bike-based world order.
Why Hollywood's lens is blurry.
What makes someone commit mass murder? A doc's answers.
Must 60 be the new 40?
In 'Everything's Gone Green' and 'Crossing.'
What Quentin Tarantino needs to learn from guilty pleasure flicks.
'The Host' screams with politics, family and the monster within.
Zombies 'r' us? Can B.C. horror film 'Fido' hack it?
When bold aims turn into bad stereotypes.
Who really won? George W., dresses and lesbians, among others.
Or so say our top movies.
And catch more smart kid flicks at Reel 2 Real.
Sex, art and totalitarianism in 'The Lives of Others.'
Fine Canadian talent on screen at Victoria film fest.
Flogged, blogged, whined and opined 'til Oscar night.
‘Pan’s Labyrinth’ winds through sex, tragedy and death of innocence.
'Children of Men' asks what it means to be human.
Friends reunite, toke and soak in this indie gem.
These movies changed my life.
From Jack Black to Frank Black, it's three chords to salvation.
And why it feels more real every day.
And more rad indie flicks at Whistler Film Festival.
It's cold! Time to bundle up with an old friend.
'Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing' makes it too clear.
Battle to make an honest war film has yet to be won.
Enough with the animals and stereotypes already.
Best of the Vancouver International Film Fest. Part Two.
Best of the Vancouver International Film Fest. Part One.
Cars R Us in 'Talladega Nights' and 'Little Miss Sunshine'
'Miami Vice' icons seek readmission to the religion of cool.
'The Devil Wears Prada'...and there's only one queen.
Next chapter in the war on drugs is a cartoon.
Is girls’ b-ball about savagery, courage, religion or all three?
Are we helpful, bitchy or out-to-lunch?
Urban phobia on film, with a stop at ‘District B13.’
Cities, slums and 'The Sketches of Frank Gehry.'
Thoughts while sitting through 'An Inconvenient Truth.'
Dear documentary makers: give us better stories.
So who's making my personal statement fashion?
Running together at dawn, chasing small ecstasies.
'Battle in Heaven' is a messy war of the flesh.
Doc flirts with fame, fear and far-fetched realities.
James Toback, a puzzle other directors try to solve.
An antidote to silly, feckless fashion?
In ‘Kings and Queen’, female beauty is a brutal curse.
Looking for meaning in Franco's shadow.
Obscure, maybe, but irresistible. The year's most underrated film moments.
The sun of the American dream sets out west.
Old and new documentaries make the political personal.
With laughter to soothe the unbearable darkness of being.
Movies love 'em. But let's see some real kids.
Charms of the Victoria Independent Film and Video Festival.
Films you've got to hear.
His amazing documentary of India, all six hours.
But where are the women?
'As my ragged eyes scuttled across the screens…'
What to watch in a turkey coma?
Tricked by 'The Chronicles of Narnia.'
Films have some 'splainin' to do about food and our future.
Canadiana heads to the Whistler Film Festival.
Quirky answers to questions of national identity.
What I learned about Africa from film.
'East Van Porn Collective' isn't about what but who you do.
Amnesty International Film Festival offers up beauty and hope.
'Capote' asks whether art and artists are above morality.
They're so NOT computer-generated.
'Serenity' will twang your little heart strings.
'A History of Violence' is Cronenberg's latest question through film.
This year, close your eyes and open your ears.
I've watched dozens of films and lived to tell the tale.
Warning: 'A Sound of Thunder' is god-awful good.
Sure they’re in the news. Sadly, not in 'Red Eye'.
Let's just say the film tries to have it both ways.
As '2046' proves, everything’s available, for better or worse.
A crop of trendy films reward our desire to be the cool, ironic bully.
Hollywood wants to 'rejuvenile' us. Fight the feeling.
It's a tough mission for the middle of summer. But two movies, 'Saraband' and 'YES' rouse the mind.
'The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill' documentary is a rare bird.
'The Land of the Dead' kills off the working stiffs. Shocked?
'Batman Begins' is part of the movie slump.
Is it still revolutionary?
It’s All Gone Pete Tong kicks Canadian movie butt.
Strangely, the stranger some get, the more they sell.
Brit gangster flick pushes stylish, irony laden narcotics.
New doc on Komagata Maru puts the lie to a welcoming Canada.
“You damn women,” my grandfather would say, with equal parts exasperation and respect.
My son and kids all over embrace the evil superstar. Thanks, George.
'Hitchhiker's Guide,' 'War of the Worlds,' Disney's 'Chicken Little,' and more.
When bullies rumble with poor people, the slum dwellers win. Sublime or ridiculous?
Escapism worked better in a huge world where you were fine to know squat about global politics.
What fires up those crazy manboys in the stands? Love or bloodlust?
‘Guess Who’ begs the question: How far have we come since 1967?
Say goodbye to the Capitol Six and others theatres of yore.
In ‘The Upside of Anger’, Joan Allen is one hot mama.
Canada’s a funny place that can’t seem to do funny movies.
An army of films and books takes aim at the male on the make.
'The Thai Warrior' fights to get his country back from white pervs and fratheads.
In the post-Abu Ghraib era, Hollywood indulges its devilish obsessions.
A Buddhist lama’s latest film tries to capture the country’s fleeting beauty before Starbucks arrives.
Why are females increasingly portrayed as twits who fall down? Call it Attack of the 50 Foot Hollywood Wiener Women.
Male underwear models are dismembered in the B.C.-shot horror film, but at least Tara Reid finds her purse.
Unveiling a prestigious new film award. Because even cruddy flicks can have their surprisingly cool moments.
Boxing’s poetry of poverty and pain, spoken again by Eastwood’s ‘Million Dollar Baby’.
New ‘Merchant of Venice’ presses the question: Is art that depicts anti-semitism itself anti-semitic?
Prepare to settle into a new subdivision of horror flicks, including a freaky leaky condo.
In a good year for quirky meditations, add a last specimen to the aquarium.
The Fockers could use a little comedy Viagra, but Kinsey said the same about America.
Hollywood North is home to Blade's latest vampires and endless other sci-fi shoots. What, we're that weird?
'Bridget Jones' and 'Closer' do dumb violence to a fine ideal called romance.
Our quest to find a home has all the plot twists of Hollywood flick. But why must my child play the villain?
He conquered the known world because Mommie was a meanie. Who knew?
My child’s first film in a movie theatre was the new Pixar hit. Oh the strange drive-in memories that came flooding back.
Sequel 'Innocence' will make you wonder whether skin, bones and hair are old-fashioned attachments.
In troubled times, dance! (Or maybe see a dance flick.)
The presidential cliffhanger is a blockbuster with a heavy duty music mix.
What do the director, Jon Stewart and a Quantum theory doc have in common? Well, why do you exist?
It’s a nasty biz that won’t let go, apparently, given Dylan’s memoirs, Wilson’s resurrected Smile, and a couple of great rockumentaries suddenly upon us.
Funny, frightening Shaun of the Dead celebrates those great social critics, The Undead.
How come serious cartoon films for grown-ups are hot in Asia but not over here?
Vancouver's International Film Festival deserves cheers, but other West fests add zest.
Political documentaries are influencing public debate as never before, with a little help from the 'net.
But was something lost when the hit Chinese epic was manipulated for us by its director and distributor?
Top of this mom's list: 'My Neighbour Totoro'. It's more David Lynch than Disney.
Good and evil is tricky business lately. Too bad the latest 'Exorcist' prompts more laughter than terror.
Somebody please put this creature, and movie summer, out of its misery.
The politics of fear and gated life inhabit the latest film by M. Night Shyamalan. So does Scooby Doo.
With race relations, slavery and what it means to be human as themes to explore, Hollywood goes on a heartless shooting spree.
If comic books are really about sex, Spiderman II is some kind of climax
To see how feminism is being undone, have a look at The Stepford Wives, redone.
After The Chronicles of Riddick, how will I ever get my sis to see another space opera?
The blind swordsman of Zatoichi puts Hollywood's steroidal stars to shame.
But is 'The Day After Tomorrow' the wake-up call the world needs?
How the two cuties morphed into perv-friendly harbingers of Armageddon.
In anxious times we need our monsters, but Van Helsing just pummels undead geezers.
Mean Girls is a hit and, I confess, I was one. But let's get real about teen female viciousness - and our need to punish Queens of Mean.