Linda Barnard

Linda Barnard

Award-winning film and travel writer
Travel Media Association of Canada, Society of American Travel Writers, Toronto Film Critics Association
My company is Spellbound: captivating writing


Jon Hamm on his role in summer blockbuster Baby Driver

"I’m taking my sweater off guys, calm down,” Jon Hamm deadpans, pulling off the grey topper to amused hoots from a table of journalists. In a deluxe hotel, not far from the Hollywood sign, Hamm seems in a good mood as he sits down to talk about Edgar Wright’s Baby Driver, the fast-moving cars-and-guns action thriller with a killer soundtrack that’s destined to be one of the defining movies of the summer when it releases tomorrow.
The National Abu Dhabi/ Link to Story

Dev Patel: From Mumbai Slumdog to Hollywood Lion

After 10 years as an actor, Dev Patel says he’s “starting to get a grasp of my craft.” It’s a typically modest observation from the 27-year-old Londoner, who landed his first big-screen job at age 17 in the multiple Oscar-nominated Slumdog Millionaire.
Movie Entertainment Magazine Link to Story

In TIFF movie La La Land, Ryan Gosling dances in Gene Kelly's footsteps

‘It feels nice to be able to come home and bring something that I made,’ Canadian actor says. The floating-on-air feeling of new love sparks a romantic dance between aspiring actress Mia (Emma Stone) and jazz musician Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) in La La Land, which arrived at TIFF from Venice and Telluride film festivals trailing Oscar predictions.


In Loving, the actor captures the quiet strength of Mildred Loving, who battled for interracial unions in 1950s America. Actress Ruth Negga sees the 50-year-old story of American interracial couple Richard and Mildred Loving revealing itself onscreen like a couple’s dance in the fact-based drama Loving.

John Legend on acting for La La Land

When he was a kid, multiple Grammy-winner John Legend was in high school musicals, including You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Fiddler on the Roof. So perhaps it was in the cards for him to take on two roles in La La Land, a movie being credited with re-energizing the classic genre. Written and directed by Damien Chazelle, La La Land opens in Toronto Dec. 25.

Lupita Nyong’o: Finding challenge in playing a mother in Queen of Katwe

Lupita Nyong’o was looking for a challenge. So she took on a kind of role rarely associated with significant screen time or complex stories: the mother in a reality-based inspirational drama. Director Mira Nair’s Queen of Katwe, which had its gala world premiere Saturday at the Toronto International Film Festival, often focuses on Nyong’o’s Harriet Mutesi.

Canadian doc 'Rumble' exposes unheralded influence of Native American musicians

PARK CIT, Utah - They were the power chords that sparked a musical revolution: three growling, fuzzy blasts that made Link Wray's 1958 banned-by-radio instrumental "Rumble" a rule-breaking inspiration for rock guitarists who followed. The song kicks off the documentary "Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World," from Montreal-based filmmakers Catherine Bainbridge and Alfonso Maiorana, which has its world premiere Sunday in competition at the Sundance Film Festival and will air on The Movie Network later this year.

Canada-UK produced Sundance doc 'Tokyo Idols' looks at obsessive culture in Japan

PARK CITY, Utah - "Yes, it's creepy," acknowledges writer-director Kyoko Miyake of the middle-aged men obsessively following anime-inspired J-pop female idols half their age — and younger — in her documentary "Tokyo Idols." Shot in Japan, the Canada-U.K produced film had its world premiere at Sundance last Friday and will eventually air on Canada's Super Channel.

Sundance Film Festival 2017

The parka is the great equalizer at the often-snowbound Sundance Film Festival. Stick boldface in a down coat and pull on a wool toque, and it’s easy to move (mostly) unnoticed around the 10-day film fest founded by actor-director Robert Redford to showcase independent cinema. Of course, what truly matters at Sundance is what goes on inside the theatres, and I’ll share my five favourite films soon. Link to Story

American journalist Adam Sobel on his Qatar World Cup documentary The Workers Cup

American director Adam Sobel says he wants the audience to feel empathy, not sympathy, for the subjects of his film, The Workers Cup. His documentary – about football tournaments for the migrant labourers from Africa and Asia building Qatar’s 2022 Fifa World Cup facilities – had its world premiere at Sundance last Thursday as part of the opening-day line-up for the 33rd edition of the film festival.

La La Land director creates a classic musical about modern life

Filmmaker Damien Chazelle, 31, has achieved a few things with La La Land (opening Dec. 25) that seem nearly impossible to pull off. First off, he had a ramp to a busy freeway in car-adoring Los Angeles shut down to film La La Land’s gloriously busy, five-minute singing-and-dancing opening scene. It seems to be done in one thrilling, continuous sequence, although Chazelle said it was filmed over two days and there are two “hidden cuts” that make it appear seamless.

Sundance doc profiles Canadian transgender YouTube star


Linda Barnard

A freelance writer covering film and travel, I have more than three decades of experience in deadline-driven digital and print journalism. I'm the former movie writer and a staff film critic at the Toronto Star and a National Newspaper Awards winner (Arts & Entertainment) and winner Best International Travel Story, SATW Canadian Chapter. I have extensive experience as a restaurant critic and food, wine and cocktail writer.
I write for The Toronto Star, The Globe and Mail, The Canadian Press, Canadian Traveller Magazine, Fodor's, Movie Entertainment Magazine, Montecristo Magazine, The National Abu Dhabi and others.
My creative clients include Telefilm Canada and Star Metro Media.
I write eloquent speeches, craft well-written targeted content and can provide media training.