Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Monday and Tuesday TIFF Summary

Everything Must Go:

This film gets a lot better as it goes along but to be honest in between the fifth minute and around the thirtieth, the film tends to get very boring. Will Ferrell is decent in the roll but he’s not very funny at all and is actually a bit bland and repetitive. The film itself is a mediocre first effort, the storyline has premise but doesn’t go too far with it and at the same time is a bit cliché at times. It’s a huge shame, this film has so much potential, yet fails to even come close to reaching it. C-

Little White Lies:

This film does not deserve the high rating I’m going to give it. Honestly the film is stuffed to the brim with drama, every character has so much going on and the film tries to deal with all of it. This leads to an over long running time that isn’t enough to give every character the amount of time their melodramatic stories deserve. Yet at the same time the film is probably my favourite melodrama, it manages to blend comedy and drama together flawlessly and the film turned out to be my most enjoyable experience at the festival for me thus far. A-


The film is a very flawed result of a great filmmaker putting to use his talent and style while working from a poorly written screenplay. At several times in the movie the dialogue still plays as the visuals turn into archive footage, and each time I suddenly felt like I was watching something on the BBC. The storyline is somewhat boring and a lot more uneventful then you’d think, to be honest not much interesting happens. Even the lead actress isn’t that good in the roll. One of the few things this film has for it is that Schnabel for some reason or another chose to direct this odd screenplay. C+

Rabbit Hole:

I often have problems with films based on plays, Doubt was a very uninteresting adaptation and similar to it, Rabbit Hole seems a bit dull and more fit for the stage then the theatre. At the same time JCM does a good job in making this less apparent and the performances are so good they make up for several of the films issues and they keep it interesting at all times. B+

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Quick TIFF Weekend Summary

The Kings Speech:

Being sixteen it’s acceptable for you to think this movie probably wouldn’t have been as enjoyable for me as to an older generation that the film is targeted to. And with this in mind I’ll have to admit that I didn’t get as much out of the film as many are, but I still did really enjoy it. Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush both bring their A-game, and when the two are in a scene together the magic happens. Firth is showing a side of him that two years ago I’d never have seen, but he really gets into the character of Bertie, and he really makes me believe he’s the stuttering king, not quite as great as in a Single Man but really it’s very difficult for any actor to reach that level. Director Tom Hooper has a style where he shoves the camera right in the actor’s faces and in doing so helps us see the incredible performances. The film is shot in a bit of dark scrappy way, and there is definitely a lot of dialogue, but it manages to never bore and overall it is a great achievment that will likely end up in several Oscar categories this January including Actor, Supporting Actor, Picture, Director, Screenplay and probably some technical ones as well. B+

The Conspirator:

I have to agree with many other reviews when I say that it really does feel like a History Channel movie. It’s very dialogue heavy after the first few minutes, and it’s shot in a very grim awkwardly lit way. But the thing that really pushes it from being a History Channel film are the great performances and Redfords ability to get us emotionally involved in this incredibly intriguing unknown story. Incredibly at no point in this movie was I bored. I was always interested at what was happening on screen and very curious on how the story would end. Since it seems like a somewhat week year in the supporting categorie I could see Robin Wright or Kevin Kline grab an Oscar nomination, but beyond that I don’t think the film will do any beyond technical nominations for costumes and such, but besides that it’s still an enjoyable movie. B

Non TIFF Film…

The Kids are All Right:

Well scripted and incredibly acted, especially by Annette Bening and Mark Ruffalo who go beyond the material and are likely to be rewarded for it come awards season. The film itself seems to be to dependant on it’s actors doing all the work and seems to forget that anything else is needed. At times leaving it completely to the actors and at other times trying to alter the films mood all together. The screenplay has some clever jokes but not enough to get past the overly melodramatic feel the film reaches at times. But the story is interesting and the actors are good enough to keep you intrigued. Overall a pretty good film that isn’t quite as good as a lot of people seem to believe, but the performances are everything you’ve heard and more. B-

Monday, September 6, 2010

Cramming it all in

Nest week I’ll be spending a lot of time at the 35th annual Toronto International Film Festival. Though I tend to have a lot of trouble continuously posting on this site, I’m going to try my best to give a short review of each film I see at TIFF. As well as TIFF I also plan on seeing several other films this upcoming week, including the opening film at the 1st ever Toronto Independent Film Festival as well as catch with several films I missed this summer at the Bloor cinema and the Revue. So if all goes well by the end of TIFF I’ll have seen ten films at the festival, as well as 3-5 at the Bloor and Revue, and the opening film at the other TIFF.

After I manage to watch The Kids are All Right, Winters Bone and Get Low I’ll post my top five summer films, which so far only has two open spaces. Once that’s done I’ll rank my TIFF films in order of preference, but for now I’ll rank them in order of which I’m most excited to see.

10) Miral: A few days ago this probably would be in the top three of this list, but the buzz just keeps getting worse and worse, and the reviews are pretty awful as well. I’ve been so excited to see the next Schnabel film, but everyone who hates it also seemed to be excited for it as well. I trust him enough to not switch films and just hope for the best, fingers crossed.

9) The Conspirator: I like the story and I have a feeling the Robin Wright will be amazing in this, yet I also have a feeling this may be very boring, and Redford hasn’t exactly made any good films in a while so I’m a bit worried.

8) Brighton Rock: I know almost nothing about this film so all I can do is hope its good.

7) Little White Lies: Same as above, except I know the director and I trust him with this.

6) What’s Wrong With Virginia: Didn’t like Milk that much yet I still trust Lance Black as a director. As well the plot seems interesting so I’m looking forwards to it.

5) Rabbit Hole: Looks a bit too baity… except for the director. Hope he can handle this kind of material and provide a great film with great performances.

4) Everything Must Go: The script is supposedly fantastic and since Stranger then Fiction I’ve begun to trust Will Ferrell in dramatic performances, especially ones with comedic twists.

3) 127 Hours: I was very excited for this and still am, just with reservations. Personally the trailer didn’t do much for me and I’ve heard the goodbye arm scene is extremely graphic… I don’t know if I can handle that.

2) The Kings Speech: a few days ago this and Miral would have switched positions on this list, but now every things changed. Word has come out that this isn’t the boring Oscar hungry trash I was expecting. What a relief

1) Black Swan: Have you seen the trailer?

As you can tell I’m trying to keep low expectations for all these films so incase they suck I wont be that let down. It’s also evident that I didn’t choose a single film coming out before mid November, including several without any distribution what so ever. Besides these films I may also try and buy tickets to one or two more films such as Inside Job, Blue Valentine, Another Year or Three. The films I wan to see most are The Town and It’s Kind of a Funny Story but those will be out sooner then later so I’m not to worried.

Also just to make this post as crammed as possible I’m gonna throw in some pre Toronto Oscar Predictions for the main categories. * Indicates predicted winner.

Best Picture (in order of most likely to be nominated)

The Social Network

The Kings Speech*

The Fighter

True Grit


Another Year

127 Hours

Toy Story 3

Winters Bone

The Way Back


David Fincher*

Tom Hooper

David O. Russell

Christopher Nolan

Danny Boyle

Lead Actor

Colin Firth*

James Franco

Jeff Bridges

Mark Whalberg

Robert Duvall

Lead Actress

Annette Bening*

Jennifer Lawrence

Lesley Manville

Natalie Portman

Carey Mulligan

Supporting Actor

Christian Bale*

Geoffrey Rush

Sam Rockwell

Mark Ruffalo

Andrew Garfield (Social Network)

Supporting Actress

Helena Bonham Carter*

Mellisa Leo

Dianne Wiest

Barbara Hershey

Mila Kunis