Toronto Film Fest: The Good, The Bad, and The Better So Far

A short roundup of some of the fest's flicks.

by | September 11, 2007 | Comments

Well, it certainly hasn’t been a dull festival. Tons of films big (Michael Clayton) and small (Juno) have screened to kudos, and on the whole there haven’t been very many outright disappointments (notwithstanding George Romero‘s Diary of the Dead and a few others).

It’s now a week into the Toronto Film Festival, and we definitely have our favorites. They include, in no particular order: the Ian Curtis biopic Control, the quirky teen comedy Juno, Lars and the Real Girl starring Ryan Gosling, and Julie Taymor‘s ambitious Beatles-infused Across the Universe. Many other entries are good as well (No Country for Old Men, Michael Clayton, Lust, Caution, Disengagement). A few in particular are unconventionally enjoyable (Sukiyaki Western Django, Nothing is Private).


Across the Universe

I just came from a press screening of Brian DePalma‘s Redacted, anticipation of which stemmed from its second-place showing last week at the Venice Film Festival (where Ang Lee‘s Lust, Caution took the Golden Lion prize). With an unconventional format that combines a French-narrated faux-documentary, a deployed soldier’s home videos, local Arab television reports and fictional video-hosting websites, Redacted tells the (based-on-a-true) story of a group of U.S. Army soldiers involved in the rape and murder of an Iraqi girl. DePalma’s film is at least rife with meaning, though there are so many divisive issues concerning Iraq in Redacted that it’s hard to know where to start. Are U.S. peace-keeping procedures dangerously confusing to Iraqis? Does mutual misunderstanding often lead to tragic civilian casualties? Do the media keep the rest of us adequately informed about a war that is happening on the other side of the world? Redacted is likely to split critics (one journalist warned me off, calling it straight-up “bad,” while a smattering of applause erupted at the end of my screening).

Plenty of other films have gotten mixed receptions as well. Julie Taymor notoriously battled with studio execs over her Across the Universe, which combines a 1960s-1970s love story with historical events, all set to a near non-stop soundtrack of Beatles songs. Sound good to you, fellas? Unsurprisingly, Across the Universe seems to leave many male reviewers cold, while women (and predisposed lovers of musicals) enjoy it much more. The film is out in limited release this week. Full review to come!

Speaking of high profile cinematic gambles, I’m headed out to the late night screening of Todd HaynesI’m Not There. Cate Blanchett nabbed Venice honors for her portrayal of Bob Dylan; six more actors take on different aspects of the legendary musician’s life and persona, including Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, and Richard Gere. More on that very shortly.

Tag Cloud

Film Festival Amazon Prime Video all-time DC Comics comiccon Film hollywood toy story HBO 71st Emmy Awards 007 TV VOD Academy Awards screenings reboot spider-man Marathons laika Cartoon Network rotten movies we love Hallmark Christmas movies politics streaming festivals technology canceled 72 Emmy Awards Year in Review comics scorecard Thanksgiving Sony Pictures Universal biography Baby Yoda video on demand Netflix aliens spanish Showtime justice league NBC vampires true crime indie cartoon LGBT Binge Guide stand-up comedy Bravo Nickelodeon Endgame science fiction USA Network Brie Larson dogs mission: impossible indiana jones jamie lee curtis zombie football Dark Horse Comics Comics on TV Mindy Kaling crossover christmas movies YouTube DirecTV critics classics Opinion Family HBO Max spanish language Mary poppins TCA Awards Elton John OWN TCA 2017 Marvel Television Video Games joker blockbuster mutant serial killer comic books Lucasfilm Infographic Starz period drama Freeform Travel Channel Funimation halloween tv CBS Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Chernobyl 2015 game of thrones cancelled television transformers zero dark thirty E3 AMC TCA Winter 2020 Marvel Studios President Television Academy Disney doctor who Certified Fresh obituary chucky Women's History Month docudrama concert Television Critics Association natural history Tarantino Character Guide crime thriller IFC Podcast documentary ID Avengers richard e. Grant RT21 batman fast and furious Tubi Cannes DGA Netflix Christmas movies Britbox Vudu Apple TV+ Teen archives Pride Month Musicals mockumentary cancelled TV series SDCC Arrowverse Columbia Pictures venice sports Rock VH1 hispanic Amazon Prime TLC best strong female leads 2017 free movies ABC Family BAFTA Set visit disaster french WarnerMedia First Look sequel Pop TV CNN video Peacock Mystery Crunchyroll Classic Film crime Fox Searchlight diversity superhero LGBTQ Writers Guild of America Winter TV Calendar facebook Captain marvel Oscars TBS Creative Arts Emmys Premiere Dates First Reviews 2019 Trophy Talk kids social media cops Tumblr Disney Channel Comedy Central Paramount VICE cars breaking bad spy thriller south america Food Network BBC America Valentine's Day Winners FOX 20th Century Fox boxoffice hist dragons Extras casting binge cooking Holiday Horror APB Christmas talk show Nat Geo Star Wars Action Red Carpet HBO Go Ellie Kemper Ovation American Society of Cinematographers CMT Mary Tyler Moore A&E romantic comedy Anna Paquin versus Trailer Grammys nature Spring TV Syfy Emmy Nominations nfl Lionsgate blaxploitation BET Awards Walt Disney Pictures 24 frames RT History theme song sag awards MSNBC 45 Disney+ Disney Plus TCA CBS All Access name the review twilight witnail DC Universe Lifetime dc cancelled stoner rotten The Academy Black Mirror Martial Arts Turner Classic Movies worst movies quibi TNT Tomatazos Mudbound Paramount Network ABC Awards Tour Comic Book dramedy BBC One political drama documentaries anthology ITV police drama Turner book Warner Bros. Shondaland BET YouTube Red what to watch TV Land psychological thriller Disney streaming service The Walking Dead Stephen King Animation festival NYCC Pet Sematary Toys robots slashers japanese toronto Disney Plus Superheroe El Rey thriller FX on Hulu The Purge independent halloween Crackle Countdown Nominations Schedule medical drama adventure Amazon Studios cancelled TV shows Amazon PaleyFest cats zombies satire Cosplay A24 historical drama Rocky harry potter Shudder revenge YA cults FXX black Masterpiece 2016 war MCU GIFs finale movie Fantasy singing competition criterion OneApp Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt 2020 Emmys See It Skip It Fox News spinoff award winner DC streaming service Sundance Now Star Trek Sci-Fi worst Reality Competition teaser The Arrangement nbcuniversal ESPN Watching Series PlayStation Apple TV Plus TIFF Reality Song of Ice and Fire Quiz Sundance TV directors New York Comic Con asian-american Esquire romance tv talk Hulu TruTV Pixar cinemax Adult Swim Polls and Games MTV news Black History Month Superheroes Awards GLAAD miniseries discovery dark italian based on movie TV renewals Lifetime Christmas movies History Biopics National Geographic Discovery Channel Interview television Marvel elevated horror TCM die hard Spike Photos 4/20 YouTube Premium Box Office ratings Hear Us Out Rom-Com dceu foreign USA Pirates universal monsters Best and Worst Hallmark The Witch Country Comedy Music X-Men Pop Western series Kids & Family San Diego Comic-Con Election BBC supernatural Super Bowl sequels green book sitcom IFC Films remakes space Rocketman canceled TV shows E! Summer CW Seed franchise The CW screen actors guild Sneak Peek Epix Logo Ghostbusters reviews Mary Poppins Returns 2018 werewolf composers GoT stop motion comic parents crime drama travel adaptation SundanceTV Drama a nightmare on elm street renewed TV shows FX animated anime comedies Spectrum Originals emmy awards psycho PBS Fall TV children's TV films movies scary movies Heroines WGN game show latino Sundance Holidays SXSW golden globes 21st Century Fox Apple ghosts child's play Acorn TV unscripted Trivia spain australia Musical