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

mutant elevated horror space Comics on TV docudrama jamie lee curtis Lionsgate Lifetime Musical History sequel Nat Geo PaleyFest biography medical drama Sundance Music dceu Countdown unscripted Best and Worst supernatural dramedy Mary poppins mockumentary Universal X-Men Podcast 2019 A&E Star Wars Logo spider-man Mystery Apple Anna Paquin anime Writers Guild of America Amazon Prime The Arrangement Dark Horse Comics RT21 crime thriller crime drama teaser BBC America Pop TCM DGA FXX 007 streaming Trailer 2016 Spike Winter TV Food Network comic Song of Ice and Fire singing competition FOX Walt Disney Pictures MTV Grammys President Holidays E! Calendar Oscars Sundance Now BET Awards Tour DC streaming service Pirates sitcom USA Network social media robots Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Pet Sematary Thanksgiving TCA 2017 Tarantino Toys CNN ratings Photos Musicals Disney Animation zero dark thirty adaptation CBS All Access Heroines Awards Mary Poppins Returns Opinion Marathons LGBTQ Nominations police drama CW Seed romance Epix Comedy Teen science fiction Superheroe AMC casting DC Universe VH1 2017 TLC boxoffice historical drama GIFs Esquire Film Festival Interview 2015 what to watch Certified Fresh Box Office Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Quiz blaxploitation crime Creative Arts Emmys theme song BBC Sony Pictures finale Britbox Extras CBS MCU Captain marvel Reality Competition strong female leads Crackle Spring TV E3 Freeform SundanceTV Christmas Fox News dc Vudu HBO Watching Series Rom-Com war 20th Century Fox YouTube Premium New York Comic Con transformers Black Mirror FX television psycho discovery Drama IFC Films Western Reality facebook Syfy Nickelodeon Biopics NBC Hulu cults Fantasy TBS Comic Book Elton John spy thriller anthology Super Bowl hist vampires The CW miniseries El Rey Trophy Talk Marvel Summer 21st Century Fox thriller GoT Fall TV Lucasfilm sports comiccon 2018 Pixar DirecTV Starz SDCC Cannes Infographic disaster Kids & Family Star Trek Premiere Dates Bravo Horror doctor who adventure golden globes politics technology American Society of Cinematographers Masterpiece Mudbound Shudder binge ESPN Rocky Ghostbusters Tomatazos TIFF Character Guide serial killer nature OWN APB National Geographic San Diego Comic-Con witnail award winner composers IFC cinemax based on movie cops GLAAD ITV Stephen King zombie cats Country dragons 45 Sci-Fi DC Comics Emmys Paramount Network Ellie Kemper psychological thriller Polls and Games diversity Rock richard e. Grant natural history Comedy Central festivals Year in Review See It Skip It CMT ABC Family Women's History Month The Witch zombies Amazon political drama Columbia Pictures Rocketman Adult Swim aliens justice league Sneak Peek ABC Paramount Schedule harry potter Showtime PBS TV Mindy Kaling Martial Arts WGN YA Tumblr Warner Bros. cooking RT History Brie Larson Cosplay crossover Trivia Cartoon Network talk show Netflix Disney Channel USA Election TNT Spectrum Originals First Look Ovation NYCC TruTV YouTube Red 24 frames Red Carpet Video Games period drama SXSW Winners Shondaland Superheroes VICE TV Land true crime Acorn TV Set visit green book Action Valentine's Day TCA MSNBC Mary Tyler Moore travel