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

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