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

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