Need more proof that 12 Years A Slave is a movie you'll be hearing about constantly for the next few months? You don't have to believe the critics-- just ask the audiences at the Toronto International Film Festival. On Sunday the drama from director Steve McQueen was revealed as the winner of the festival's Audience Award...
If the films share a common bond, it’s that they show us actors known for one skill set throwing caution (and reputation) to the wind in hopes of furthering their careers. These are the narratives that still come out of Toronto, a showcase for film and conversation on an annual basis.
My time in Toronto has come to an end, so I’m going to sprint through the movies I screened, to help you put a few on your radar (or slide them into the “Don’t Bother” category). Here’s what I saw, and what I thought about it.
Director Steve McQueen, whose previous two films Hunger and Shame have been tightly focused character studies, has made a stunning historical epic about a familiar, shameful subject and makes it new by making it personal
Uniformly, the cast is fantastic, with Streep and Roberts serving as the expected scene-stealers. Streep, per usual, Streep, commands our attention. But it’s so much more than “here goes Streep again.” Every time she approaches a new role, she resembles a painter staring at a blank canvas, and she fills it with her inspiration.
Every once in a while, at a major film festival like Toronto – where hundreds of titles are shown over the duration of the fest – you take a chance on a movie that you think is going to be in your wheelhouse … and it knocks you on your ass. For me, that movie this year is John Carney’s Can a Song Save Your Life?
This week we've reached across international borders to check in with our own David, who is in the thick of the Toronto Film Festival but has somehow avoided eating poutine (so far). We also talk about the future of the Terminator franchise, the new Nine Inch Nails album Hesitation Marks, movie titles that have nothing to do with the movie itself (thanks to listener Mark from Pittsburgh for the voicemail!), and pick our favorite movies about organized crime
Welcome, students. The topic of today’s Toronto International Film Festival “lesson” is history. Slavery, presidential assassinations and the vicious living conditions in P.O.W. camps are dissected in 12 Years a Slave, Parkland and The Railway Man, respectively.
The director of Children of Men and Y Tu Mama, Tambien produces a stunning achievment in filmmaking – and storytelling – that takes an audience on a breathtaking, break-neck space jaunt that delivers the closest replication of zero-gravity fear and exultation as we’ve ever seen on screen.
The movie’s so mind-bogglingly special, so groundbreaking, that I had to assemble the Gravity crew to gush on a quick podcast about why we were transfixed by Cuaron’s masterpiece. I guarantee you will not hear a more spirited discussion on Gravity … at least, not until the movie opens on Oct. 4 and you guys can join the conversation!
Dallas also confirms what many of us suspected: McConaughey officially leaps into this year’s Oscar pool with both feet, and the significant “splash” he generates should ensure that other aspects of Vallee’s stirring production get “wet” in the process.
I took a break in-between screenings to fill you in on Reitman’s latest – a definite step toward maturity for the Juno and Up In the Air director – as well as the Palme d’Or winner Blue is the Warmest Color, and more on Bill Condon’s The Fifth Estate.
I caught Prisoners Wednesday night. It’s a searing, meat-and-potatoes police procedural that’s elevated to a higher level by Hugh Jackman (who is raw and brutal), Jake Gyllenhaal and some fantastic Roger Deakins cinematography. Read my reaction, Then settle in for this candid conversation with Villeneuve,
Assange's influence on the field of modern journalism can not be overlooked. Someday, WikiLeaks will get its own equivalent of “The Social Network,” only with so much information to disseminate, I suspect it’s going to have to come in documentary form.
Prisoners works best as a litmus test. Columns will be penned, and conversations will be had, about who is right and who is wrong in the film. How far would you push if it were your child that was missing? Is Jackman stooping to an animalistic level by brutally torturing Dano’s character for precious information? Or is he doing what’s necessary to save the life of his little girl? On a spiritual level, how can the God Jackman’s character regularly prays to allow such horrible deeds to happen?