Sunday, September 12, 2010

TIFF2010: Day 4

So I haven't fully hit my stride with the amount of films that I want to be viewing. I am finding that I have to pace myself properly if I want to get through 6 films a day. Believe this was not my day, being that I was up so late last night, so I only got to four films.

LOOK, STRANGER (Arielle Javitch): I don't really recall what I was expecting from this film, but it wasn't a lot and I was severely let down. Granted, I did view this early this morning, but thinking back on it, it is a minimalist film with two characters that never really describe what they are doing, where they are going and why. Whether or not I caught this film in the middle of the day I don't think that much would have changed in the story. We are introduced to a woman that is "trying to get home" (although we don't know where home is) and he helps her, until he gives up and leaves her in a place that is exactly how they started. Basically, just not good.


LAST NIGHT (Massy Tadjedin): The more that I think about this film, the more I realize how much that it stuck with me and I liked its premise, although sad. Joanna (Kira Knightley) and Michael (Sam Worthington) are a married couple that have dated since college. We are introduced to them at a party where Joanna sees her husband flirting with his colleague, played by Eva Mendez. After arguing that evening over potential infidelities the couple make-up and when Michael leaves on a business trip the next day with Mendez, Johanna runs into an old fling on the street who is only in town for one night, played by Guillaume Canet. What happens next is an evening between two couples, both cheating in their own way. One couple is far more interesting to watch than the other, being that Canett is magnetic and so charming around Knightley that you wonder how she could not be with him. But what is great about this film is that it begs to ask the question of which is worse, to cheat on someone because of physical attraction and lust for something new or to emotionally cheat by being in love with someone else?


WHAT'S WRONG WITH VIRGINIA (Dustin Lance Black): Dustin Lance Black won the Academy Award for best screenplay for MILK and WHAT'S WRONG WITH VIRGINIA is his first feature film with writer and director credits. Virginia, played by Jennifer Connelly, is the town freak; she sleeps around, is coughing up blood and has an interesting son who is trying to figure out his feelings towards women and God. Things get tense in the town when Virginia reveals that she is having the baby of the town Sheriff (Ed Harris) who is running for senator and married. This film is tough, being that there is a lot going on. It is layered with interesting feelings towards religion, age, marriage and love. It often tries to be funny and some moments really are, but the rest falls flat and becomes strange. Black is trying to take cues from David Lynch, but failing to minimize all of the ideas that are going on. Connelly saves this film with her wonderful performance as Virgina.


AMIGO (John Sayles): Unfortunately, this was simply a dud. I walked out after an hour and that was me being kind, compared to the rest of the industry audience. AMIGO is about American take-over of the Philippines and what happens to a town of people that must bow down to this occupation. The film felt inauthentic in style and costuming. The dialogue was cliche and painful and after an hour of this 2 hour film I decided that if it was unsure of its characters and of its conflict this far into it, it was not worth my time.


That's all today! Until tomorrow! (I can't believe that I am half way done...sigh)

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