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Posts tagged “Toronto International Film Festival

TIFF 2013: Blue Ruin (Addicted)

blueruin_01Dwight is a scruffy vagrant who lives by the beach and scavenges for food in dumpsters. He sleeps in a rusty old car seemingly content to live outside the norms of the everyday hustle and bustle. His seemingly aimless existence is interrupted when he learns of a man’s release from prison. Dwight transforms overnight and his life purpose snaps into focus as he returns to his Virginia hometown to face his past.

Blue Ruin is anchored by an intrepid and highly skilled performance from Macon Blair. (more…)


TIFF 2013: Like Father, Like Son (Dork Shelf)

Originally posted on DORK SHELF

Like Father, Like Son

Special Presentation

Director: Hirokazu Kore-eda

Like-Father-Like-SonRyota (Masaharu Fukuyama) and Midori Nonomiya (Machiko Ono) are a hard working professional couple who live with their only child, Keita, in a modern Tokyo high-rise. After the hospital delivers the shocking truth about their son being switched at birth, the Nonomiyas suddenly find their lives drastically altered. Their birth-son, Ryusei, is being raised by the easygoing Yudai (Lily Franky) and Yukari Saiki (Yoko Maki). In stark contrast to the Nonomiyas, the Saikis and their three children live in a modest apartment above the family’s appliance shop. Both couples are hesitant to force an abrupt emotional change on their families, but soon begin socializing, including swapping boys on weekends.

The winner of the Jury prize at Cannes this year, Like Father, Like Son is a thoughtful, methodical and serious examination of a concept usually played humorously. Fukuyama delivers a mesmerizing performance as the over-achieving Ryota, a father who while working to better his family’s situation has managed to distance himself from everyone around him. His work is nuanced and largely internalized, but displaying lots of confusion, doubt, and pain in his facial expressions.

The film does carry some pacing issues, and it takes a very long time to start getting to where it needs to go, but audience members that can stay with the film should leave very satisfied with a thoughtful and well-earned finale.

Till Next Time

Movie Junkie TO

Follow me directly on twitter @moviejunkieto and by liking my Facebook page at Movie Junkie TO

 

Email me at moviejunkieto@gmail.com


TIFF 2013: The Sacrament (Addicted)

sacrament_01Patrick (Kentucker Audley) is a fashion photographer. When his colleagues Sam (AJ Bowen) and Jake (Joe Swanberg), correspondents for Vice magazine, catch wind of a letter he received from his estranged sister Caroline (Amy Seimetz), they decide her story would be a great subject for a documentary. Caroline is living in what she refers to as a “sober” commune at an unnamed location outside the United States. While Patrick reunites with his sister, Sam and Jake investigate why members of the isolated community have followed a mysterious leader they call “Father” off American soil. Understandably skeptical at first, the guys slowly come around to the group’s utopian claims, until the cracks below the surface start to emerge.

In traditional Ti West form, The Sacrament  (more…)


TIFF 2013 Only Lovers Left Alive

"only lovers left alive"TIFF 2013: Only Lovers Left Alive

Adam (Tom Hiddleston) is a reclusive, yet brilliantly talented and desired, rock star whose only wish is to avoid his adoring fans and write and play his music. Eve (Tilda Swinton) is his lady belle, who leaves her closest friend, Christopher Marlowe (John Hurt), to travel halfway around the world to be with her lover and live in a ramshackle mansion-cum-recording studio on the outskirts of Detroit. Their reverie is troubled, not just by the fans who close in on and keep vigil outside Adam’s hideaway, but also by Eve’s irascible sister (Mia Wasikowska), who it seems perpetually stuck as a rambunctious and untameable teenager despite being just as old as the rest of the vampires she`s connected too.

Director Jim Jarmush uses the guise of the thousands year old vampires to tell a story dripped in decay and gothic sensibilities. Jarmush`s vampires are in no hurry to do anything, who would be after living thousands of years and seeing pretty much everything you could imagine, and in the case of Adam and Eve can spend hundreds of years apart yet remain deeply in love. The Detroit setting turns out to be a genius masterstroke in story telling as the near abandoned buildings and decrepit setting provide the perfect backdrop for the angst ridden Adam to wallow in. The film is packed with nods to historical people and places and infers that the group, including Hurt`s Christopher, have been manipulating art and culture since the time of Keats, Shelly and even Shakespeare.

 

 Equally a meditation of the lasting impact of art throughout history, Jarmush manages to get the most out of the majority of his talented cast. Wasikowska is lost and sadly ineffectual in her turn as the sister, yet her role is a brief and fleeting for the audience as what a hundred years must feel like for the rest of the characters. A brooding and creative piece, Only Lovers Left Alive is one of the biggest highlights of TIFF 2013.

Till Next Time

Movie Junkie TO

Follow me directly on twitter @moviejunkieto and by liking my Facebook page at Movie Junkie TO

Email me at moviejunkieto@gmail.com


TIFF 2013: Parkland

PARKLANDDallas. November 22, 1963. 12:38pm. Wounded President John F. Kennedy is rushed to Parkland Memorial Hospital, where a frantic trauma team struggles in vain to save him. Precisely forty-eight hours later, the same personnel would attend to the President’s mortally wounded assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald. Adapting Vincent Bugliosi’s acclaimed non-fiction book Four Days in November, first-time writer-director Peter Landesman gathers a star-studded cast (including Zac Efron, Paul Giamatti, and Academy Award-winners Billy Bob Thornton and Marcia Gay Harden) to deliver an ensemble based procedural drawn from the accounts of the medical staff, investigators, and ordinary citizens who witnessed the world-changing events first-hand.

You will not find anything new or integral to the JFK Assassination in Parkland, this is not that film. Instead it remains content to merely play out and display the actions of the bystanders of that act. The film in many regards just sits there as it does little to draw the audience into the proceedings, other than what the audience brings to it. The film also features a failed story thread involving the secret service agent who originally interview Oswald months before that either needs to be more fleshed out or excised all together as it just sits hanging through most of the film as an afterthought.

 

The film features some decent performances, Paul Giammati, James Badge Dale and Marcia Gay Harden are all great, and one terribly unconvincing and terribly dull performance from Zac Efron. Sadly Efron is front and center here as one of JFK’s surgeons and in the midst of the other more seasoned performers sticks out like a sore thumb. And it’s that thumb that nearly ruins the whole experience.


TIFF 2012 Clip and Picture Day Reviews

Photo from TIFF.net

Clip (2012)

Starring Isidora Simijonovic, Vukašin Jasnic, Sanja Mikitišin, Jovo Makisc and Monja Savic

Written and Directed by Maja Milos

Jasna (Simijonovic) is a teenage girl living in the poor suburbs in the south of Belgrade, Serbia. She, like many girls her age, likes to record everything around her using a mobile phone camera. She is making videos of herself, her school friends, family and Djole (Jasnic), the boy of her dreams. Her family life is a mess, her father is terminally ill and mother is barely coping. Jasna cannot figure out how to cope with this and it leads her further down the wrong path, leading to more and more time hanging out with her school friends, partying and drinking. At one of the parties, she finally starts a conversation with Djole and later they develop an intense sexual relationship. When he realizes that she will do anything to be close to him, Djole starts using her as a sexual object. Jasna……………

(more…)