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Sep 9, 2012
12:09 AMTalk about Arts
TIFF 2012, abridged
If there is a personal theme for TIFF 2012 so far, it involves screw-ups. My interviews got screwed up, a couple screenings got screwed up, screw-ups got screwed up.
But I'm not all that bothered, because the films have been do interesting this far. I'll have more to say soon on all of these, but a few initial thoughts:
• Pablo Larrain's No isn't just my fave of the festival so far, it's one of my faves of the year. It's a funny, moving, bold look at the ousting of Pinochet in 80s Chile. This is modern history told with poise and ambition, and it's a stunner. 9/10
• Joe Wright's Anna Karenina is big, beautiful, and wildly ambitious, but for me, it never quite reached the level of greatness. All the performances are good, yet Anna herself left me unmoved, and that's a problem. Still, a worthy effort. 7/10
• The hype said Bertolucc's Me and You was a meandering disappointment. Yes, it does meander, but that's kind of the point. I found it a knowing film of adolescent turmoil, a far more moving take than, say, Moonrise Kingdom. This is a wonderful film for smart audiences. 8/10
• My thoughts on Neil Jordan's Byzantium are embargoed until tomorrow, so more to come, including Kristen Wiig in Imogene, and two foreign films: Amour and Something in the Air. And hopefully, no more screw-ups.
As for me, everything has run quite smoothly. Maybe too much so as my paranoia for tardiness had me being the first in line for most press screening (no guaranteed seating) because the industry people don't stroll in until about 30 minutes beforehand.
• No - not as high on it as Chris because of my penchant to always be hard on bio-pics, it's 80s aesthetic and performances are great. 8/10
• Something in the Air - a sprawling love letter(?) to the director's adolescence in a time of philosophical and political liberation that goes nowhere unless you were alive and active in the 70s. 6/10
• Anna Karenina - a dated story brought to life in a gloriously masterful way through artificial theatricality possessing art direction and transitions that more than make up for the source material's shortcomings. 8/10
• Frances Ha - quirky comedy with a memorable lead performance from Greta Gerwig that reinvigorated my enjoyment of director Noah Baumbach. 9/10
• Place Beyond the Pines - an overly ambitious film in three acts that overcomes its contrivances and concept, but barely so. 8/10
• Twice Born - starting off like a run-of-the-mill tale of lost love through tragedy, the revelations that arrive through flashbacks of a war torn Sarajevo will eventually rip out your soul. 9/10
• A Late Quartet - slight film with a plot you've seen before with different subject matter, the Fleetwood Mac-esque sexual trysts that soon overtake a world-reknowned string quartet with Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Chris Walken are silly. 6/10
• Aftershock - starring Eli Roth should say it all as this disaster/horror uses the Hostel act structure in a less-polished, more overtly over-the-top way. 5/10