Here I am again, reviewing my final movie at the TIFF, 9 days after the festival ended.
Unlike all the French movies I saw at this year’s TIFF and those from previous years, which were typically right to my taste and very *French* in their ambiance, “Love Crime” wasn’t too appealing or special and could be compared to Hollywood thrillers. But hey, Kristin Scott Thomas is one of my all-time favourites and no matter what, I try to see whatever movie comes out with her in it. Not that I didn’t enjoy it, but “Love Crime” was definitely not festival material in my eyes.
Good or bad, I’m done with my TIFF reviews. Now back to ‘real’ writing, poetry and all the rest.
I usually don’t bother with Hollywood movies at the TIFF, given the fact that they go on wide release at some future point anyway and can be seen with no hassle and stress. But hey, if you are lucky enough to take home two tickets for the most anticipated film at the TIFF, then who doesn’t want to take the opportunity? Even the lady working at the box office, handing me my tickets, was envious of the fact that I had scored tickets to the last screening of “Black Swan”!
Black Swan came right after La Solitudine Dei Numeri Primi and I can tell you that much: my Saturday night was deep, dark, intense and far from disappointing. Natalie Portman shines like a swan and disturbs like a psycho in the movie, and I’m quite positive she will be nominated for (and may possibly win) big acting awards in the year to come. She plays an insecure ballerina who gets her big break of starring as the Swan Queen (both the black and the white swan) in an adventurous adaptation of Swan Lake. I won’t say more than this brief introduction, as I don’t want to ruin the whole experience for those who haven’t yet seen the film.
Darren Aronofsky‘s Black swan is an intense, dark and well-make psychodrama – and Natalie just could not be better in her role!
Okay, here I go again – it’s been a few days since the TIFF ended and I’m still not done with my reviews. But it would be a total crime not to write about this well-made movie by Mr. Constanzo, after admiring it for two whole hours.
“The Solitude Of Prime Numbers“, perhaps, can be marked as one of my most favorite movies this year, not to mention at previous TIFFs. Two troubled youngsters with two completely different (or actually, not so much?) compelling back stories, living in parallel and interacting at different stages of their lives. As they grow older, they discover that their complex childhood stories resulted in their solitude today.
I was totally amazed by this fascinating yet intense story and the well-acted cast, and found myself coming out of the darkness with full sense of satisfaction.
This remarkable documentary on one of the most remarkable fashion designers of all times, Yves Saint Laurent, was another breath-taking experience, where digesting the whole beauty on the big screen becomes almost unbearable.
In this gorgeous piece, Pierre Thoretton showcases the life of Yves and his love life with his long-life business partner, Pierre Bergé, as well as their mind blowing art collection, comparable with a real museum. I admire Yves Saint Laurent, not only for his creative and artistic streak and the fact that he changed the way women dressed by introducing Prêt-à-Porter for the first time, but also for his delicate personality and big heart.
Documentaries in general – and on such artists in particular – have a great impact on me and “L’Amour Fou” was no exception.
Unlike past festivals, Iranian cinema didn’t have much to say at the TIFF this year. The only movie screened from the country was “The Hunter“, by not the most well-known director and screenplay writer, Rafi Pitts.
There wasn’t much dialogue in the film. However, the nature landscape shots and the framing of the movie were quite beautiful and evoked feelings of nostalgia in me for the Caspian region. I mean, I loved the shots of greenery through the several window frames, the tunnel, and all the rest. The storyline, on the other hand, was poorly scripted and didn’t have a clear path to follow – well, only in my humble opinion.
Didn’t love nor hate the movie. Unfortunately, it wasn’t my cup of tea. That’s all.
On the second night of my TIFF adventures, I switched from French to German cinema. Unfortunately, I’m not too familiar (as much as I’d like to) with the German style of movie-making. Based on the very few I’ve seen, however, they seem to follow the same pattern: minimal and pure, with a bit of uncertainty and twist.
“Blessed Events” is another one of them. It has a simple storyline based on a short story with the same name, about an insecure and shy lady in her 30s who faces a new life with a man from whom she got pregnant after a one-night stand. The movie is slow (well, especially compared to the previous two on my TIFF list), yet an interesting one. I also had the privilege to be part of the world premiere screening with the director and the lead actress who performed a great job presenting the movie there. They both seemed really proud of the end product, which took them approximately four years to finish.
Would I consider it one of my all-time favorite movies? No. Was it different and worth watching? Hell, yes.
Yes, my French marathon at this year’s festival continued by watching my beloved Mr. Canet‘s movie “Les Petits Mouchoirs“.
Before I go any further, may I say something? Does Marion Cotillard even know how NOT to act well? Indeed, she showed her marvelous talent by performing beautifully in this absolutely appealing drama.
The movie starts with a shocking scene, followed by an annual reunion vacation of a group of friends with many different personalities. Their individual characters (one happily married, one single but confused, one struggling with a past relationship, etc.), their ties of loyalty, the dialogues between them, and their convictions not only make you feel you are part of them, but also urges you to continuously watch them in wonderment – despite the fact that some reviews criticized the length of the movie.
“Les Petits Mouchoirs” made me laugh, made me cry, made me feel lovely and in love with each and every character.
What could be better to start off the festival with than a beautiful French film – L’homme qui voulait vivre sa vie – that was not only screened for an actual audience for the very first time, but a piece that blew my mind away with everything a movie possibly could: the story (a European-style thriller), the direction, the breathtaking scenery, and last but not least the amazing acting by Romain Duris, who happened to be present at the screening along with the director, Éric Lartigau.
Yes, the whole gang were there at the theatre last night for both the introduction part and the post-screening Q&A session. Mr. Lartigau was extremely excited to have his “fucking great movie” (his words, not mine!) shown at the TIFF.
The movie starts with a baby crying and Beck’s brilliant music in the background. It’s an intense thriller which flawlessly potraits an exceptional photographer on the run. No more spoilers in case anyone is still waiting to see it!
Definitely happy with my choice to start the festival.
Have you ever felt so overwhelmed with all sorts of things – tiny and huge – happening around you from the time you open your eyes in early hours of the day till you close them again? Not to mention that the feeling is often haunting you in your dreams. This is when calm breathing should take place, together with an inner-voice reminding you to shut off that thought cycle and have you repeat over and over again: “hey, I’m healthy!”
Now, my marathon at this year’s TIFF is about to start this evening with two back-to-back films from the French cinema.
I’ll be back with more culture-related updates – hopefully soon!
Here we are again…
Yes, it’s that time of the year – the 35th Toronto International Film Festival is kicking off today with a great deal of films worth watching from around the world.
The following ten days won’t be any different than previous years to me — my very own journey down the path of cinematic culture (!) continues, as I update my dear movie-loving readers with my TIFF experience and the films I am lucky enough to watch.
So stay tuned and be fabulous!