Thoughts on the final day:
- Boy, there were some die-hards lined up for tickets for the free screening of the Cadillac People's Choice Award Winner, The King's Speech. I was there at 2:00 for The Trip, and there were already people lined up, and they weren't releasing tickets until 4:00.
- The Trip: hilarious improvised romp through the restaurants of Northern England with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon played fictionalized versions of their real-life selves. As everyone has mentioned, their dueling Michael Caine impressions are one of the highlights of the film (and having seen Michael Caine in person at the festival last year, I can attest to that). But their conversations are also interspersed with personal moments, Brydon missing his wife and newborn, and Coogan having one-night stands while longing for his girlfriend in America and thinking about his own pre-teen son, lending a bit of dramatic flair to the comedic road trip. Well worth seeing.
- 13 Assassins: the latest from Japanese director Takeshi Miike, 13 Assassins is a remake of the 1963 Eiichi Kudo film of the same name, and follows the real-life story of Shinzaemon Shimada, a samurai who is secretely charged with a mission to assassinate Lord Naritsugu, the adopted younger brother of the current shogun. Naritsugu is brutalizing his subjects, and after another lord commits seppuku, the consipracy is put in motion. Shinzaemon recruits others to his cause, and it all comes to a head in an action-packed 45-minute climax reminiscent of The Seven Samurai or Miike's last film, Sukiyaki Western Django. Even though there is a long buildup, the film never felt like it dragged, and the assassins' last stand again insurmountable odds is worth the wait.