Sunday, September 11, 2011

TIFF 2011 Day 3 Recap

Some quick thoughts on the movies I saw today:

  • The Artist: a film about a silent screen star that can't cope with the advent of the talkies. Shot as an actual silent movie with no dialog, this was a really clever move that produced a really touching and funny story. Hard to believe you can get a compelling 90 minute movie with no speaking, but director Michel Hazanavicius does it with aplomb.
  • Killer Elite: couldn't get more star power than having Robert De Niro, Jason Statham and Clive Owen on stage at once. But I was actually there to see Yvonne Strahovski (from TV's Chuck), and she didn't disappoint. :-) She even managed to change at some point between the start and end of the movie! The film itself was action packed, but was a bit awkwardly structured at the start, and I'm not quite sure I bought the Featherman as this all-powerful Illuminati-like cabal, at least from how they were portrayed. But I enjoyed the interplay between all the characters, and De Niro's turn, while nothing taxing, reminded me a little bit of his role in Ronin.Owen and Statham played well off of each other. Strahovski's part was a 180 from Sarah Walker, and I wish the script gave her more to do, but she acquitted herself well with what she had, including sharing scenes with De Niro.
  • Burning Man: Matthew Goode does a great turn as a chef plagued by his own inner demons as he comes to terms with a tragedy in his life. The film jumps around quite a bit in time and as such is a bit hard to follow at the start; by the end the rhythm settles and you can see everything come to together.
  • Edwin Boyd: Based on the real life exploits of a Canadian bank robber, the film features Scott Speedman as the title character. Speedman really digs into the role and you can see his struggle as he finds his way to criminality first as a means to support his family, and then as he begins to enjoy the noteriety. Also features Kelly Reilly (who I recognized but struggled to remember from where, until I remembered her as Caroline Bingley in Pride and Prejudice and Mary Morstan in Sherlock Holmes), Brian Cox, Kevin Durand (who's old Toronto vocal coach happened to be in the audience), Charlotte Sullivan (who I recognized from Rookie Blue), and William Mapother.


My experiences at the Toronto International Film Festival. Note this blog is not affiliated with the Toronto International Film Festival Group or the festival itself.
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