Friday, September 17, 2010

TIFF Roundup

indieWire has a roundup of the critics' scores of many of the films at TIFF. It's a great list, but it is in alpha order and sans descriptions, so I'm rearranging and adding to it here. A few notes - I'm sure this isn't everything, because I'm pretty sure Beautiful Boy with Michael Sheen and Maria Bello premiered, and it isn't on this list. I'd say in general, anything B or above is probably worth checking out (if it comes to a theater near you) and anything in the B-/C+ range is woth checking out if it piques your interest, because some (many?) critics are crazy.

[Update! These rankings are from when the list first appeared on indieWire's site. They have updated that page since then.]

I Saw the Devil Kim Jee-woon, South Korea
- Let's hear what the distributor that nabbed it has to say; "'I Saw the Devil' is one of the most riveting and unrelenting films I’ve ever seen. It is an undisputable masterpiece... Unparalleled in it’s brutality, Kim Jeewoon deftly takes the serial killer thriller to new, profoundly disturbing heights. It’s hard to imagine curating a genre label that didn’t include this remarkable achievement." Well, alrighty then.
My Joy Sergei Loznitsa, Germany/Ukraine/The Netherlands called this a "mordant, slow-motion horror film about a truck driver's journey into hell." Well, then.

127 Hours Danny Boyle, USA
-the one about the real guy who cut off his own arm after being trapped under a boulder. Apparently there were two incidents of audience members needing medical attention after seeing it.
The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu
Andrei Ujica, Romania
Black Swan
Darren Aronofsky, USA
-Natalie Portman, gunning for the oscar, as a ballerina. Who may or may not have dated Mickey Rourke in Darren Aronofsky's head.
Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame
Tsui Hark, China
-My spy in Toronto reports back that this is awesome.
The King’s Speech Tom Hooper, United Kingdom/Australia
-Will the Oscars rectify their snub of Colin Firth from last year if he puts on a stutter? I don't like the guy, and even I thought he should've won for A Single Man.
Mysteries of Lisbon Raul Ruiz, Portugal/France
-huh. I heard that this was pretty, but snooze-inducing.
The Piano in a Factory Zhang Meng, China
The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town Thom Zimny, USA
-Bruce Springsteen Rockumentary
Rabbit Hole John Cameron Mitchell, USA
-All eyes are on Nicole Kidman as she plays a grieving mother of a dead child. Specifically, her face, and whether or not you can see scars or movement.
Bruce McDonald, Canada
-Yay! A Bechdel-test winner. About former rock stars! I want to see it!
The Trip
Michael Winterbottom, United Kingdom
-I'm hoping this will be what I wanted Tristram Shandy to be.
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives Apichatpong Weerasethakul, U.K./Thailand/France/Germany/Spain
-The first Thai film to ever win the Palme D'Or at Cannes.
You Are Here Daniel Cockburn, Canada
-It has been described as a meta-detective story and a Borgesian fantasy. Color me intrigued.

Another Year
Mike Leigh, United Kingdom
- A Mike Leigh character portrait of an older couple and their friends and relatives.
Blue Valentine
Derek Cianfrance, USA
- I can't wait to see this one. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams falling in and out of love.
Boxing Gym
Frederick Wiseman, USA
Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer
Alex Gibney, USA
The Illusionist Sylvain Chomet, United Kingdom
- The follow up to the Triplets of Belleville.
Incendies Denis Villeneuve, Canada
-Canada's official Oscar entry
Inside Job Charles Ferguson, USA
Leap Year Michael Rowe, Mexico
Machete Maidens Unleashed! Mark Hartley, Australia
Meek’s Cutoff Kelly Reichardt, USA
- They try to ford the river and their oxen die. I'm guessing.
Nostalgia for the Light Patricio Guzmán, France/Germany/Chile
Oki’s Movie Hong Sangsoo, South Korea
Passion John Turturro, Italy
Le Quattro Volte Michelangelo Frammartino, Italy/Germany/Switzerland
Silent Souls Aleksei Fedorchenko, Russia
Submarine Richard Ayoade, United Kingdom
- I've heard it's a dark indie comedy not unlike Rushmore.
Tabloid Errol Morris, USA
Thirteen Assassins Takashi Miike, Japan
The Town Ben Affleck, USA
-Please tell me you've heard of this.
The Way Emilio Estevez, USA
-Martin Sheen plays a Republican. Really truly.

Janus Metz, Denmark
- Supposed to be a really intense and controversial film about Afghanistan.
Athina Rachel Tsangiri, Greece
Mike Mills, USA
- This is something about Ewan McGregor dealing with his parents. Or something.
Behind Blue Skies
Hannes Holm, Sweden
Black Ocean
Marion Hänsel, Belgium/France/Germany
Rodrigo Cortés, Spain/USA
- Ryan Reynolds in a box movie! Yay!
Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Werner Herzog, USA
- 3-D cave paintings. As you do.
Cool It
Ondi Timoner, USA
Deep in the Woods
Benoit Jacquot France/Germany
Dhobi Ghat
Kiran Rao, India
The Edge
Alexey Uchitel, Russia
Film Socialism Jean-Luc Godard, France
Heartbeats Xavier Dolan, Canada
Henry’s Crime Malcolm Venville, USA
I Wish I Knew Jia Zhang-ke, China/The Netherlands
Julia’s Eyes Guillem Morales, Spain
The Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen Andrew Lau, Hong Kong
Let Me In Matt Reeves, UK/USA
-Cloverfield's director takes on the remake of the Swedish Let the Right One In with the action placed in 1980s New Mexico, and possibly more faithful to the original book. The consensus seems to be that he manages to pull off a film that stands up on it's own, even after one has seen and loved the Swedish version.
Life, Above All Oliver Schmitz, South Africa/Germany
Monsters Gareth Edwards, United Kingdom
- This year's District 9, in that it is sci-fi shot on a shoe-string budget.
Neds Peter Mullan, United Kingdom/France/Italy
- Finally! A second film from the director of the Magdalene Sisters.
Poetry Lee Chang-dong, South Korea
Potiche François Ozon, France
The Solitude Of Prime Numbers
Saverio Constanzo, Italy
John Curran, USA
-Edward Norton vs. Robert DeNiro. Maybe this one will be released, unlike Leaves of Grass, which I am STILL waiting for.
The Strange Case of Angelica
Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal/Spain/France/Brazil
The Whistleblower Larysa Kondracki, Canada/Germany

Barney’s Version
Richard J. Lewis, Canada/Italy
-Paul Giametti playing Barney Panofsky. I don't know - they seem to know him in Canada.
Biutiful Alejandro González Iñárritu, Spain/Mexico
- Javier Bardem gunning for an Oscar.
Brighton Rock
Rowan Joffe, United Kingdom
- A remake of the original Richard Attenborough film, but with the action updated to the Mods and Rockers of the 1960s.
Casino Jack
George Hickenlooper, Canada
-Kevin Spacey playing Jack Abramoff.
Cold Fish
Sion Sono, Japan
Easy A
Will Gluck, USA
-Emma Stone in Clueless meets the Scarlet Letter.
Everything Must Go Dan Rush, USA
-Will Ferrell's follow up to the mostly serious Stranger Than Fiction.
Jack Goes Boating Philip Seymour Hoffman, USA
-Philip Seymour Hoffman directs himself and his former cast mates in a theater to movie adaptation. The supporting acting is supposed to be good.
Kaboom Gregg Araki, USA/France
-Crazy college sexual politics headtrip acid-trip I'm not sure anyone knows how to describe it. I can't wait.
Late Autumn Kim Tae-Yong, South Korea
Made in Dagenham Nigel Cole, United Kingdom
-For those who enjoyed Calendar Girls
Microphone Ahmad Abdalla, Egypt
Never Let Me Go Mark Romanek, United Kingdom
-Again, tell me you've heard of this.
Of Gods and Men Xavier Beauvois, France
Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow Sophie Fiennes, U.K./France/The Netherlands
The Pipe Risteard Ó Domhnaill, Ireland
Sarah’s Key Gilles Paquet Brenner, France
-One of the first buys of the festival, about the WWII invasion of France.
That Girl in Yellow Boots Anurag Kashyap, India

John Sayles, USA
Conviction Tony Goldwyn, USA
-I have a review coming on this. True story, sibling love, makes fun of Martha Coakley, yada yada.
Dirty Girl
Abe Sylvia, USA
The Ditch
Wang Bing, France/Belgium
I’m Still Here Casey Affleck, USA
-Hey! Joaquin Phoenix wasted a year of his life! It looks like big brother got the directing talent while Casey got the onscreen chops.
Insidious James Wan, USA
-Ah, the title I keep confusing with Incendies. This one is the horror film from the director of the first Saw. Stars Rose Byrne and Patrick Wilson.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story Ryan Fleck, Anna Boden, USA
-I've not heard good things about this, which is supposedly One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest in high school.
The Light Thief Aktan Arym Kubat, Kyrgyzstan/Germany/France/Netherlands
Little White Lies Guillaume Canet, France
-Apparently a poor French rip off of the Big Chill.
Make Believe J. Clay Tweel, USA
-Documentary about teen magicians
The Matchmaker Avi Nesher, Israel
Mothers Milcho Manchevski, Macedonia/France/Bulgaria
Norwegian Wood Tran Anh Hung, Japan
-A Haruki Murakami adaptation. I've heard it is beautifully shot, but not on the same level as the book.
Peep World Barry Blaustein, USA
-Dark comedy starring Rainn Wilson, Michael C. Hall, Sarah Silverman and Lewis Black.
Promises Written in Water Vincent Gallo, USA
A Screaming Man Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, France/Belgium/Chad
The Sleeping Beauty Catheirne Breillat, France
-After Bluebeard, Catherine Breillat tackles another fairytale.
Tamara Drewe Stephen Frears, United Kingdom
-Probably also for those who liked Calendar Girls. Although - hey! Dominic Cooper in eyeliner.
Tender Son – The Frankenstein Project Kornél Mundruczó Hungary/Germany/Austria
Three Tom Tykwer, Germany
-Yay! I love Tom Tykwer! This sounds like The Freebie, with elements of Cabaret I suppose.
The Ward John Carpenter, USA
-Horror flick. Girls at a mental asylum.
White Irish Drinkers John Gray, USA
- As opposed to...?
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger Woody Allen, United Kingdom/USA/Spain
-It's Woody Allen. You need a description?

Blame Michael Henry, Australia
Brownian Movement Nanouk Leopold, The Netherlands/Germany/Belgium
Max Winkler, USA
-Michael Angarano, who was so good in Snow Angels, stars in a Rushmore/Charlie Bartlett-esque film.
Chico & Rita Fernando Trueba, Javier Mariscal, Tono Errando, Spain/United Kingdom
-Animated love story with jazz
The Conspirator Robert Redford, USA
-Lincoln's assassination! And a history lesson on legal prec...zzzzzzz
The Debt John Madden, USA
-a story about three Mossad agents both trying to kill a nazi, and reflecting on that time 30 years later. The cast is fantastic...
Essential Killing Jerzy Skolimowski, Poland/Norway/Ireland/Hungary
-Vincent Gallo.
The First Grader Justin Chadwick, United Kingdom
Hereafter Clint Eastwood, UK
-Clint Eastwood's film about ghost whisperers and the afterlife. Considering the talented cast, it's too bad this didn't get better reviews.
The High Cost of Living Deborah Chow, Canada
-*sigh* If only there were the word Death preceding that title. Anyways, a drug dealer hits a pregnant woman, kills the unborn child, which she decides to carry to term and then she becomes involved with the dealer in some way. And the dealer is Zach Braff.
Last Night Massy Tadjedin, USA/France
Kiera Knightley and Sam Worthington in yet another film about possible infidelity. But I've heard pretty good things about it.
The Poll Diaries Chris Kraus, Germany/Austria/Estonia
Route Irish Ken Loach, United Kingdom/France/Belgium/Italy/Spain
-Ken Loach is brilliant, but I haven't heard that this is his best work. It's about a security contractor's death in Iraq and his friend's struggle to find out the truth.
Score: A Hockey Musical Michael McGowan, Canada
-The single most Canadian film EVER MADE.
Vanishing on 7th Street Brad Anderson, USA
-Hayden Christensen is one of the last people on earth. If that doesn't say apocalypse...

Africa United
Debs Gardner-Paterson, United Kingdom
Guy Moshe, USA
-I think this is the crazy anime-style, Josh Hartnett/Woody Harrleson noir type flick.
Home for Christmas
Bent Hamer, Norway/Germany/Sweden
How I Ended This Summer
Alexei Popogrebsky, Russia
The Hunter
Rafi Pitts, Iran
Miral Julian Schnabel, United Kingdom/Israel/France
-Freida Pinto in a Palestinian drama. Not supposed to be very good.
SUPER James Gunn, USA
-This, however, I have heard really good things about. In the same vein as Kick Ass, but with more people you have heard of. Plus! Nathan Fillion and James Gunn's (PG Porn) sensibilities.
Trust David Schwimmer, USA
-Pedophiles on the interwebs are BAD.


Passion Play Mitch Glazer, USA
-Megan Fox has wings. This story seemed like it had potential, but apparently it just doesn't come together.
What’s Wrong With Virginia Dustin Lance Black, USA
-Another one I wanted only good things for. Dustin Lance Black did such an incredible job with the Milk screenplay, I hoped his directorial debut would be as good. Apparently not.
The Womb Benedek Filegauf

L.A. Zombie Bruce LaBruce, Germany/USA/France

Repeaters Carl Bessai, Canada

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