TORONTO 2009: HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE SPECTACLE

1105013_An_Education
site_28_rand_314043860_an_education_maxed
2009_an_education_010

FROM THE CANADIAN PRESS

The TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL ended on the weekend after unspooling more than 300 films during a 10 day cinematic marathon.

The CANADIAN PRESS writers who covered the fest pick some memorable moments from this year’s spectacle.

BEST FILMS:

CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY – Two decades of kicking at the establishment culminates in MICHAEL MOORE’S most focused work in years. It’s nothing short of a rallying cry to dismantle U.S. style capitalism and replace rampant greed with the democracy that Americans profess to love so dearly.

DAYBREAKERS – This unusual vampire film turns the genre on its head by presenting night dwellers as the majority of society and humans as the outsiders. ETHAN HAWKE applies a preternaturally furrowed brow to his turn as vamp with a conscience, but things thankfully never get too serious and the ensuing mayhem builds toward a riveting, marvelously fun payoff.

AN EDUCATION – Newcomer CAREY MULLIGAN sparkles in this stylish tale of a clever LONDON schoolgirl caught under the spell of a mysterious older man (PETER SARSGAARD). With a knockout script from novelist Nick Hornby.

UP IN THE AIR – JUNO director JASON REITMAN has come of age in this exquisitely crafted black comedy about corporate America. Bolstered by an excellent soundtrack and a startling show of vulnerability by GEORGE CLOONEY.

BEST PERFORMANCES:

ABBIE CORNISH – This AUSTRALIAN beauty takes full command in JANE CAMPION’S BRIGHT STAR, imbuing FANNY BRAWNE – outspoken fashion designer and girlfriend of poet JOHN KEATS – with a subtle spark that is shattered at the film’s conclusion.

GEORGE CLOONEY – The actor known for an excess of suave shows a softer side in UP IN THE AIR that will, no doubt, only make women love him all the more.

MONIQUE – And the OSCAR goes to…MONIQUE? Sure, her previous film credits include dubious titles, but the comedian/talk show host is electrifying in PRECIOUS as the abusive mother of a teenage girl.

NICOLAS CAGE – The actor unleashes one of his most ludicrously unhinged performances yet in Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans.

MICHAEL SHEEN – His portrayal of soccer manager BRIAN CLOUGH in THE DAMNED UNITED is another winner, following triumphant turns as TONY BLAIR in THE QUEEN and DAVID FROST in FROST/NIXON.

ROBIN WRIGHT – She’s nuanced and restrained as the title character in THE PRIVATE LIVES OF PIPPA LEE, based on the book by REBECCA MILLER.

AN UNFORTUNATE GAFFE:

Two reels were inadvertently shown out of sequence at a critics’ screening of TERRY GILLIAM’S THE IMAGINARIUM OF DOCTOR PARNASSUS, but the film is so cryptic that some in attendance didn’t realize that a mistake had been made.

Publicists hastily scheduled another screening, offering reporters a free breakfast to make up for the error. The director, meanwhile, later said the slip up made him “want to kill.”

PERSONABLE STARS:

KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS held a light for a photographer and MICHAEL MOORE refused to heed a publicist’s demands to end a roundtable discussion until each journalist in attendance had a question asked and answered.

Other affable celebs included JASON REITMAN, AIDAN QUINN, RICKY GERVAIS and MICHAEL DOUGLAS.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: