Like I assumed, TIFF added more titles on this Tuesday. Boy, these updates are going to be the death of me. Well, lets shoot – ten titles announced; two Gala presentations and eight Special Presentations.
Zero Down, Ten To Go:
Bad Lieutenant: Port of New Orleans – starring: Nicolas Cage and Val Kilmer. A remake of the 1992 feature Bad Lieutenant directed by Abel Ferrara, the latest from Werner Herzog is a tale about morality and the grittiness of the street that corrupts even the most noble men. A homicide detective saves a man from downing during Hurricane Katrina, but in the process injures his back. He’s put on medication and soon after finds himself becoming a drug addict. He then tries to take down a drug kingpin while trying to handle himself. I love Nicolas Cage – he’s got talent that people don’t respect because of films like The Wicker Man, so I’ll try and catch this, if not only for him. It should be a good one – I went out and rented Bad Lieutenant today, so my opinion of that will probably be the factor in whether or not I see this. Set for a December release in Belgium and France. (An 8/10 on my personal Anticipation Meter)
Capitalism: A Love Story – starring: Michael Moore. I know the audiences are divided in the case of Michael Moore, but I gotta say, whatever he lacks in being an unbiased documentarian he makes up by making fun and emotional films. This feature will be about corporate America and how it destroys the everyday working class family – it’ll probably be just as good as his other features like Bowling for Columbine, so I’ll try and give this a go. Set for an October 2nd release in America. (A 7/10 on my personal Anticipation Meter)
Dorian Grey – starring: Ben Barnes and Colin Firth. Yet another adaption of Oscar Wilde novel, this Gala presentation promises to be at least decent. Ben Barnes should perform well in his role – he has the look for the character at the very least. If you’re unaware of the plot, it’s simple: A man wants to stay young, rich and handsome for as long as possible, so he puts his soul into a painting of himself – so while it ages, he doesn’t. I’ve seen various versions of this and they’re all relatively good – I’m not sure about a new version of it, but I wouldn’t mind seeing it if nothing’s playing. Plus Rachel Hurd-Wood is in a role that I give Angela Lansbury a “top five of all time” placement in – and I really like Hurd-Wood, so that’s a bit of incentive. Set for a September 9th release in the UK. (A 6/10 on my personal Anticipation Meter)
Harry Brown – starring: Michael Caine and Emily Mortimer. So this plot is easily the most wicked I’ve heard all day just because Michael Caine is the lead actor, but I know it’s going to be a very average film. I just know it, but I like the synopsis too much to think logically: An old ex-marine’s best friend is murdered by a group of drug-dealing teens. After the head drug-dealer is let off on a technicality, the old man goes after them to get his revenge. Now, that’s exactly what a film would be if you mixed Gran Torino with Death Sentence. It’ll be cheesy; it’ll be violent; it’ll probably be pretty lame, but I’m keeping my hopes high. Set for an October release in the UK. (A 7/10 on my personal Anticipation Meter)
Perrier’s Bounty – starring: Brendan Gleeson and Cillian Murphy. The festival must have had it’s ears burning, because no more than a week ago I was talking to my pal about how badly I wanted to see this and how I hoped it’d be at TIFF. Well, my wish has been answered and I’m going to see this. A man (Cillian Murphy) owes a kingpin (Brendan Gleeson) money and only has 24 hours to pay up. He takes his father and long-time friend Brenda that he loves on a little trip up a mountain – he tries to make amends with his father and tries to confess his love for his friend before the mobster finds him. Love the concept and love the cast – I’ll be there. No release date has been set. (A 9/10 on my personal Anticipation Meter)
The Private Lives of Pippa Lee – starring: Robin Wright Penn and Alan Arkin. This glorious female ensemble is the only reason why I’d bother seeing it, but not at TIFF. After Pippa Lee’s husband starts to grow increasingly senile and needs to move closer to an elderly retirement home, she becomes a boiling pot of emotions – feeling trapped in her home. She works herself into a situation where a nervous breakdown seems likely. As I said, only the cast of this interests me – I’ll wait for a DVD or something. (A 5/10 on my personal Anticipation Meter)
A Serious Man – starring: Michael Stuhlberg and Richard Kind. The latest from the Coen’s is a dark comedy set in the late 60’s. With a group of unknown actors, the Coen’s seem to be doing their most admirable work of the decade. What would seem like a vehicle for people like Josh Brolin and Tom Hanks is now being given to the unknowns and I’m sure with them being the clay in the Coen brothers’ hands that it’ll be a solid feature. The story is about a man who allows his brother to stay with him for awhile – after some time, the man’s wife gets annoyed and threatens to leave him, so the man must choose between his brother or his wife. It should be a good one! Set for an October release in the US. (An 8/10 on my personal Anticipation Meter)
Triage – starring: Colin Farrell and Christopher Lee. The latest film from European filmmaker Denis Tanovic (No Man’s Land) is yet another political thriller about war. Mark, a war photographer returns from his brief tour in the middle-east without his best friend and colleague. It’s apparent that something is troubling Mark as he seems to be the only person that truly knows what happened to his pal. I really like Tanovic and his direction, so I’m willing to give this a shot. Especially since Farrell is back on track and headed to becoming the best actor of this generation. (An 8/10 on my personal Anticipation Meter)
Whip It! – starring: Ellen Page and Kristen Wiig. The concept is adorable and could be full of laughs, but I’ll probably just wait for its theatrical release to catch it. A rebellious teen decides to become a roller-derby star against the will of her mother. Drew Barrymore is directing this – her first feature film. I’m sure it will be good – and I may see if nothing else is playing against it, but I could just as easily wait. Set for an October release in the US. (A 7/10 on my personal Anticipation Meter)
Women Without Men – starring: No idea. The first feature-length film directed by Shirin Neshat, the story is about four seperate Iranian women and their encounters with a magical orchird – interwoven storylines emerge. I dislike this concept and as I said earlier, “I’m not really into multi-storylined films at the moment”, so this is a definite no from me. No release date has been set yet, but I believe it’s World Premiere will be at Venice. (A 2/10 on my personal Anticipation Meter)
So there’s a bit to think about – some features I’d love to see and very few that I’d like to skip. The Coen’s selection was obvious as they’ve never missed a TIFF event yet. I’m quite glad that Perrier’s Bounty is going to play – that’ll surely be a good one. Probably the one most people speak about after the festival is over – so I’m telling you now, get your tickets for that in September.