TIFF is in the books and you can head on over to Twitch to see my TIFF ’11 Festival Mega Wrap. My grades and links are also available on my IndieWire CriticWire page. Here’s a quick rundown of the films I saw at the fest with my initial reactions.
FROM UP ON POPPY HILL – Contemporary World Cinema – My Grade: B-
Goro Miyazaki’s From Up On Poppy Hill is a quaint & charming melodrama but little more. No magic = no magic.
THE RAID – Midnight Madness – My Grade: A
Forget Tony Jaa, Jet Li & even Tom Hardy. THE RAID is the best action movie in decades! Gareth Evans & Iko Uwais FTW!
THE ARTIST – Special Presentation – My Grade: B+
Loudest applause I’ve ever heard at a film for Hazanavicius’s brilliant THE ARTIST. Its best Oscar bets likely actors.
OSLO, AUGUST 31ST – Vanguard – My Grade: A
OSLO, AUGUST 31ST is a beautiful, honest & unpretentious journey inside what it means to be a real person. Trier is a master.
THE DESCENDANTS – Special Presentation – My Grade: A-
THE DESCENDANTS is a superb drama in Payne’s signature comedic style. Lock for Best Pic nom and Actor nom for Clooney.
TRISHNA – Special Presentation – My Grade: B-
TRISHNA is a beautiful vision of India but the story far too rambling. Not one of Winterbottom’s more compelling.
HICK – Special Presentation – My Grade: B-
Probably a good book, HICK has good performances but ultimately too off beat as a film. Why does Moretz pick such uncomfortable roles?
COMIC-CON EPISODE IV: A FAN’S HOPE – Real to Reel – My Grade: B+
Morgan Spurlock’s COMIC-CON doc is his best, most human film. It also has the least Morgan yet. Hmm.
YOU’RE NEXT – Midnight Madness – My Grade: A-
Gigantic grin across every face in Ryerson after the home invasion thriller chiller major blood spiller YOU’RE NEXT!
TWIXT – Special Presentation – My Grade: B
Dreamy & weird, TWIXT plays w/ narrative & visual style w/ mixed results. Most interesting Coppola film in yrs.
MACHINE GUN PREACHER – Gala – My Grade: D
MACHINE GUN PREACHER is just as bad as I feared. Typical manipulative H.wood drivel from Forster & way too long.
PEARL JAM TWENTY – Special Presentation – My Grade: B+
Cameron Crowe’s PEARL JAM 20 doc is music filled treasure trove for fans of the band non rock fans need not apply.
INTRUDERS – Special Presentation – My Grade: C
Fresnadillo’s Clive Owen starring INTRUDERS has some obvious flaws but should play pretty well for horror fans.
THE LADY – Gala – My Grade: B+
THE LADY is a heartwrenching tale of devotion with superb acting from Michelle Yeoh & David Thewlis. Magnificent job by Besson.
KILLER JOE – Special Presentation – My Grade: C
Aside from the major continuity issues and truly amateur editing, KILLER JOE has quite a few other problems.
DAMSELS IN DISTRESS – Special Presentation – My Grade: B
DAMSELS IN DISTRESS is quite enjoyable slapstick but feels a bit like a feature edited TV season slapped w/ a truly awful score.