So the festival is over, some crappy awards were given, and it’s back to work. I hadn’t seen any of the award winning films, but I still deem the award selection crappy (Death of a President was clearly a bullshit political choice.) If I were to give awards, I would just rank all the movies I’ve seen in order from favourite to least favourite, like this:
- Climates (local link) — the very first movie I saw this year still remains my favourite.
- Volver (local link) — a little too Spanish soap-opera-ish at times, but… Penelope.
- Away From Her (IMDB link) — Sarah Polley‘s, the quintessential Canadian actress, directorial debut shows the signs of a long and promising career
- Severance (IMDB link) — not the best of movies, but it was the most fun I’ve had in a theatre in a loooong time, though a lot of that was due to the midnight madness crowd (also the best Q&A I saw this year.)
- The Fountain (local link) — like I said, it’s grown on me.
- Rescue Dawn (local link)
- Seraphim Falls (local link)
- Retrieval (TIFF description) — the TIFF site calls it a
Polish equivalent of Scorseseâ€™s Mean Streets, which is a bit excessive but also… not.
- Exiled (twitch review) — Hong Kong gangster shootout film which works well at times and at others feels a bit hokey
- Winter Journey (local link)
- Alatriste (IMDB link) — who knew that Viggo Mortensen was fluent in Spanish? I was really surprised by how bloody this film is and at times it’s a great swashbuckling yarn, but it tries to cram too much storyline into too little time and it just feels disjoint and unnecessarily jumpy.
- Born and Bred (local link)
- Jade Warrior (local link)
- (this space void to seperate the above movies from the following stinker)
- Un Crime (IMDB link) — horrible script that brings everything else crumbling down.
Unlisted: Paris, Je T’aime (IMDB link, full credits) really fantastic series of twenty short films by a lot of top directors. It was the last movie I saw and it was introduced as a self-contained “mini film festival,” which was very apt. The shorts vary in quality but there are many more good segments than there are bad ones which makes the whole of the film enjoyable. And with the short time each story has, the bad ones don’t overstay their welcome while the lukewarm ones don’t have enough time to get boring. Of the bunch, my favourites were the ones by Wes Craven, the Coen Brothers, Tom Twyker, Oliver Schmitz and Alexander Payne.