Just got back from the 31st Toronto International Film Festival, which I haven’t missed since 1985. It truly is the most important film festival outside of Cannes, presenting over 300 films over its 10-day run.
I can’t say that this year was an outstanding one in terms of what Toronto unspooled. There were great things to see, but you had to really dig past some junk to find it.
The most powerful film I caught was Little Children, based on the acclaimed novel by Tom Perrotta, starring Kate Winslet. Alternately darkly funny and deeply disturbing, this film sported excellent performances across the board and a mezmerizing screenplay.
Also highly satisfying was Volver, the latest from Spanish director Pedro Almovodar, which stars Penelope Cruz in a riveting role that will surely earn her an Oscar (you heard it here first!).
Venus – starring the great Peter O’Toole and newcomer Jodie Whittaker in a May-September (make that April-October) romance that defies expectations. A film that easily goes from super funny to super poignant.
For Your Consideration – an outrageously funny comedy from Christopher Guest, who wrote and starred in This is Spinal Tap, and directed Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show and A Mighty Wind.
Shortbus – a highly sexual film that was also quite charming and smart, too! Paris, Je t’aime –a collection of 18 short films directed by the likes of Alexander Payne (Sideways), the Coen Brothers (Fargo), Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting), all set in areas of Paris, of course. The cast is astounding(Juliette Binoche, Nick Nolte, Natalie Portman, Steve Buscemi, Gena Rowlands, etc.), the music’s gorgeous, it’s super romantic and it’s set in Paris – what more do you want?
Dates in my planner:
Sept. 28, Blue Jays @ Tigers
Oct. 4, 12:30 p.m., hosting performance by Barenaked Ladies at downtown Border’s, Ann Arbor
Yo La Tengo at Michigan Theatre
Oct. 16: Madeleine Peyroux at Michigan Theatre
Go get ’em, Tigers! Play the game.