A little more for the day. Though this makes me hypocritical, I believe I'm going to drop out of Lee Myung-Se's M, which has been getting some of the most poisonous reviews I've seen at the festival. I'm a fan of his work, but when other fans start talking about walking out, I just can't justify wasting a precious festival slot on it. We'll see...
Man from Plains (Jonathan Demme) - 6/10
Deeply ordinary and unfocused, Demme's ode to Jimmy Carter gains force entirely for what it doesn't do. By showing a president who gives his all before, during and after his term, who tries to change the world for the better, he creates an excellent critique of the current administration and their failings. It's a little too reverent, but Carter wears through your defenses. His strength and honesty are positively infectious, and give this minor film a slight boost.
Encounters at the End of the World (Werner Herzog) 8/10
Herzog scores again, this time with a look at Antarctica and its oddball inhabitants (of all animal varieties). Strange and beautiful, with some positively stunning nature footage alternating with interviews with the strange folk who find their way to the very end of the world. His ideas gradually gain force and by the end, it feels like an elegy for mankind itself. Wonderful stuff.
Run, Fat Boy, Run (David Schwimmer) 6/10
Relentlessly conventional, though better than it has any right to be, thanks to Simon Pegg and Dylan Moran, who give completely committed performances. David Schwimmer pulls off one particularly nice scene towards the end (Pegg finally hitting the runner's wall), but plays it safe throughout, which works for the film. Bonus points for the best Q&A of the festival so far, with a funny Pegg, a drunk Thandie Newton, an outburst from Nick Frost, and the Mayor of Toronto, the single most obnoxious audience member I've seen this year.