Wednesday, September 10, 2008

TIFF 2008: Day Six

Gotta sleep. Early morning. But first, here's some reviews.

Genova (Michael Winterbottom) - 6/10

Understated and subtle, and therefore really easy to get lost in the festival shuffle, which favors the bold and straightforward. It's a good film, with every actor doing excellent work, but at first glance it seems so slight. I appreciate the lack of histrionics, but the movie is almost all a slow burn that builds up to nothing much.

Birdsong (Albert Serra) - 7/10

Absolutely beautiful and often very funny, but for some reason my screening had a weird alternate soundtrack, with ambient noise replaced by the sound of people shoveling fistfuls of popcorn into their mouths and chewing loudly, and others coughing loudly for minutes on end. Oh wait...that wasn't the soundtrack, that was the freaking audience. Nothing, and I mean NOTHING kills a serious, nearly silent film like a roomful of people making obnoxious noises. So take the above rating with a grain of salt, since it's likely to go up when (or if) I get to see the film again.

SIDE NOTE: This had the most walk-outs I have ever personally seen at any of my four TIFFs. Just a steady stream of people bolting as the characters wandered and wandered across the screen. I guess it takes a certain kind of filmgoer...

The Brothers Bloom (Rian Johnson) - 9/10

Positively the most charming film I've seen in ages. Less controlled than a Wes Anderson film, and often less emotional, but every bit their equal in terms of charm and wit. And I had no idea Rachel Weisz could be this great--she completely nails indie cinema's most overused, underdeveloped character types (the manic pixie dream girl), and makes it look easy. It's messy and often very goofy, but loads of fun. Highly recommended...

Tomorrow: Algerian brides, French dysfunction, Brazilian Chinese, and Serbian fairy tales!

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