|Massey Tadjedin, Eva Mendes, and Sam Worthington at the World Premiere of Last Night|
I left for Toronto at 12:30 am Friday and arrived at my brother's apartment shortly before 6. I took a quick nap and then did what any logical moviegoer would do after less than four hours sleep: I saw a Holocaust movie. Sarah's Key was a very powerful film and a great way to start the weekend. This French adaptation of the popular novel stars Kristin Scott-Thomas as a journalist investigating the history of one girl's struggle to survive during the Second World War. The film was very well received by the crowd, and director Gilles Paquet-Brenner was on hand to do a Q & A.
|Gilles Paquet-Brenner at Sarah's Key|
|Producer Christina Piovesian, writer Eilis Kirwan, and writer/director Larysa Kondracki do a Q&A after The Whistleblower|
Saturday had a trio of great films, which I'll reserve most of my gushing for the reviews. First was Rabbit Hole, starring Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart. They're great as a couple dealing with the death of their son. The film isn't nearly as depressing as it sounds - it's well balanced and surprisingly humorous.
|Massey Tadjedin and Eva Mendes at Last Night|
After Last Night, I booked it from the Visa Screening Room to Ryerson theatre. As I rounded the corner, I caught sight of the two hundred people or so who were already in the rush line for Black Swan. Fortunately, I already had a ticket and my brother and our friend were already in the line. Black Swan was easily the best film I saw at TIFF. It's pretty much perfect in every regard!
Sunday yielded two lesser films, although they may have just been victims of the fact that they followed Black Swan. First was Love Crime, a French thriller starring Ludivine Sagnier and Kristin Scott-Thomas. It was really good for the first forty minutes or so, but then become utterly preposterous as it went on. It was one of the films that I had been more excited for, so I was pretty disappointed.
Last was Late Autumn, which we added after exchanging my ticket from the Little White Lies debacle. Late Autumn stars Tang Wei in one of her first roles after she was blacklisted for her work in Ang Lee's Lust, Caution. Tang Wei was pretty good and proved that her phenomenal work in Lust, Caution wasn't just the product of good direction. Late Autumn is a sweet and quirky love story, but I would have liked it a whole lot better had it been cut by about half an hour or so.
I'm sad that TIFF is over, but I look forward to catching up on all the films I've missed whilst I was festivalling - The Town is definitely up first. I'll also have to keep an eye out for the festival's award winners The King's Speech and Incendies (as should you!). I'm glad to be off the festival diet, although I'm proud to report that I branched out from the pumpkin scones and popcorn that sustained me during TIFF 2009.
Reviews of all my TIFF movies will be posted shortly.