Tuesday, September 9, 2008

TIFF Roundup: Slumdog Millionare, Goodbye Solo, + more

I got to Toronto Friday night and saw the following films on Saturday and Sunday:

The Sky Crawlers:

Being not too fond of most anime I decided to give this one a chance. The opening battle in the sky was great. After that it derived into the boring dialogue driven anime I can not stand. The second battle was breathtaking but the fact that there wasn't anymore action the rest of the film put me to sleep. If you love anime give this a chance, if not avoid at all costs.

3 out of 10

Goodbye Solo:

Ramin Bahrani's 3rd major feature revolves around the relationship between a young cab driver and an older elderly man. The lack of questions Bahrani answers makes the film continually engaging. The viewer is dropped into the middle of the relationship and left to decipher what is unfolding. The only criticism I have is the lack of "flash" and minimalistic approach made the film drag.

7 out of 10

Tale 52 

A stylish film about relationships and loss. For a film that is a little over an hour and half it feels like it lasts much longer due to the unnecessary prolonged ending. The repitition, an interesting an idea at first, is way overused and by the fourth time you have seen the same scene it tends to bore. I loved the experimental style playing with focus and edits. I would
 like to see this director take on another film with a better story.

6 out of 10

Before Tomorrow 

A slow moving, beautifully shot tale of Inuits as the came into encounter with the Europeans. The film moves at a very slow pace filled with steady shots of Inuit life and focus on the family. The performances and camerawork are exceptional, giving a documentary type feel. The story and the long shots started to wear me out towards the end of the film. It's still a fine debut from Canadian filmmakers Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Madeline Ivalu.

6 out of 10

Slumdog Millionaire  

Being a Danny Boyle lover (yes, 
even the last 3rd of  2007's Sunshine) I had pretty high expectations for the film. I can't say how satisfied I was. 
The style of Boyle with a engaging well written story. I couldn't ask for more.  The film follows Jamal Malik, played by Dev Patel, playing the Indian version of Who Wants to Be A Millionare. Going into the film I would think it would be slightly gimmicky, but that quickly changed as we learn what is so important about the game. We are met with destruction and sadness as we see the "slumdog's" poverty stricken life. Moments of happiness and laughter counter thanks to Simon Beaufoy's engaging script. The film has nonstop energy, only trickling a bit towards the end. I encourage everyone to see this when it hits theaters. November 28th in the US thanks to Warner Bros and Fox Searchlight

9 out of 10

Look for the next roundup after Sat's TIFF films:

The Wrestler 
What Doesn't Kill You 
Miracle at St. Anna

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