It’s time to re-evaluate what happened at the Toronto International Film Festival by dividing up the films into three categories.
So here are the winners, losers and something in-between so just for fun I’ve broken them down into buzz terms, HOT, WARM and COLD.
Part 2: THE WARM (BUZZ+CRITICAL REACTION+AUDIENCE COMMENTS)
Warts and all Julian Assange / WikiLeaks story starring Benedict Cumberbatch.
CONSENSUS: While it’s nice to see Bill Condon (GODS AND MONSTERS) not directing another TWILIGHT movie this was a mixed bag. Most applauded that he asked more question than he answered and praised Cumberbatch’s layered performance ultimately it’s just not very entertaining or insightful.
OVERHEARD: “Hey, I just saw a film that Cumberbatch was not in. Is he the new Jude Law?” (Cumberbatch was the 2013s It Actor appearing in three high profile films).
Director Ron Howard’s drama set in the 1970s about rival Formula One rivals (Chris Hemsworth and Daniel Bruhl).
CONSENSUS: When it’s about actual racing the film soars, the rest not so much. Bruhl, as the more aggressive and annoying race car drives handily steals the film from Hemsworth (AKA Thor).
OVERHEARD: “I didn’t care about either of those a-holes.”
AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY
Big screen, big starred adaptation of Tracy Letts’ (KILLER JOE) award winning play about a dysfunctional Oklahoma household.
CONSENSUS: Even though it stars half of Hollywood’s most respected art house actors (Meryl Streep, Julia Roberts, Sam Shepard, Chris Cooper, Ewan McGregor, Benedict Cumberbatch, must I go on?), it’s still a tough slog about a family who’s reunion you’d hate to get dragged to. Bonus fun: They tested a new ending in Toronto, audiences were still nonplussed.
OVERHEARD: “I almost fell asleep but Streep can still do no wrong.”
Romantic comedy about a divorced snoop (Julia Louis-Dreyfus) and an amiable sad sack (James Gandolfini)
CONSENSUS: Known more famously as Gandolfini’s last film (which it’s not, he has a few more coming down the line), ENOUGH SAID is funny, somewhat moving and very slight. Writer director Nicole Holofcener expertly milks laughs and emotions one moment and then resorts to silly TV sitcom plotting. Louis-Dreyfus and Gandolfini have real chemistry and are the best reasons to check this out.
OVERHEARD: “All that talk about [Gandolfini’s) character being out of shape and unhealthy creeped me out.” (Gandolfini died suddenly from a heart attack earlier this year.)
MANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM
Epic tale of South Africa’s leader Nelson Mandela (Idris Elba)
CONSENSUS: A bit too by the numbers and overly reverent. Elba continues to be unable to give a bad performance but a thin script and overlong running time (152 minutes) hurt this well meaning bio pic.
OVERHEARD: “(Elba) had a ‘Balmer’ accent in THE WIRE and a Texan one in PROMETHEUS, so what the hell is he?” (He’s from the UK.)
Next Up: Part 3 THE COLD
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Article: Toronto International Film Festival Wrap Up: Part 2 – The Warm