It’s time to conclude 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 3: THE COLD (BUZZ+CRITICAL REACTION+AUDIENCE COMMENTS)
Road trip comedy drama with Owen Wilson and Zach Galifianakis
CONSENSUS: Writer/director Matthew Weiner’s surprising limp big screen debut. The leads are irritating, the plot so-so, the overall effect dull. Maybe Weiner just too tired after obsessing over every MAD MAN detail. Would make a good double feature along with David Chase’s (SOPRANOS) so so 2012 big screen adventure NOT FADE AWAY.
OVERHEARD: “I have two words to say, ho and hum.”
KILL YOUR DARLINGS
Drama about 1950s ‘beat generation’ poets Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe), Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston) and William Burroughs (Ben Foster).
CONSENSUS: Radcliffe is hell bent on getting out the Harry Potter shadow and had no less than three films in Toronto. In this one he’s out to shock his fans by playing radical and gay. The film is a bit of a mess as has most films about this creative group (ON THE ROAD, HEARTBEAT etc).
OVERHEARD: “So THAT’S what the other side of his face looks like.” (Jack Huston, who plays Kerouac wears a half face mask in the HBO series BOARDWALK EMPIRE.)
ART OF THE STEAL
All star caper film featuring Kurt Russell, Jay Baruchel, Matt Dillon and Terence Stamp.
CONSENSUS: Dumb plot and so-so dialog only emphasize this is an overworked pilfer of an entertainment. Less engaging than OCEANS ELEVEN or USUAL SUSPECTS it’s just an eager ensemble in search of a good script. Stamp has a good time steal every scene, however.
OVERHEARD: “Does Matt [Dillon) ever age? He must have made a deal with the devil. And he should let Russell know the details.”
THE UNKNOWN KNOWN
Documentary about controversial former George W. Bush era US Secretary of Defense Donal Rumsfeld.
CONSENSUS: The once great documentarian Errol Morris (THE THIN BLUE LINE) seemed to have been reborn with 2003s FOG OF WAR when he got former Defense Secretary Robert McNamara to apologize for his part in the Vietnam war. Clearly Morris is looking to strike gold a second time by grilling Rumsfeld for more than 30 hours. Rumsfeld, alternately effusive and cagy as during his old press conferences doesn’t take the bait and the film falls flat.
OVERHEARD: “Morris is just annoying now. All style and bombast.”
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Article: Toronto International Film Festival Wrap Up: Part 3 – The Cold