As the Toronto International Film Festival drew to a close yesterday, we give you a round up of the films that everyone has been left talking about.
Of course, there were there were a few highly anticipated films, many of which we have already mentioned here on TFR. Danny Boyle’s follow-up to Slumdog Millionaire received much attention, especially with reports of audience members fainting at some of 127 Hours‘ more gruesome scenes.
Despite having premièred at the Venice Film Festival earlier in the month, there was also a great deal of excitement about Darren Aronofsky’s latest cinematic offering, Black Swan. Casey Affleck’s I’m Still Here had also premièred in Venice, but the controversy surrounding the film only grew during it’s Toronto Screening – culminating in Affleck’s eventual revelations.
Gaining publicity during the festival was Rabbit Hole, starring and produced by Nicole Kidman, which tells the story of a couple whose lives are changed when their son is killed in a car accident. Also gaining a certain notoriety was Rowan Joffe’s adaptation of the Graham Greene novel, Brighton Rock, starring Sam Riley, Andrea Riseborough and Dame Helen Mirren.
Still, there were certainly a few discoveries to be made. Thai film Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, which is directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul, and was the surprise winner of the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. The film follows a man (Uncle Boonmee) as he contemplates his past lives, along with the ghosts of his wife and son, who have returned as other beings. Bizarre as the plot may seem, the film was awarded a full five stars by The Daily Telegraph, and made it on to the Toronto International Film Festival Essential Cinema List.
Another film which has benefited considerably from the reaction to it’s Toronto screening is Will Gluck’s Easy A. Starring Emma Stone, who made her film debut as Jules in Superbad, this teen-comedy is somewhat loosely inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne classic, The Scarlet Letter, and is already drawing comparisons to both Clueless and Ten Things I Hate About You.
Also attracting attention, although perhaps for the wrong reasons, was What’s Wrong With Virginia, starring Jennifer Connelly. Connelly plays a mentally ill single mother, whose son falls for the daughter of a man many suspect to be his father. It might be the directed by Dustin Lance Black, whose first screenplay, Milk, won him an Oscar, but reactions from the festival were less than positive about his latest cinematic attempt. Critic Gregory Ellwood described the film as “overstuffed and severely unfocused,” going on to say that “it would be surprising if ‘Virginia’ gets a major distributor any time soon”.
Film festivals are, of course, a great way to up the credibility of a film with a stunning red carpet appearance from a star studded cast – see Mitch Glazer’s Passion Play. Although the film’s leading man, Mickey Rourke, was not in attendance, he would have quite probably been overshadowed by the (predictably) stunning Megan Fox, as she stopped to pose for photos alongside her other co-star, Bill Murray. Although little has been said about the film before the Festival, the glitzy Premium Screening certainly generated enough media attention to ensure that this film sold to Image Entertainment for nothing less than a seven-figure sum on the final day.
The Toronto International Film Festival 2010 screened a total of 268 films in total – far too many to mention. But, unless you were lucky enough to be there yourself, this should give you an idea of the best bits that you missed!