It was a great day – My last full day of films…capped off with a couple beers with old and new friends. I write this entry with mixed feelings. I love Toronto and would love screening movies and running from event to event all the time, but I’m also exhausted and want to sleep in my own bed.
First off, I saw 127 HOURS – the new film from Danny Boyle (director of MILLIONS and SLUMDOG MILLIONAIRE) starring James Franco. This film about a rock climber who gets his arm trapped by a rock – and subsequently spends the next 127 hours alone with little in the way of rations – is an engaging and touching film. Franco does an incredible job – as he is in about 98% of the film. It might sound a bit monotonous, but in the hands of Boyle, the film is fresh, vivid and gripping. WARNING…this film has a scene that is absolutely not for the faint of heart – some have fainted at recent screenings.
Next up, I saw THAT GIRL WITH YELLOW BOOTS – and Indian film about a mixed-race girl who is on a quest to find her never-seen father in India. While searching, she takes up massage training and earns extra money by providing massages (often with extras) for all kinds of men. Though well-told and well-shot, I was never entirely engaged in this film. Some of the characters seems a bit trite & flat, and I was often disappointed in the decisions the main character made (she seemed so gutsy – yet continued to allow herself to be in bad situations). (There was also a device used at the end that I felt was “unfair” to the audience.) That said, the film did take unexpected turns – so I give it credit for not being predictable.
Lastly, I saw 3 (THREE) – the new film from Tom Tykwer – director of RUN LOLA RUN and PERFUME. This new film deals with the relationship of a man and woman who have been together for several years. Their relationship isn’t bad, it’s just that they’ve become more like siblings than lovers. Through the course of the film, they each meet a man (the same man – though unbeknownst to the other) who awakens a part of their souls. This film is provocative, sexy, and quite modern – albeit a bit “busy” and “cluttered” at time. Ultimately, it was a great way to end the fest. (Tykwer did a Q&A after the screening…and he repeatedly talked about how great audiences have been to him and his work in Toronto over the years. He mentioned that several men walked out of the screening in Venice a few weeks ago…and that audiences in Toronto seemed much more sophisticated and engaged. This sentiment was voiced by numerous directors over the past several days.)