I have to make a confession. Because we’re opening THE MASTER on Sept. 21, it has not been a priority for me to see during TIFF…especially because it’s always slated up against something else that I want to see. That said, I did see the first 70 minutes today…and I found it quite engaging. I’ll be anxious to see the rest!
The first film I saw today (in its entirety) was THANKS FOR SHARING – a dramedy about sex addiction. Though there are lots of really funny moments, this film really does take the sex addiction part quite seriously. Mark Ruffalo and Tim Robbins star along with relative newcomer Josh Gad …with supporting roles by Gwyneth Paltrow and Pink! (who is wonderful). The film is directed by Stuart Blumberg. Though this is his directorial debut, Blumberg has had his hand in filmmaking for a while. (He wrote THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT a couple years ago.) Though I thought this film was too long (I realize that I’m beginning to sound like Harvey Weinstein – who is famous for chopping filmmakers’ films), I do think it’s pretty good for the most part…and very audience friendly.
Next I saw the new film by Edward Burns – A FITZGERALD FAMILY CHRISTMAS. This film started out on a really strong note. It was an honest, insightfully funny film about a dysfunctional family during the holidays. Sadly, the film went in a couple directions that were very problematic, and the movie ultimately didn’t work for me. However, there are a couple characters that made the film worth watching…particularly Anita Gillette (known recently as Liz Lemon’s mother on 30 ROCK).
Lastly, I saw what might be at the top of the list so far for me. Francois Ozon’s new film is spectacular. IN THE HOUSE is the story of a schoolboy who has taken an interest in writing and his grammar teacher who is helping him hone his craft. As the boy continues to write a story about his voyeuristic observations regarding a family in his neighborhood, the teacher becomes more invested in knowing what happens next…all the while teaching the boy what works and doesn’t work narratively. It’s a twisted, inventive story…and it’s as funny as it is thrilling. Both Francois Ozon and Kristin Scott Thomas were at the screening. I loved it!
Sadly, there are no trailers for the films I screened today…so I’ll leave you with one for THE MASTER.
Thanks for reading!!!