Metric Poster of a Girl and Monster Hospital in the background
AWAY FROM HER
Canada has grown up with Sarah Polley - following her from her days on Road to Avonlea through television productions such as Straight Up, Slings and Arrows, starring in The Sweet Hereafter, Guinevere, flirting with Hollywood in Go! Dawn of the Dead, internationally with My Life Without Me, Beowulf and Grendel, and after directing several shorts, she comes out with her phenomenal directorial debut in Away from Her. Based on an Alice Munro short story, it is the tale of Grant and Fiona, (Gordon Pinsent [ Canada's treasure ], and Julie Christie [o for the days of Far from the Madding Crowd]) who have been married 44 years. The signs of lapsing mental faculties are revealed early on in Fiona as she leaves a frying pan in the fridge. As she is slowly but surely declining, Fiona knows she is in the grip of Alzheimer's disease while he refuses to acknowledge it. Finally after one incident, he is forced to acknowledge the facts and place Fiona in a home - the two have never been apart during their long marriage.
Sarah Polley as writer and director to her credit never becomes overly sentimental yet brings out the love and anguish between Grant and Fiona, and Grant's grief as he sees her slipping away and losing her to the affections of another patient at the home.
Yes, the public viewing audience [ we the ones who do not go to the Roy Thomson Hall $40 ticket black tux and monied galas ] gave Sarah a standing ovation after the movie.
All the hurlyburly and mayhem, the bloody gunplay, Shakespeare's Macbeth brought to contemporary life by Romper Stomper director Geoffrey Wright in a surprisingly faithful to the text rendition.
"The tale of New Zealand that had to be told." 40 million sheep in New Zealand, 4 million people. A ten to one ratio. You do the math. A very original story as only New Zealand can do, and helped along by the WETA effects team that brought you Lord of the Rings, very zany and many baaaaaaaaaad jokes.
"Life is hard but you can't have it all."
Could this be the new Lost in Translation. Directed by Denmark's Ole Christian Madsen who brings back the beautiful Stina Steingarde from Kira's Reason which played at 01 TIFF to Prague to play Maja alongside Mads Mikkelsenm as her husband Christoffer. Prag has both poignancy and bits of absurdity. The city is the crux to discovering more about Christoffer's relationship with his wife Maja dead father and himself. Prag is a commentary on relationships, both personal and culturally. Communication is tantamount, and even the briefest of understood words can bring two people together. Sometime all you have to say is an "I love you".
Stina and Mads along with Ole were there for a brief and humourous question and answer.
Yes - we survived the sight of Jennifer Lopez on the red carpet - and the world premiere of El Cantante. Jennifer Lopez in her smashing dress did present a brief speech to the gala crowd citing the movie as coming from the heart and soul of all involved.
TIFF has been a launching pad of sorts for Oscars for Ray, Walk the Line - but El Cantante is going to be a harder sell - what with Marc Anthony as the Salsa superstar Hector Lavoe whose meteoric career was consumed by mass adoration and the pressures which he drowned out in copious hard drug use in the 70s and Jennifer Lopez in a rather one-dimensional loving loyal but living the high life demanding wife - which all coming to a peak in 1985 then all comes crashing down with his contracting HIV and his literal fall from grace and the limelight. But what is left is the glorious music - the soul of salsa and the singer himself El Cantante.
[ 27 movies so far - four more days to go ] and we have to be up in four hours for Day 7 :
Dixie Chicks - Shut Up and Sing [ Dixie Chicks ! ]
Pan's Labrynth [ Guillermo del Toro ]
Little Children [ Kate Winslet ]
The Abandoned [ chiller ]
Jindabyne [ Aussie Aussie Aussie ! ]