Monday, September 12, 2011

TORONTO: "Moneyball", "Anonymous", "Twixt", "Rampart"

So, it seems as if I've been neglecting the greater festival of the month, as Toronto's been going on and I've been pretty much ignoring it. I just wanted to take the time to get caught up on what the general opinion has been on these films. Nothing of the same scale as my Telluride and Venice posts, as I just don't take Toronto as seriously. There's something that's simply lacking in the Canadian powerhouse, as if it's just free of emotion or relevance. Take the first four films I've heard plenty about in the past few days. Only one of them is something I was genuinely interested in, and despite everything still am.

First there's "Moneyball", which has been getting the lions share of the buzz this week. Many are lining up in approval of that one, and I must admit my maintained skepticism. It frankly looks soft, and very much the same thing we've seen before. It's about underdogs, and what better way to paint that than with sports? In any case, critics love the film, for the most part anyway. I can't wait to knock it down a peg, but I'll be doing better things by the time it comes my way. I can't see immediately how the Academy will react to it, but they very well may take it out of lack of a better option.

Then there's Roland Emmerich's "Anonymous", which not only seems like a peculiar pick for the director, but a peculiar pick for the festival circuit. I think I wasn't the only one surprised to hear favorable words out of Toronto on this one. I'm still going on record for dismissing, as I still remain disinterested, but it's interesting how others are taken with it. The film that people have been unanimously down on has been "Twixt", from director Francis Ford Coppola. I didn't completely buy into the trailer either, but I thought it was intriguing. Deep down I felt like this was actually really poor, but it's Coppola! How can he go wrong? Like so.

And the only one of this bunch that I've been really interested in is "Rampart" from Oren Moverman. Moverman previously directed "The Messenger", which I thought was the perfect companion piece to "The Hurt Locker". "Rampart" has oddly been getting a lot of heat from critics, with "emptiness" being a recurring word in their thoughts. Woody Harrelson has been praised all around, but not much word on the other members of the cast. None of this really deters me. In fact, I may be even more interested in the film than I was before. That's all I've really heard out of Toronto thus far, but I'll keep you posted with anything that catches my interest.

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