September 21st, 2015 TIFF edition

I saw Disorder on Friday along with Louder Than Bombs.

Saturday was The Danish Girl and Legend.

Matthias Schonaerts was in both Disorder and The Danish Girl.  He was the principal actor in Disorder along with Diane Kruger.  It is a French film, and the director was there.   It was a good thriller.   The director said Matthias worked on about 3 hours of sleep for it, and for the physical stuff (fighting) he was very intense.   He scared the crew.  And he broke one of the stunt man’s nose. The movie itself is more traditional soldier back from war having PTSD issues is on security detail for a high dollar man and his wife and child.  Husband leaves town under strange circumstances and security soldier needs to protect the family.  The mayhem ensues.

Louder than Bombs was a very good family drama with Gabriel Byrne and Jesse Eisenberg.   A family with Husband, Wife, and two boys.   They have horrible communication skills and never seem to say what they are really feeling.   All of them.   It was well done and I am glad I saw it.  Mom was a world renowned photographer, but then dies.  There are flashbacks that show how the same facts can be perceived differently.   This movie shows real life examples of (mostly male) behaviour of not saying and expressing how you are really feeling.

Danish Girl was long as my colleague pointed out who had seen it earlier, but I enjoyed it.   The real find here is the performance of Alicia Vikander as the Wife who is excellent and shows tremendous range for someone who is experiencing something no one ever else has before this.   I would think that this is Oscar worthy.  Eddie Redmayne is good of course, but there are longer than required scenes as he struggles with who he is, and takes on this split personality.

Finally Legend was overall a disappointment.   Tom Hardy is very good, but the East End London accent was hard to pick up, especially with the more psychotic brother Ronny.   There were some funny scenes here, but it dragged and I could feel the time more.   The Krays were certainly interesting personalities, but I think that the more remarkable aspect of the time was how inept the police and the legal system were here.   These two end up in prison and do their time but go right back to doing what they were doing once they are out.  It’s like a little vacation – although Reg had a harder prison life than Ronnie.   They were a unique pair those two.

Monday night it was the French film Evolution.
This film reminded me of the earlier TIFF film for me Under the Skin with Scarlett Johansson (reviewed earlier in time but later here).  These two films could be bookends to one another.   You see one bad, inexplicable film, and then follow it up by yet another bad and inexplicable film.   It raises more questions than it answers.   Logic has to park itself at the side and have a Starbucks while you are suppose to “feel” the images here.   There is a point for me, anyway, where logic simply breaks down and the structure falls onto itself (or implodes).
In short, Evolution has a stark volcanic island with opening sequences of sea life and ocean from below.   The music borrows in feel from Under the Skin.   In the story, (STORY!!), there are young women who dress uniformly and mind young boys (all around 12-13yo is my guess).   They live in empty rooms and eat disgusting worm-like green glop.   The boys are told to drink their “medicine” since they are in a “dangerous” period of development.    The boy who is the focus of the film, is also the best part in it.    He is inquisitive and draws and pushes the boundaries of his life of routine.   Something is amiss and he feels it.   So he explores and finds out some strange behaviour.    Then there is a hospital setting with the women dressed in nurses outfifts and utilizing needles and scalpels far more than should be shown on film.   In short these boys are being used for a bizarre experiment where the ultimate end for them is not pleasant; but to what end?!    What is being evolved?  Does evolution imply “better” or a move towards increased adaptability with the environment?
The director was not available as she broke her ankle in France.   She wrote a letter of apology and it was delivered by an interpreter.   She said that this was a visual film to be experienced and she was saddened and glad (!!) not to be at the screening for questions.
Oh the questions!!  As there are no men in this picture, is this a piece that speaks to the power of women?   Does it suggest that women could create a more utopian society?   Why the experiments on these boys?   How can they know of things outside their tiny island and draw them?   If these are human boys (and they sure do look human to me) then where exactly is the physiology that allows them to do what the movie clearly shows?   There is body horror here, and that makes it extra creepy.   Both for the boys and the nurses.  And finally, where did a boat come from?
I did not enjoy this.   I don’t like needles and scalpels nor the whole hospital setting.   I don’t understand at all what the end goal was.   There was some decent cinematography under the water, but it doesn’t an implausible story.  But it is also dark.   And has a look of being desolate.
The good news is that this film, like Under the Skin is unlikely to ever see the light of day at a cineplex theatre near you.   Only on the Festival circuit does it get any viewings.   I am 0 for 1 in my choices of films this year — and I cannot for the life of me remember why this one was on my list!!
Room wins the People’s Choice award, and none of our group saw it, nor Runner Up Angry Indian Goddesses.   Spotlight which was third was not well reviewed by my manager.

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