Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Every year around this time I start anticipating all the goodies that the Toronto International Film Festival will have to offer. I figure, then, that to work with my anticipation we will begin linking to posters, trailers, and news about various films that myself (popcorn) or cigarettes are interested in seeing! It's always fun (and actually a bit nerve-wracking) hearing about last minute line-up changes, so I figure that any information we hear should be passed on to y'all. Now don't for a second take what's posted here as gospel; we all know that the rumour mill turns out a doozy every once in a while. What you can expect is a routine update on said rumour mill and our excitement, disappointment, or disgust with the decisions being made by the higher-ups.

So, without further ado, I give you some movies that I want to see:

1. Tokyo Sonata - Kiyoshi Kurosawa

story of a dysfunctional Japanese family dealing with their
individual differences whilst coping with a sudden and unexpected event that shakes everything up. 

Now, I for one am all about the dysfunctional family movie genre. I love everything from Ordinary People, to The Ice Storm, to American Beauty, and so am hopeful that the early praise that this film has received is well-earned. Kurosawa proved with his 2001 effort, Kairo (Pulse), that he has a strong visual imagination, which should hopefully help elevate any lapses in energy or pace should the film suffer from any moments of yawn-this-is-the-same-family-drama-we've-all-seen-before. Now, the film did win the Jury Prize - Un Certain Regard at this year's Cannes Film Festival, so my guess is that Kurosawa's film is as great as I expect it to be. I mean, hello, it won an award; that, like, totally means that it's automatically the best thing ever. Deal with it.

Oh, and the poster is awesome: gorgeous type-face; wonderful capture of the lead character; fantastic colour palette. I'm really rather excited. 

Oh and make sure to check out the website here and a larger version of the trailer here. (Yes, I know that it's all in Japanese. hmph.)

2. The Secret Life of Bees - Gina Prince-Bythewood

Yes, I know that this movie stars Dakota Fanning, Jennifer Hudson, Alicia Keys and Queen Latifah, but I still want to see it. 

Things it has going for it:

- Sophie Okonedo who was fantastic in both Dirty Pretty Things and Hotel Rwanda
- Based on a critically acclaimed, best-selling novel

Things it has against it:

- Seemingly melodramatic saturation
- Lead cast of debatable credibility and talent

The movie stars Dakota Fanning and Jennifer Hudson who move in with three sisters (Latifah, Keys and Okonedo) after Fanning's mother is murdered. Hmm... coming of age chick-flick set in South Carolina in 1964. This could be terrible, or it could be endearing and heart-warming. Plus, Dakota Fanning looks all growed up now! Don't get me wrong, I still find her an annoying little brat; but, I'm curious to see whether or not hers is a talent that will last or not. 

You can check out a clip here and let me know how much you don't want to see it. 

3. Un Conte de Noel - Arnaud Deplechin

Just like family dramas, I love me a good Christmas movie. I especially love them if they include Catherine Deneuve and Mathieu Amalric in the cast list. This movie has all the elements of a terribly cheesy, redundant, and piss-poor Hollywood Christmas film: a family reunites in their old home as Christmas draws nearer, allowing for a mix of comedy, drama, questions, and answers. Eugh. But, all reviews, all news, all anything point towards this film being handled with a grace and sophistication that Hollywood should take note of. I mean, the presence of Catherine Deneuve itself elevates this movie above any Hollywood, Stone Family (or otherwise) garbage. 

Click here to watch the french trailer of Un Conte de Noel by Arnaud Deplechin.

Well, that's all the time I have for today. My God these posts take for-bloody-ever to write up. So drop me a line and let me know if you find yourself interested in any of these, think they'll be codswallop, or have any suggestions of your own.


- Popcorn

[Source TIFF]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hmm, I wouldn't write off The Secret Life of Bees based on the cast. I do agree that Hollywood could take a great read and make it a schlocky cheesy film, but I for one will check it out.