by Baby Clyde
Today, I had no repeat problems in the middle of the film. The screenings started at noon with Florian Zeller’s adaptation of his own play The son. Saw the original London production in 2019: great performances. Horrible game. Although Zeller ironed out some of the source material’s innate stagnation The son can’t get over the fact that it’s not a play about the epidemic of teenage depression, but rather about absurdly inept parenting. The choices made are so ridiculous and the reasoning so superficial that I burst out laughing many times. They also kept the possible and unpleasantly unpleasant twist of a coda that is no less objectionable in film than it was on stage. Sir Anthony appears briefly in what is presumably a revival of his character from The father. He has more impact in three minutes than the rest of the cast in the other two hours of contrived torment. Consider it the first real clunker of this Oscar season.
Empire of Light was next and was apparently genetically engineered in a movie lab to win Oscar nominations…
I won’t be mad when that happens. I can’t be biased about the flawed film because not only is it a love letter to cinema, it stars the ever-incredible Olivia Colman. Plus, it’s set in the Kentish seaside town of margate, a place I know extremely well. It’s so much fun to recognize all the places. Dreamland, The Lido, the tidal pool, the stairs to the worst gay bar in the world, Sundowners. My brother managed to ruin a shot of the movie by running to the train station while they were filming there earlier this year. He ran across the road, ran into Micheal Ward and got yelled at by the first AD. Makes its train though!
The film has its flaws. The central romance is totally unnecessary, the racial stuff feels like box-ticking, and some of the tonal shifts are a bit jarring, but Olivia is terrific and visually a beautiful all-around movie. The Academy will have a field day, I’m sure.
I always try to accommodate smaller and more interesting international feature films, but this year the calendar has been so full of big, award-winning productions that the smaller ones have been neglected. I managed to fit in coal however, one of the (unsuccessful) finalists for Brazil’s Oscar bid. It’s a hugely entertaining but morally ambiguous story about a poor family’s interaction with a notorious drug dealer that’s been marred somewhat by a dodgy plot from the start that throws an unnecessary veil over the rest of the proceedings. . That said, I love seeing these smaller images that I just add to a list of movies that I must work around and never do it. I wish I had made room for more. That would have made for a very strong Brazilian entry. Can not wait to see you march onethe movie they actually chose.
My last film of the day was the festival’s biggest ticket, Spielberg’s newest The Fabelmans.
I arrived at Roy Thompson Hall with 5 minutes to spare only to see the volunteers move the bag search tables and close the doors. I was looked at with disapproval when I rushed in because apparently the movie started at 9:30pm rather than the 9:40pm I had noted. It wasn’t until I showed them my ticket at the entrance that I found out what was going on at 9:30pm and it definitely wasn’t. The Fabelmans.
Not only was I in the wrong room, but I was at the wrong movie on the wrong day!
My 9:45 p.m. movie turned out to be Cannes’ favorite holy spider at the TIFF Bell Lightbox further down the road. Luckily I ran there and just almost done. It turned out not only to be my favorite movie of the week so far, but easily and by far my favorite movie of the year. He’s a black serial killer like you’ve never seen before.
While the tropes may be familiar, the Iranian setting is a stunning work. Incredibly graphic but not in the least exploitative, the whole thing is anchored by Cannes Best Actress winner Zahra Amir Ebrahimi, who was working as a casting director and only took on the lead role a few days before filming began. , when the original actress dropped out. With its explicit depictions of sex, drug use, prostitution and murder, there is zero lucky that it was ever shown in Iran. Fortunately, it’s a Danish production and will hopefully be chosen as the country’s Oscar submission later this month (it’s on their shortlist of three). Director Ali Abbasi’s Latest Film, The Weird and the Wonderful Border made the Academy shortlist in 2018 but failed to secure a nomination. Hopefully he can take that last step this time around.
MOVIE OF THE DAY: holy spider
OSCAR BUZZ: Although the critical reception has not been entirely positive, I do not see Empire of Light gone and surely Lady Olivia is a shoo in.
In the best international feature film, I would be crazy if holy spider does not make the cut.
STAR POINTS: Nothing. No. Nobody. Not a sausage as they say in England.