TIFF 2011 Preview #2

28 07 2011

Continuing from Preview #1

A Better Life (Une Vie Meilleure)

What’s It About: Not to be confused with a certain film about a man and his truck, this French film revolves around a trained chef who although confident finds it difficult to navigate the waters of the Parisian restaurant industry.

Chances At Top Prize: Very low. If the lead, Guillaume Canet, can charm the audiences this film may have a small shot but it seems destined to be caught up in the mix despite restauranting in Paris being an often underexplored subject.

Burning Man

What’s It About: An English chef with a son attempts to put his life back together while surrounded by women.

Chances At Top Prize: Zero. I’m a fan of Matthew Goode but director Jonathan Teplitzky doesn’t have a great track record and the rest of the cast aren’t exactly standouts. Could surprise into a fun sentimental flick but I don’t think it has a chance at the Audience Award


What’s It About: A comedy about an adopted girl in the mid-west that finds out she has a talent for butter carving and enters a cutthroat competition in her town.

Chances At Top Prize: Very Low. This movie supports a tremendous cast including Hugh Jackman, Olivia Wilde, Jennifer Garner, Ashley Greene, Alicia Silverstone, Kristen Schaal, and Robb Corddry as well as a couple TV standouts like Phyllis Smith (The Office) and Ty Burrell (Modern Family). This will be a hilarious film yet pure comedies rarely win and this one has a first-time director.

Chicken With Plums

What’s It About: Coming from the directors of the animated hit “Persepolis” comes the story of a musician who breaks his tar and when he cannot find a replacement vows to die, and in 8 days he does. The final week of this life is depicted in this film as well as flashbacks and flashforwards to his past life and his children’s futures.

Chances At Top Prize: Very High. “Persepolis” was a great film and with two leads like Mathieu Amalric and Isabella Rossellini this will most likely be great as well. It sounds profound and potentially heartbreaking, the TIFF has often given the People’s Choice Award to foreign films and this looks to fit that mold.


What’s It About: Based off a Shakespeare play that actually hasn’t hit the silver screen until now tells the story of banished Roman who allies himself with a sworn enemy so he can take revenge upon the city.

Chances At Top Prize: High. This a a very tepid high as there are some great things to like and some to not. Ralph Fiennes is directing and acting alongside Gerard Butler, Brian Cox, and Vanessa Redgrave. Jessica Chastain also stars for those of you who have seen “The Tree of Life” and John Logan (“Gladiator” among many other things) adapts the script. This could be an amazing drama but I’m not convinced it will show the audiences something new enough to bring home the prize.


What’s It About: … I don’t know. It’s from a first time director with at least one very good cast member. It seems to be a crime drama/thriller but the details are very fuzzy.

Chances At Top Prize: Moderate? I can’t give you a assured statement but South Korea is turning into one of the finest producers of cinema and that alone is enough to get me excited.

A Dangerous Method

What’s It About: The relationship between Sigmond Freud (Viggo Mortensen) and Carl Jung (Michael Fassbender) as they attempt to treat a troubled patient (Kiera Knightley).

Chances At Top Prize: Very High. Audiences awarded Cronenberg the People’s Choice Award in 2007 for “Eastern Promises” and this film adds a tremendous actor in Michael Fassbender to the already great combo of Mortensen and Cronenberg.

Dark Horse

What’s It About: A romance that blooms between two thirty-somethings; one a toy collector and the other the dark horse of the family.

Chances At Top Prize: Moderate. I have yet to figure out of much of it will lean towards dark comedy and how much will be a drama and that usually makes a difference at TIFF. Todd Solondz is a talented writer/director so he may be due for a bigger breakthrough here and that chance will keep me interested in this film.

The Deep Blue Sea

What’s It About: A Woman who’s obsessive love gets her caught up in an affair with a Royal Air Force pilot.

Chances At Top Prize: High. Based off a highly regarded play and featuring a solid cast with Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston could turn this into a surprise hit. Directed by Terence Davies.

The Descendents

What’s It About: George Clooney plays the lead in this “dramedy” about a man who’s life comes crashing down around him and his family after a series of events.

Chances At Top Prize: High. Clooney has a lots public appeal and putting him at the front of an Alexander Payne (Sideways) movie could strike gold


What’s It About: A Hollywood stunt-man who moonlights as a getaway driver eventually gets caught up in that world when a new woman comes into his life.

Chances At Top Prize: High. Nicolas Winding Refn took home Best Director at Cannes for this film and has an outstanding actor and actress to work with in Ryan Gosling and Carey Mulligan. This movie will be crazy, whether it is a one that will get everyone talking or turn some off is still to be seen.


What’s It About: Anne, an investigative writer for ‘Elle’, meets with two well-adjusted young women for her article about student prostitution. What they reveal forces her to change her outlook on family, love, and money.

Chances At Top Prize: High. Although I know nothing of the director, Juliette Binoche plays the lead and that, along with the subject matter, is enough for me as she is coming off the best performance of her career in “Certified Copy”.

Eye of the Storm

What’s It About: An aging matriarch, who has decided everything in her life, decides when she should die.

Chances At Top Prize: Moderate. Geoffrey Rush’s name is enough to make me interested but this is the type of film that either needs outstanding performances by the entire cast or really do something new to get noticed and I haven’t heard enough about it to make that distinction.

Friends With Kids

What’s It About: When a group of close friends start to have kids it begins to have an impact on everyone.

Chances At Top Prize: Zero. Supports a good cast with members of “Bridesmaids” reuniting like Kristen Wiig, Maya Rudolf, and John Hamm and brings up an interesting subject but with an inexperienced writer/director this could be one of the major disappointments of the festival.




One response

1 08 2011

Musician Mathieu Amalric and his iranian mother Isabella Rossellini : very high !!!!

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