Friday, September 21, 2018
Despite our quick cross-country trek, we still had a good festival, watching between 30-33 movies each including previews starting the week prior to the festival. This was a step back from the 40+ movies that we watched last year, but not just because of our trip. This year we found it much more difficult to find movies that we wanted to watch. I usually look for foreign or indie movies that would not be coming to the theatres imminently and comedies or feel-good movies which are always a rarity within the festival lineup. This year, I could not find any movie that was an all-out comedy (unlike last year's hilarious C'est La Vie), and had to settle for light dramas with comedic moments or light comedies with major dramatic moments. I also had trouble filling my schedule with foreign or indie movies and ended up watching many more mainstream films than usual. As always, I saw some excellent movies that I loved, a bunch that were just OK, and one that we thought was so stupid that we walked out after 30 minutes. In previous years I have blogged about just about all the movies that I watched, but this year I will just describe the ones that I enjoyed the most.
The four 40-minute-long episodes of the Israeli TV mini-series called "Stockholm" has a great premise that invokes comparisons to the classic movie Weekend At Bernie's. Four life-long friends discover that the fifth friend in their group, the acclaimed and successful economist Avishai, has died a mere 5 days before the announcement of the Nobel Peace Prize in Economics, for which he is the favourite to win this year. Not wanting him to miss out on this honour (and for a few personal reasons by one of the friends), the group decides to postpone the revelation of his passing until after the announcement. Of course, misunderstandings arise and unforeseen problems ensue. But there are also serious moments as we learn about the hidden motivations of each of the remaining friends, and long-kept secrets come to the surface. The final image of the series takes a second to comprehend but it provides the perfect laugh-out-loud finale to this madcap farce.
Accordingly, I watched the first 45 minutes of A Star is Born (the happy, meet-cute, falling-in-love part) and then ducked out to watch the more lighthearted bio-pic called "The Old Man and the Gun", which has been rumoured to be Robert Redford's last acting role. Redford plays the real-life Forrest Tucker, a charming career criminal who robbed banks for the fun of it, had been caught and escaped from prison 18 times, including his 1979 escape from San Quentin State Prison in California when he and two other inmates built a kayak and paddled away to freedom. When the police interviewed the bank manager or teller of a bank that Tucker had robbed, they would always mention how polite he was and how he always smiled. I enjoyed the parts that I watched of each of these films. This might become a new trend for me—to only watch the happy parts of movies!
—the challenge of conquest over the breathtaking but seemingly unobtainable daughter.
We watched a few more main stream movies that were very enjoyable including Widows, The Hate U Know, Jeremiah Terminator Leroy and Red Joan, all of them scheduled to be released in the theatres before the end of the year. I also watched several Canadian movies, a confusing Spanish thriller, a Mexican heist movie, a Danish dramedy about a dysfunctional family at Christmas, a French comedy that wasn't very funny and a German melodrama. That's a wrap for TIFF 2018! Looking forward to next year.