It’s a travel day, as I pack up and head across the Atlantic to do some further film festivaling.
First, a few days in London, where I will chase several interviews that failed to gel at TIFF and catch a few more movies. Then it’s off to Austria for the Viennale, where I’ve been invited to sit on the FIPRESCI jury. First order of business: Trying to reschedule my commitments so I’m free to catch Mark’s “Birdsong” documentary, “Waiting for Sancho”, with an audience.
Posts may be spotty over the next couple of weeks, but I’ll try to have something up every day. Also, the time difference works in my favor.
Meanwhile, back at home, it’s a Friday and there are movies opening left, right and center …
“Battle in Seattle“: Stuart Townsend’s docudrama about the WTO riots in Seattle bristles with energy and even-handed cool, and features well-drawn performances from Charlize Theron, Woody Harrelson, Jennifer Carpenter and the marvelous Andre Benjamin. Apparently Joshua Jackson is in there somewhere, too, but damned if I could find him.
“FLOW: For Love of Water“: Hey, you know how nothing on Earth can survive without water? Irena Salina’s didactic-but-disturbing documentary explains why that might be a problem, and sooner than we think.
“Happy-Go-Lucky“: Mike Leigh tries to reinvent himself as a cuddly smurf with this shiny-happy dramedy about an irrepressible schoolteacher and the people whose paths she flits across. Sally Hawkins is terrific in the lead, but everything else seems to have been sourced from previous Leigh films and slotted in at random.
“Max Payne”: Mark Wahlberg battles the devil, or something, in John Moore’s digitally augmented adaptation of the allegedly beloved videogame. Barrett got a headache.
“Morning Light”: Plucky young people train for a sailboat adventure in this Disney-produced which seems to have been produced as a promotional tie-in for the Trans Pac race so beloved by Roy Disney. I think I remember reading that somewhere, anyway. Rad was unmoved.
“Passchendaele”: In which Paul Gross finally declares himself Canada’s pop-culture messiah, or something. After “Men with Brooms”, I can’t say I’m in any hurry to see this. Susan liked it, though.
“The Secret Life of Bees”: Another film that’s eluded me at every turn. At this point, I’m happy to just say the title in my Eddie Izzard voice and walk around the room, giggling. They were trying to position it as Oscar bait at TIFF, but Jason remains skeptical.
“Sex Drive”: Even though this features Seth Green as an Amish car mechanic, it just screams “wait for the DVD”. And so I shall. Barrett went instead.
“W.”: I wish I knew why Oliver Stone made this movie. I mean, I’ve seen it, and I still have no idea. I guess he wanted to remind everyone that he’s the guy who made “J.F.K.” and “Nixon”. But, really … why tell this story if you don’t have any feelings about it one way or the other? And what the hell did Thandie Newton think she was doing? Adam asks similar questions.
And that, I think, is that. Off to Heathrow now, toodle-pip. Let me know if I can bring back any UK candy for you.