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I‘ve already worn my first scarf of the season, good riddance forever summer, this is my time. Not the least of which is because after the end of summer draught, good movies are going to start hitting theaters one right after the other. The Toronto International Film Festival is one of the biggest of the year, where awards season chatter really starts to mean something real and all the movies that you’ll be hearing about for the rest of the year make an appearance.
This year was particularly great, and there are too many movies to talk about. George Clooney’s Suburbicon is apparently a disappointing mess, and Aaron Sorkin’s Molly’s Game starring Jessica Chastain is being dinged as a movie that seems like it’s about a woman while actually being about men. I picked out a few movies that I’ve had my eye on or heard particularly strong things about and did a roundup of how they fared at TIFF 2017.
I’ve written about this movie before and I’ll do it again because the book is beautiful and the movie will follow suit. Two young men played by Armie Hammer And Timothée Chalamet fall in love one summer in the Italian countryside, and performances all around (especially Chalamet’s) are being touted as award worthy. Call Me By Your Name has been received rapturously at every festival it’s screened at so far. Timothée Chalamet is the new actor that everyone is going to have a crush on, and Armie Hammer was rocking his hot dad aesthetic for all his appearances. Look at all that denim!
Bottom Line Buzz: The momentum is building for this one. You will see it and you will cry.
Our fave girl Alicia Vikander was also at TIFF with two films: Submergence, and the first film that her new production company is putting out, Euphoria. In Submergence she plays a scientist who falls in love with James McAvoy, and the two become separated. Euphoria re-teams Vikander with director Lisa Langseth to tell a story about two estranged sisters played by Vikander and Eva Green. Green’s character Emilie is terminally ill, and she invites her sister Ines on a trip so the two can try to reconnect before the end of Emilie’s life. A story about women actually told by women?! Actress and director both looked gorg at the premiere.
Bottom Line Buzz: The reviews for Submergence have been so-so, and I’m prickly about some of the reviews of Euphoria so far. I’ve seen plenty of positive things said, but Variety’s review in particular was maddening to me- with it’s complaint that “unattractive leisurewear sported by Vikander and Green throughout is not a good look” and a note that men in particular left the screening. Guess what the female director and producer did not care about at all? Making sure their movie had plenty of boner fuel.
Margot Robbie is infamous figure skater Tonya Harding in this take on a biopic that’s being marketed as a black comedy. We all know Harding best for her involvement in the attack on fellow skater Nancy Kerrigan, which dominated tabloids in the 90s. In a lot of ways Kerrigan’s story would be the more obvious subject for a movie, overcoming trials and tribulations and all that, but messy stories are usually more interesting. For all you Sebastian Stan fans: he’s in this movie as Tonya Harding’s ex-husband and he’s sporting quite the mustache.
Bottom Line Buzz: Mostly positive. Dark comedies are never for everyone, and I imagine the well known abuse that Tonya Harding suffered that’s shown in the film will keep some people from being able to enjoy the movie’s tone. Allison Janney’s performance as Harding’s mother is being praised, which is unsurprising because Allison Janney is everything.
Your new crush Timothée Chalamet is back, this time co-starring with Saoirse Ronan, in the first movie written and directed by Greta Gerwig (seriously, yay for female led projects). The trailer made me think Lady Bird is going to be a really touching but quirky mother and daughter film in the way Little Miss Sunshine was a touching but quirky father and daughter film.
Then I read this article about how important Dave Matthews Band is to the story and my good feelings plummeted. I will fully admit that I’m not a music connoisseur. I’ve been to one concert in my life (I got dragged to see Britney Spears because my little sister wanted to go), and if a new artist’s song isn’t the single that’s played on the radio I probably don’t know it. I do however know enough about music to know that I hate Dave Matthews Band.
Bottom Line Buzz: Really positive if you can overlook the Dave Matthews thing.
Frances McDormand plays a mother who puts up billboards to shame the local police for making no arrests after her daughter is murdered. This trailer made me cry. As much as I loved Wonder Woman, it’s stories about ordinary women doing extraordinary things that really get me.
Bottom Line Buzz: Frances McDormand could very well get various Best Actress nominations this year, and Sam Rockwell’s name is also being thrown around for Best Supporting Actor, which would be well overdue for him.
This is the movie we’ll be able to see first, because it comes out Friday. I wasn’t necessarily looking forward to this one despite being a fan of those involved because it didn’t look like my kind of movie, but became intrigued as time went on. Specifics on the plot are hard to come by because one of the only things everyone who has seen it so far agrees on is that it’s best to go in to this move knowing as little as possible. The basics: Javier Bardem plays Jennifer Lawrence’s poet husband, a whole bunch of people start showing up at their house and won’t leave, and then a ton of horrific shit happens to Lawrence’s character.
Bottom Line Buzz: Super divisive bordering on negative. Some people have loved it for being unabashedly insane, some people thought it overwrought and pretentious at best and completely horrific at worst. Everyone’s going to have to decide for themselves whether mother! is their cup of tea. Discourse about this movie is going to be everywhere.
(I was so wary about the things I was reading -and would much rather be spoiled than sit through something I might not be able to handle- that I snooped around to see if I could find a detailed report of what happens in the movie. I won’t spoil it here, but this article explains it, and I’m glad I read it. It swung me towards probably not watching, but if I do I’ll be prepared. If I had seen it without knowing anything I would have been a wreck.)
I wrote about this trailer a few weeks ago because I thought the film looked stunning, and the reactions so far are backing up that sentiment. People who already love Guillermo del Toro’s work will love this too, and those who haven’t so far may finally change their mind.
Bottom Line Buzz: Are we about to all fall in at least a little bit of love with a fish-man? Looks like it.
This movie has been in the works for a while and it’s finally here. Haifaa al Mansour (Saudi Arabia’s first female filmmaker) directs the story of the young author (played by Elle Fanning) as she surrounds herself with men who are kind of pretentious dicks- Percy Shelley and Lord Byron- and creates a seminal work of fiction that she can’t even fully enjoy the success of due to her sex.
Bottom Line Buzz: This one is for us. #EGBTT
— Ashley Lee (@cashleelee) September 10, 2017
Oh how I’ve missed you, fall movie season. Welcome back.