TIFF Previewed: Reviews


Directed by John Hillcoat
Starring Charlize Theron & Viggo Mortensen

John Hilcoats adaptation of Cormac McCarthys post-apocalyptic classic has been getting some big attention after its premier at the Venice Film Festival. In my eyes, Viggo Mortensen can do no wrong. Charlize Theron might be able to, but shes just so darn pretty, right?

Max Manus Real

Directed by Joachim Rønning & Espen Sandberg
Starring Aksel Hennie & Agnes Kittelsen

After watching two other movies that afternoon, a Norwegian subtitled WWII drama sounded less than appealing. I was pleasantly surprised, however. Max Manus presents the true story of Max Manus, one of the most successful saboteurs fighting against the Germans in Nazi-occupied Norway. I had never heard of the fellow who played him before, Aksel Hennie. Likely because hes Norwegian and has only been in Norwegian films thus far.

Hennies performance was well worth the Amanda (a Norwegian film award) it garnered him. The story follows Manus life from early on in the war — from running anti-Nazi propaganda newspapers to just after — and deals with how Manus copes with life as a war hero without a war. Its more of a dichotomy of man type of war film than an Inglorious Basterds revenge-based war flick. Its about the passionate young men of Norway who were fighting to take back their country and how they eventually did. Most interesting though is that its a WWII movie that doesnt mention the Jewish people. Its a distinctly Norwegian perspective, which I had never seen before.


Directed by Lars Von Trier
Starring Willem Dafoe

This movie is intense. Seriously, it might be brilliant, in that I cant stop thinking about it, but it might also be disturbing. In four chapters, a prologue and an epilogue, director Lars Von Trier brings us the story of a woman, Charlotte Gainsbourg (Science of Sleep) and a man, Williem Dafoe (the weird looking guy in everything) trying to cope after the tragic accidental death of their young son.

Antichrist is eerie, but the graphic content puts it on a whole other level. I watched a screener for it alone at my house and at one point shouted at the screen No no no no!… Fuck!

Directed by Rob Stefaniuk
Starring Malcolm McDowell & Dave Foley

When The Winners bass player becomes a vampire, his band mates decide to roll with it. Bass players are hard to come by. Penned, directed by and starring Canadian film maker Rob Stefaniuk, Suck looks to be a pretty good time. Henry Rollins, Iggy Pop and Alice Cooper also turn up, so thats a bonus, even if you are sick of vampires.

The Informant

Directed by Steven Soderbergh
Starring Matt Damon & Melanie Lynskey

Steven Soderbergh and Matt Damon made a comedy about a bumbling FBI informant. That sounds great. Matt Damon already receives all kinds of accolades for his performance in this film, which makes its world premier at TIFF on Friday. For whatever reason, putting on weight for a role and good acting are synonymous in Hollywood (excluding Jared Leto in Chapter 27). Damon gained twenty pounds for the role and did a good job, so Im thinking Oscar nomination.


Directed by Bruce Sweeney
Starring Cam Cronin & Paul Skrudland

Its pretty cute. Canadian director Bruce Sweeney returns after his 2007 film American Venus with a tale of love, family, and sexual dysfunction. After eight years without a date, Kevin, played by Cam Kronin (American Venus), returns to the dating pool with a splash. He ejaculates prematurely. Thats the joke. Set in Vancouver, this Canadian film is an enjoyable watch, with the best part being actor Paul Skrudland. I was laughing every time he opened his mouth.