Eccentricites of a Blond Hair Girl – Short Stories Should be Exactly That…Short.

20 09 2009

Veteran director Manoel de Oliveira marked his 100th birthday with the adaptation of José Maria de Eça de Queiroz’s short story. It is a fascinating tale set in 18th century Portugal about a young accountant named Macário who, while peering through his office window above his uncle’s cashmere store, instantly falls in love with Luisa who lives in the building next door. He rushes to pursue her only to have his uncle prohibit the relationship and making his employment conditional upon this command. But of course, love must have its way and Macário travels to Cape Verde where he could raise funds to ask for Luisa’s hand. It is unquestionably a romantic premise although with an interesting twist that proves Macário’s efforts to have been in vain.

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The Private Lives of Pippa Lee – The Gem in the Haystack

18 09 2009

With over 300 films playing at this year’s Toronto Film Festival, the likeliness that you’ll find that one gem in the haystack is, well, highly unlikely. You’ll probably see more lacklustre films than anything else, but if you’re lucky enough, you’ll find that one film that’ll make your entire Film Festival experience absolutely unforgettable. So let me tell you, I’ve been lucky enough to find that treasure in Rebecca Miller’s wonderfully woven film, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee.

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Les Herbes Folles – Delightfully Bizarre

17 09 2009

It seems to be just my luck this Film Festival season to be picking films of such obscurity that leave me absolutely flabbergasted once the credits roll in on the screen. But alas, I must give credit where credit is due…this film, Les Herbes Folles, is one that is light, comedic, and, despite many surprises that will leave you scratching your head, simply delightful. Based on a book by Christian Gailly, Les Herbes Folles tells the unique tale of a rather eccentric romance that blossoms over a lost wallet.

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Women Without Men – What Is Imagery Without Plot?

15 09 2009

Oh those flashing lights! The celeb-stalking! The paparazzi! The crowds! The red carpet! This could only mean one thing…the return of our beloved city into the cinema world spotlight! That’s right, the 34th Toronto International Film Festival began just last Thursday, and as always, I’ve been basking in the glory of all the festivities.

I kicked off the Film Festival season with Sharin Neshat’s adaptation of Shahrnush Parsipur’s novella, ‘Women without Men’. Set against the political backdrop of the 1953 Iranian coup d’état that brought down the democratically elected Mohammed Mossadegh, the film tells the interconnected tales of four women struggling to find freedom in their own personal lives.

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gone baby gone

7 09 2009

I know, I know…I’m about two years late on this! But basking in the few hours that’s left of my summer, I decided to laze around and watch a movie (something I probably won’t have time to do in a few weeks). Now I’ve been meaning to see Gone Baby Gone for quite sometime now so tadah! I finally did. I had absolutely no idea what this movie was about prior to watching it…just knew it was directed by Ben Affleck, that my mom loved it, andddd that’s pretty much it. So about two hours later, I’m sitting on my couch completely blown away, trying to wrap my head around all the moral questions that were just presented to me. Holy hell, that was an AMAZING movie. So many…so, so many hard questions that I (unfortunately) don’t have the answer to…

What would I have done? Given the situation, whose side would I be on? It’s so hard to answer…these aren’t simple black and white questions of wrong or right. Now at first glance you’d think it’d be an easy decision. The kid’s mom is a crackhead who leaves her alone while taking a hit. She clearly doesn’t have a proper job to support a family and hangs around drug dealers, pimps, prostitutes…you know, just the kind of people every child needs for a healthy, stable support system. So given that, I’d obviously leave the child with Morgan Freeman and his wife (can’t remember character names, sorry)…a responsible, well-off, supportive couple who actually love and care for the child. Right?

Maybe. A part of me can’t help but find some credence in Casey Affleck’s point of view. You can’t just steal someone else’s child. Yes, you mean well and yes you are most definitely more well-equipped to take care of this child and she’ll most probably have a 100% chance of succeeding in life…but does that make it right? Is it your life to give? Who are we to decide what’s best? Would we be playing God by giving into something like this? I don’t know…is it idealism by youth to think that this would be the right thing to do? Naïveté to think that it’s possible for Amy Ryan’s character to change? Are we just deluding ourselves into thinking these things? Does the wear and tear of life and of age make this decision so much easier? Make us pessimistic or rather, more realistic? …that there is no hope for the child if left in the hands of Amy’s character. That this is better for her…like Michelle Monaghan said, isn’t it better to know that the child is in a safe place where she can have sleepovers and go to school and basically, have a shot at a normal life? I think these things and then again I go back all over again and ask, who gives you the right to make these decisions? I don’t know, I don’t know…

So I go back and forth, back and forth asking myself what I’d do. But clearly I don’t have the answers…guess I’ll have to keep mulling over it. Hopefully, I’ll never have to make this kind of a decision…