Toronto: Two against the world
Mon Sep 13 2010
You do know I'm trying to focus on the good/significant stuff, right? I've suffered through some stinkers that I'd rather not waste time on, so briefly: I walked out of James Gunn's Super, a snobbier, less-assured version ofKick-Ass (I will see the rest of it, eventually). Milk -screenwriter Dustin Lance Black's What's Wrong with Virginia is a toxic mess of bad parenting, Mormonism and tired coming-of-age crap that spurred a mass exodus from the theater. Let's instead discuss a pair of strange buddy movies that are beginning to define the festival for me. British comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon always make me laugh helplessly, shaking with gasps. They deploy their razor-sharp timing (last seen in Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story ) in the deceptively deep The Trip. Directed by Michael Winterbottom, the movie was originally six short episodes of BBC TV, with the two stars playing themselves and touring the English countryside, bickering and reviewing restaurants. As a movie, it can't help but feel a touch episodic, even obsessive-compulsive. But as these old friends tear into each other—and hatch some truly outrageous impressions, like Michael Caine and Woody Allen—a greater subject comes into view. Impressions become a competition and a way for them to escape their middle-ageness into other bodies. I need to see it again immediately. The other buddy movie, also a kind of road movie, is the strangely unshakable Our Day Will Come, a desperate drive toward the northern shore of France made by two men, one of them armed with a crossbow. They're headed toward Ireland; both are redheads and the plot has them suffering a real or imagined persecution complex. (The director is Romain Gavras, he of M.I.A.'s violent "Born Free" video; he played coy about his redhead thing in a Q&A.) Gavras's feature debut has some serious problems: It's stunty and divorced from serious feeling. The vibe is very Harmony Korine. But in sections, there's a strong sense of euphoria and escape, and that might be enough. My illustrious colleague, David Fear, just sat down with Gavras for a chat he described as "thoughtful and articulate"; expect that Q&A right here in the next day or so.
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