Monday, September 8, 2008
TIFF '08 - Day 3 (for me)
I started the day off with ME AND ORSON WELLES. I liked this little movie. It's Richard Linklater's new film and stars Zac Efron and Christian McKay (who really steals the movie). This is a period piece, set in 1937, before Welles' Oscar winning movie, Citizen Kane. Efron's character, a wannabe actor, stumbles upon Welles one day and manages to impress Orson with his quick wit and cockiness (two traits Welles has perfected). The story describes the ups and downs that comes when working with a visionary genius. Claire Danes plays the love interest (of all involved) and portrays what it was like for a woman back in the day.
Me and Orson Welles was shown in the new AMC Theatre at Dundas Square. I really wish we had something like this in Atlanta (and no, Atlantic Station doesn't do it).
Mike arrived in Toronto in the late afternoon, so today was my day to start watching more mainstream movies. So, on the agenda was THE WRESTLER, starring Mickey Rourke, directed by Darren Aronofsky. Yes, you read that correctly, Mickey Rourke, and let me just say that I wouldn't be surprised he scored an Oscar nomination. Rourke plays a washed-up wrestler barely living paycheck to paycheck, trying to hold on to the bare threads of fame created in the eighties. He was known as Randy "The Ram," and even had an action figure. (Hulk Hogan comes to mind here - although I think he's more successful.) Marisa Tomei stars as an older (30 something) stripper, Cassidy, just trying to raise her son. The similarities in their lives are obvious and the two do a great job together on the screen. (Plus, Tomei is practically naked throughout the entire movie.) Evan Rachel Wood comes in as Randy's estranged daughter, Stephanie. My only problem with the film is that this storyline might be superfluous, but it still doesn't detract from the film enough to matter. I just learned that Fox Searchlight picked up this film today (Monday). So, look for it in theaters sometime soon.
The Wrestler was shown in Toronto's famous Elgin Theatre, and there were stars everywhere. And, no, I'm not above gawking and taking photos - I'm completely on that level (just so I can share it with you). ;)
Elgin Theatre (aka: Visa Screening Room)
Director and cast, sans Marisa Tomei (Rourke looked like a complete train wreck)
Mark Ruffalo (in town for The Brothers Bloom)
Mark Ruffalo talking to Julian Schnabel
Yes, Marilyn Manson, who was with Evan Rachel Wood, showing lots of PDA. YUCK!
The last movie of the evening was MIRACLE AT ST. ANNA. Let me start off by stating that I like Spike Lee, but this movie was a complete and utter mess. No offense, but it's a freakin' MIRACLE that a producer/production company actually signed off on this script, much less ponied up the money to produce it. It's way too long, I didn't care about the characters, the symbolism was way over the top, too many storylines that almost immediately lost my interest, and a few Paul Thomas Anderson moments (long scenic shots with loud momentous score), without the climax. This movie needs serious fixing before anymore eyes are thrust upon it. But, I haven't lost faith in Spike. I just hope he (as the parent of this baby), can recognize its deformities and take it to the proper surgeon for reconstruction.