After a long week and a half chock full of films and celebrity intrigue, the Toronto International Film Festival has come to an end. And like any good fest, the end means the nice wrapping bow of award-giving (each link is to a review) and final hurrahs.
The Cadillac People's Choice Award: Precious: Based on the Novel "Push" by Sapphire
First runner up: Mao's Last Dancer
Second runner up: Micmacs
The New Cadillac People's Choice Award for Documentary: The Topp Twins
First runner up: Capitalism: A Love Story
The New Cadillac People's Choice Award for Midnight Madness: The Loved Ones
First runner up: Daybreakers
FIPRESCI Prize for Discovery: The Man Beyond the Bridge
FIPRESCI Prize for Special Presentations: Hadewijch
Best Canadian Feature Film: Cairo Time
Best Canadian First Feature Film: The Wild Hunt
Best Canadian Short Film: Danse Macabre
Hit the jump for a round-up and the last little bits of TIFF...
Festival Highlights: Without a doubt, George Clooney led the fest, being the big name behind a number of TIFF's films, being seen all over town, and have an excellent conversation with Drew McWeeny of HitFix. There was also a lot of unrest over the Tel Aviv-themed collection of films, with notable Hollywood names battling on both sides, and two changes of heart from Jane Fonda and Roger Ebert. Meanwhile, I was ruing the need to work once I heard that Samantha Morton was taking part in SXSW karaoke, Creation seemed to bore everyone to tears, Colin Farrell got short-tempered with a photographer, and there were a whole lot of movies to love.
(All of these bites can be found in our 60 seconds coverage right here.)
Cinematical Coverage: The festival kicked off well, and within a few hours, I heard two ex-Cinematical writers and our Scott Weinberg singing the praises of the Greek film Dogtooth, which Scott reviewed here. But that's just the start:
Up in the Air -- Eugene Novikov wrote that it is "as strident about the notion that a life without a family is worthless as any movie I've ever seen. Fortunately, it is also brisk, funny, and not enslaved to genre conventions."
Jennifer's Body -- A film inspiring a whole range of reactions, Todd Gilchrist said the film "substitutes hipster credibility for emotional currency, confuses pop-psychology insight with substantive social commentary, and measures terror on a scale that ranges from the word boo to a dead spider; in short, Jennifer's Body just does not work."
A Serious Man -- I saw the new Coen brothers film as "the culmination of their lives, reminiscent both of their own suburban childhoods in the '60s, and of their cinematic successes over the last twenty-five years."
The Informant! -- Scott's review says this new Soderbergh comedy "turns out to be a seriously entertaining film ... about a seriously plain man."
The Boys are Back -- I thought that "Although this is the film about a journey to a new way of life, the magic is in the moments, which are, at times, so sweet, sad, or carefree that they carry the rest of the film to a satisfying conclusion."
Agora -- My favorite film of the fest, I wrote: "If you see this movie with your heart, exploring the dangers of zealotry and fear, and the ridiculousness of female intellectualism being a danger, you can't help but be changed and inspired."
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus -- Scott's Gilliam fandom was in high gear for his review, noting that the film "feels sort of like a favorite uncle just burst through the door, smiling and loaded with nifty presents."
The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans -- Eugene said: "It's a completely absurd performance -- and, God willing, a way for the actor [Nick Cage] to let off steam and return to the more nuanced, settled acting he used to do."
Cleanflix -- Drawn to the world of people who want to clean up flicks for Mormons, Scott wrote that this is "a film that attempts to tell the whole tale from beginning to end (and mostly does a fine job of it), but also manages to wander way off-track before all is said and done."
Youth in Revolt -- Our Erik Davis is a big fan of the book, and he says the film "definitely ends up feeling disjointed and forced in some areas -- but thanks to a wickedly hilarious performance from Michael Cera (easily the best of his career), this brainy teenage sex comedy does manage to dole out a handful of great scenes, making it worthy of your hard-earned box office dollars ... but only if you promise to read the book afterwards."
Get Low -- Scott loved Get Low, and wrote that it's "an excellent little dramatic piece that's awash in humanity, warmth, insight, and wit."
Capitalism: A Love Story -- Todd noted: "Capitalism is essentially a one-sided love story, even if its message could be truly reciprocal if enough people opened their minds up enough to hear it."
Chloe -- I thought Atom Egoyan's new erotic thriller toes "the line of believability as they [the stars] sail through the sticky waters of romantic discontent and mistrust."
Bright Star -- Jen Yamato thought that the John Keats romance "is less a by-the-numbers examination of the artist, who died a pauper at the age of 25 before any of his poetry was truly appreciated, and more a tribute to the power of the well-documented love that Keats and Brawne shared."
Mother and Child -- I wrote: "I know, the premise screams of the possibility for overwrought melodrama -- a lot of matronly sappiness, cliched tears, and easy emotion tugging. But Mother and Child never succumbs to such easy routes."
Still to come: A round-up of tantalizing shorts!
Deals (un)Galore: The deals, they didn't descend upon the fest like a cleansing rain to wash away economic woes. No more than a small handful.