Saturday, September 18, 2010

"Beginners", etc.

Best movie I saw at TIFF: Beginners with Christopher Plummer, Ewan McGregor, and the lovely Mélanie Laurent.

Other stuff I loved at TIFF:

Super with Rainn Wilson and Ellen Page.

127 Hours (Definitely ran away with the "Best movie wherein James Franco saws off his own arm" category.)

The aforementioned Client 9: The Rise and Fall of Eliot Spitzer.

Least favorite: The Conspirators. Got the sense that Redford didn't know if he wanted to go full throttle on the military tribunals or make a straightforward historical drama. Plus, ultimately devolved into a "noble lawyer" movie, and there are definitely enough of those. Wasn't bad, just not my favorite.


Privatize the Profits! Socialize the Costs! said...

Hey, Res Ipsa, sorry we never were able to get together while we are/were both in Toronto.

I'm going to see The Conspirator tomorrow, so I hope to be able to comment on that later.

Alas, I didn't see most of the ones you mentioned.

I did see "Super" and thought it was pretty standard Hollywood fare although Ellen Page WAS terrific in her over-the-top superhero sidekick...

My personal faves so far have been

1) The Illusionist- an animated feature by the maker of "Triplets of Belleville" using a 1970's Jacques Tati script

2) Chico and Rita- another animated feature made in Spain, telling the story of a Cuban jazz pianist and singer's love affair

3) The Game of Death which was basically a doc... this is a re-do of Princeton University's famour 1960's "Milgram experiment"...

There's a fairly good synopsis of this movie at this site:,8599,1972981,00.html

After seeing the movie, you wonder if you would have been one of the 20% of people who bravely refused to go along with the "game" of giving painful electrical shocks to a helpless guy strapped down to a chair...

...or would you have been one of the 80% who went right along with it?

Privatize the Profits! Socialize the Costs! said...

OK, I'm just back from "The Conspirator" and I'd give it three stars out of four.

Of course, the unspoken subtext is that this is a protest against the constitutional outrages of the Bush administration, especially FISA and the USA-PATRIOT ACT... which probably would not even need to be mentioned this if the film had been put out during the actual Bush administration that obviously inspired it.

That being said, the period authenticity was tremendous, and as a history buff I appreciated that a film has finally been made about this little-known but touching period of American history, when Abraham Lincoln, sadly, achieved the secular sainthood which I doubt would have been his if he had lived out his life peacefully... Lincoln's politics were a little messy and he seems to pissed off just about everyone at some stage or other.

It was interesting to me that "The Conspirators" seemed to have been self-produced by Robert Redford, because there was no major studio's logo on it anywhere.

This production must have easily cost a hundred million bucks! And I know that because I accidentally sat beside a lady who had worked in the art dept. of "The Horse Whisperer" and she told me that that had cost fifty million bucks over ten years ago.

Anonymous said...

movies just cost too much to be so full of lies and exagerrations. vox

Anonymous said...

Oh look at me, I'm Res Ipsa Loquitur, I'm too good to go to the Loew's with TKK, I have to go to a film festival in a foreign country and walk the red carpet and hobnob with Mel Gibson!