I’m so far behind on my Toronto Film Festival opinions there’s no way I’ll catch up, so I’m going to just bang out a series of quickies. Tomorrow, I mean, as I don’t have any more time this evening. Okay, maybe a few quick draws. I saw Fugitive Pieces four days ago and ran a one-graph pan. I re-saw the finale of The Orphanage the same day and loved it all over again. I bailed on Amos Gitai‘s Disengagement after 40 minutes. Ang Lee‘s Lust, Caution isn’t a home run but a solid double — nothing wrong or seriously flawed about it — that deserves respect and patronage.
Control is flat-out awesome. Tony Gilroy‘s Michael Clayton is a nicely satisfying adult thriller — low-key, cleanly layered, “different.” No Country for Old Men will continue to be a brilliant landmark film for the foreseeable future. I’m still gung-ho for In The Valley Of Elah, and it’s good to know that other big guns are sharing that view. Rendition starts out well but devolves into a wank.
Juno is good — smart, spirited, cleerly written — but light-ish. Eastern Promises is, for me, second-rate Cronenberg with a cut-flesh-and-shar-knife fetish. Nick Broomfield‘s Battle for Haditha (which I saw this morning) is absorbing, bracing stuff, but the improvised dialogue feels a little too blunt and on-the-nose at times. Todd McCarthy‘s Man of Cinema: Pierre Rissient doc is a tribute to full-hearted passion of whatever kind, and a pleasure as far as it goes. And Neil Jordan‘s The Brave One is a far, far better film that Michael Winner‘s Death Wish, and an occasion for another first-rate Jodie Foster performance.