HE’s last Toronto Film Festival priority slate (posted on 8.12) had 26 hard picks, 30 if you want to be liberal about it and 33 if you really want to bend over backwards. Today the last few titles were announced, and one of them is a keeper — Vincent Melfi‘s St. Vincent with Bill Murray portraying a stonier, less-well-off version of himself, and costarring Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, Chris O’Dowd, Jaeden Lieberher.
The Compson family in James Franco’s The Sound and the Fury, one of the just-announced additions to the 2014 Toronto Film Festival.
I very much want to see Martin Scorsese and David Tedeschi‘s The 50 Year Argument, which HBO will debut on 9.29…but how necessary-to-see alongside everything else? Should I put the New York Review of Books on hold until the HBO airing? Or possibly catch it at the NYFF? Krzysztof Zanussi‘s Foreign Body and Raoul Peck‘s Murder in Pacot sound like near-essentials. Okay, priorities. Okay, films I’d like to see if the schedule allows.
Forget Nuri Bilge Ceylan‘s extra-long, time-hogging, schedule-killing Winter Sleep, which I resent anyway because the Cannes jury gave it the Palme d’Or while nickle-and-diming Leviathan with a Best Screenplay award. I’ll see Sleep in Los Angeles when I have the time to spare and not before. If it was screening here before Toronto I’d see it in a heartbeat. Ceylan is a master of his realm and a world-class auteur, but no way am I surrendering 196 minutes to any one film during the Toronto Film Festival.
Those who haven’t seen Yann Demange‘s ’71 (I caught it last February in Berlin) should definitely make it a priority.
Ross Katz‘s Adult Beginners sounds like Joe Swanberg‘s Happy Christmas but with a youngish guy-with-issues (Nick Kroll) crashing with his pregnant sister (Rose Byrne), her husband (Bobby Cannavale) and their kid…same difference.
Forget Julie Taymor‘s capturing of her Brooklyn stage presentation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream…not a chance. Not during TIFF, I mean.
James Franco directs and costars in The Sound and the Fury, another adaptation of a William Faulkner classic on the heels of Franco’s As I Lay Dying, which premiered last year in Cannes. We’re talking aboutthe gradual downfall of the Compson family, of course, with Franco playing playing the mentally challenged “Benjy” Compson. Pic costars Joey King, Tim Blake Nelson, Seth Rogen and Danny McBride. What is to be done with the prolific, never-say-die Franco? I admire his energy and hunger but he has to do more than just crank out film after film. He has to hit a bull’s eye.
So now we’re looking at 27 hard picks with St. Vincent added, and…I’m losing count but something like 33 or 35 if I want to be extra-liberal and inclusive, etc. What’s the difference? I never see more than 25 or 26 or 27 anyway. Nine days, three per day.