Danny Boyle‘s Slumdog Millionaire has won the Toronto Film Festival’s People’s Choice Award — a harbinger, no doubt, of audience reaction/acceptance to come. Now that I’m back in Los Angeles, I may as well take this opportunity to list my Toronto highs and lows:
Finest, Richest, Most Rousing (in this order): Kathryn Bigelow‘s The Hurt Locker, Phillipe Claudel‘s I’ve Loved You So Long, Steven Soderbergh‘s Che (Parts 1 and 2), Joel and Ethan Coen‘s Burn After Reading, Danny Boyle‘s Slumdog Millonaire, Rod Lurie‘s Nothing But The Truth, Gavin O’Connor‘s Pride and Glory.
Didn’t Feel Strong Love/Like, But Highly Respectable All The Same: Matteo Garone‘s Gamorrah, Andreas Dresen‘s Cloud 9, Steve McQueen‘s Hunger.
Best Crafted, Most Fully Felt Drama By a Really Young Filmmaker: 24 Year-Old Nik Fakler‘s Lovely Still.
Fascinating/Interesting Problem Movie (That I’ve Yet to Discuss At Any Length): Jonathan Demme‘s Rachel Getting Married.
Entertaining, Ideologically and Politically On_The-Money, Cinematically Acceptable: Bill Maher and Larry CharlesReligulous.
Good Enough, Not Half Bad, Moderately Stirring or Diverting: Ed Harris‘s Appaloosa, Claire Denis35 Ruhms, Kelly Reichardt‘s Wendy and Lucy, Kevin Smith‘s Zack and Miri Make a Porno.
Regrettable Misses: Darren Aronofsky‘s The Wrestler, Kari Skogland‘s Fifty Deam Men Walking, the new narration-free version of Fernando MeirellesBlindness, Barbet Schroeder‘s Inju, Max Farberbock‘s A Woman in Berlin, Spike Lee‘s Miracle at St. Anna, Christophe Baratier‘s Fauborg 36, K. Rafferty‘s Harvard Beats Yale, Ari Folman‘s Waltz With Bashir, Paul Schrader’s Adam Resurrected, Marcel Sarmiento and Gadi Harel’s Deadgirl, Dan Stone and Patrick Gambuti Jr.‘s At The Edge of the World.
Deliberate Misses: The Duchess, Flash of Genius, Adoration, The Secret Life of Bees.
Scratch-Off, Not For Me, Sorry: David Koepp‘s Ghost Town (except for Ricky Gervais‘ quite funny performance).
Decent or Half-Decent Films but Primarily Noteworthy for a Stand-Out Performance (or Performances): Richard Linklater‘s Me and Orson Welles, Guillermo Arriaga’s The Burning Plain.