Cancer dramedy among standouts in Toronto festival
A film about a young man with a massive, malignant tumor on his spine is funny, believe it or not, and is one of the best films in the ongoing Toronto International Film Festival.
“50/50,” a dramedy previously titled “I’m With Cancer,” is one of the entries that we watched in a crazy week of nightly screenings in LA before we flew here. Surprisingly, most of them are exceptionally good.
Written by Will Reiser, who wrote projects for HBO, “50/50” is based on his being diagnosed, at 24, of having lymphoma – but further tests showed that a giant tumor was growing on his spine. While it’s a fictional account, the film benefits from Will’s personal insights, a terrific cast composed of Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Anna Kendrick, Anjelica Huston, Bryce Dallas Howard and Seth Rogen, Will’s best friend in real life, who personally witnessed his battle.
Director Jonathan Levine (“The Wackness,” winner of the 2008 Sundance Film Fest Audience Award) succeeds in the difficult task of making the movie amusing and moving at the same time, never pandering to cheap sentiment.