Best of Toronto: Oscar candidates and indie breakouts
One journalist friend of mine describes the Toronto International Film Festival as an exercise in chaos theory or, to put it another way, a gigantic real-world game of Tetris.
No other festival in the world has so many simultaneous identities or fills so many niches: Toronto hosts a number of major Hollywood premieres and kick-starts the Oscar season, serves as the North American entry point for adventurous cinema from all over the world, rivals Sundance as a marketplace for American indies and is the principal showcase for Canadian film, all at the same time.
So no matter how many movies you see at Toronto — and I’ve seen plenty over the past week — you come home wishing you could have stayed longer, slept even less or sternly said no to party invitations.
Among the films I didn’t see, I particularly regret Jennifer Westfeldt’s suddenly hot indie comedy “Friends With Kids,” Andrea Arnold’s reportedly abstract take on “Wuthering Heights,” Spanish director Juan Carlos Fresnadillo’s horror film “Intruders,” the ass-kicking Indonesian action film “The Raid,” Woody Harrelson’s star turn as a corrupt cop in “Rampart,” Japanese master Hirokazu Kore-Eda’s “I Wish” … the list doesn’t stop.