No sooner does TIFF wrap up than its movies come spilling out across our screens. “Appaloosa” opened on Wednesday, and today’s new arrivals include another Special Presentation title and a full-on Gala, as well as a Midnight Madness title from last year’s festival. (The last one is the source of today’s photo.)
Let’s get right to it, shall we?
“The Duchess”: As Georgiana Spencer, Duchess of Devonshire and ancestor of another winsome blonde royal, Keira Knightley wears corsets and suffers exquisitely while Ralph Fiennes fumes about stuff and Hayley Atwell looks fetching. Yeah, it’s one of those. Adam was unimpressed.
“Ghost Town“: Ricky Gervais sees dead people, including a tuxedo-clad Greg Kinnear, but is really much more interested in his widow, played by Tea Leoni. David Koepp’s supernaturally tinged romantic comedy is actually much better than the marketing would have you believe.
“Igor”: John Cusack voices a plucky hunchback in this CG comedy that looks like something Henry Selick might have dreamed while working on “The Nightmare Before Christmas”. Dierdre thought it was okay, though.
“I Served the King of England”: A Czech waiter bears witness to history in Jiri Menzel’s political … comedy? Allegory? Either way, it looks all bright and charming and politically aware, and the guy who made it also made “Closely Watched Trains”. Andrew caught it, and liked it; I had to see “The Lucky Ones” instead. How ironic.
“Lakeview Terrace”: Neil Labute has a long way to go before we scrub “director of the infamously ridiculous ‘Wicker Man’ remake” from his bio, but apparently this yuppies-vs-psycho thriller is more than just a racially charged remake of “Unlawful Entry”. I guess anything’s possible. Barrett elaborates.
“My Best Friend’s Girl”: Jason Biggs and Dane Cook fight for the affections of Kate Hudson in this … wait, someone put Dane Cook and Kate Hudson, the twin quasars of prickly smugness, in the same movie? Shouldn’t that have created a black hole of charisma or something? Christ, we were lucky.
“Sukiyaki Western Django“: Takashi Miike tries to make the world’s most perverse Western — not in terms of sexual or violent content, just by having his Japanese cast learn all their English dialogue phonetically. At least the North American version is half an hour shorter than the director’s cut screened at TIFF last year, which nearly killed me.
That’s it for today, but don’t worry — there’s plenty on deck for next week, including Spike Lee’s longest picture since “Malcolm X” and a two-year-old French film that was released on DVD here nine months ago.
And I still haven’t seen “Indiana Jones and the Quest for the Adamantium Hip”. I feel like such a failure.