Nik Fackler's "Lovely, Still," the best movie I've seen so far at the Toronto International Film Festival, opens on a small town street with the camera moving past a sign post ("Overture St.") and holiday lights twinkling. Drawing inspiration, in part, from Christmas and fairy tales, Fackler noted about his first feature, "What if you were falling in love -- with youthful intensity and passion -- at the very end of your life?" That's just part of the power of his film. It looks at a love affair that emerges late in life for a pair of neighbors (played by Martin Laundau and Ellen Burstyn), gaining complexity and depth as they quickly get to know each other better. Fackler walks a tightrope building the story up to a knockout, emotional climax. A single line of dialogue -- both exhilirating and tragic -- delivers a punch to the gut near the end of the film. After the screening, I had a great chat with the filmmaker, learning a bit more about the careful work he did to try an get the balance just right. More in yesterday's < a href="http://www.indiewire.com/ots/2008/09/toronto_08_disp_1.html" TARGET="_blank">iW dispatch.
Pictured yesterday: "Lovely, Still" actor Adam Scott (center left), writer/director Nik Fackler (center) and producer Jay Van Hoy (center right).
[photo by eugene hernandez]