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Thompson on Hollywood

Toronto Film Festival: Movies About Fat People

The generously proportioned, so to speak, are having a moment in the autumnal sun, courtesy of the Toronto Film Festival, where the subject of fat people is kinda blowing up, in a medium that usually promotes the idea that eating is sinning, and that any worthwhile woman can be outweighed by her handbag.
  • By John Anderson
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  • September 12, 2013 10:05 AM
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  • 2 Comments

WATCH: TIFF Press Conferences for '12 Years a Slave,' 'Gravity,' 'Prisoners,' 'Labor Day,' 'Enough Said' and More

Check out TIFF press conferences for "12 Years a Slave," "Prisoners," "Labor Day," "Gravity," "The Fifth Estate," "Enough Said," "The F Word," "The Railway Man," "Blood Ties," "Mandela," "August: Osage County" and "The Invisible Woman."
  • By Ryan Lattanzio
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  • September 11, 2013 12:57 PM
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TIFF, Day Four: Egoyan's 'Devil's Knot,' Hendrix Biopic 'All Is By My Side,' Jonze and Reichardt Q&A and More

I forgot to mention one of yesterday's highlights: while Maureen O'Donnell and I were waiting in line for the excellent documentary "Finding Vivian Maier," we were stunned to see a long phalanx of orange-t-shirted volunteers with linked arms making a human shield on either side of Susan Sarandon, protecting her from the hoi polloi as she left the first public screening of "The Last of Robin Hood."
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 11, 2013 11:48 AM
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TIFF Review: 'Standing Aside, Watching'

The heroine’s name is Antigone, but the myths at work in “Standing Aside, Watching,” are those of the American western, a western one whose heroine has more cojones than a dozen Gary Coopers. The film? A model of urgent, contemporary storytelling by Greek director Yorgos Servetas, with a sometimes spare, sometimes epic visual take on modern Greece and a story that synthesizes past and present, while creating its own drama.
  • By John Anderson
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  • September 11, 2013 6:56 AM
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TIFF Review: Teller's Clever Art Mystery Doc 'Tim's Vermeer' Plays Like Magic (CLIP)

“Tim’s Vermeer” is something that Mark Twain could have thought up. It applies a hard-headed empirical reality check in the spirit of Benjamin Franklin or Thomas Edison to the theory that the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer used technology (lenses) to arrive at a precision that could not have been achieved with his eyes alone.
  • By David D'Arcy
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  • September 10, 2013 2:25 PM
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Toronto International Film Festival, Day Three: 'Violette,' Mystery Doc 'Finding Vivian Maier,' Holofcener's 'Enough Said' and More

There are many ways of threading one's way through a film festival with 366 films, of which 288 are features. Sometimes I envy my friends who are monomaniacs, partisans of Asian or experimental films, or those whose jobs and deadlines dictate which films they have to see. I am greedy and want to see more than I possibly can.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 10, 2013 12:10 PM
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  • 1 Comment

Toronto International Film Festival, Day Two: from Penn & Teller's 'Tim's Vermeer' and Fiennes' 'Invisible Woman' to Reitman's 'Boogie Nights'

An almost perfect film festival day, including two excellent documentaries, one feature that surprised and delighted me, another that was interesting and novel, and one of Jason Reitman's patented table reads: the cherry on a sundae. Began with "Tim's Vermeer," the documentary about a wealthy, eccentric multi-millionaire, Tim Jensen, who spends lots of money and time trying to duplicate a Vermeer by using a camera obscura and mirror contraption. The movie is directed by Teller and features jovial, whimsical commentary by Penn Jillette.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 9, 2013 1:18 PM
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  • 0 Comments

TIFF Review: John Carney's 'Can a Song Save Your Life?'

How about we call it “Twice”? Director John Carney so desperately wants to recreate the success of “Once” with his latest pop-musical fairy tale, “Can a Song Save Your Life?,” that it’s almost embarrassing, even if there are a number of good things to say about it. Enough good things, in fact, that the Weinstein Co. already snatched the movie up out of Toronto for a reported $7-odd-million. And you can easily see why: It possesses the kind of shameless sentimentality that sells. And a shallowness that’s ultimately depressing.
  • By John Anderson
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  • September 9, 2013 6:00 AM
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  • 2 Comments

Toronto International Film Festival: Thom Powers Talks Docs

"There aren't two hundred good movies every year," a friend reminds me, en route to Toronto. When I assemble my collection of 464-page catalogue, 92-page Official Film schedule, and 40-page Press and Industry Screening Schedule, I am (officially) overwhelmed. Especially when I try to start collating with my preliminary film list, and realize that I'd skipped an entire letter of the alphabet in compiling it -- "L," which adds eleven count 'em eleven films, thereby pushing the number once again over the magic hundred.
  • By Meredith Brody
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  • September 8, 2013 2:25 PM
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  • 2 Comments

TIFF Review: Gandolfini's Farewell Performance in Holofcener's 'Enough Said'

The departure of James Gandolfini will never seem as poignantly premature as it does during “Enough Said,” Nicole Holofcener’s lovely heartbreak of a comedy starring the late actor and Julia Louis Dreyfus, as late-inning love interests. Holofcener’s latest rumination on modern manners would be tart regardless, with its well-publicized premise.
  • By John Anderson
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  • September 8, 2013 1:43 PM
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  • 0 Comments

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