TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) is here! But before that excitement begins, we are off to see a matinee of Coriolanus today at Stratford and then we will spend our week tromping back and forth around downtown Toronto as we see 6 films in five days. We are very excited!
Live at Stratford
Coriolanus (William Shakespeare, written between 1605-1608) Director Robert Lepage’s revisioning brilliantly brings Shakespeare into the present, thanks to skilfully layered scenic projection and sound design. A longtime friend advised me that this is the play of the decade at Stratford. Although I generally favour the musicals and comedies and generally avoid Shakespeare (usually a very expensive nap for me), we are seeing an actual Shakespeare play today. Can’t wait!!
On the Big Screen at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival)
Full disclosure: (so many people ask me what I’m going to see that I can’t keep track, so here’s a list so that I don’t forget which films we scheduled. I will do mini-reviews next week)
If Beale Street Could Talk ( 2018, 1 h 57 min) A woman in Harlem desperately scrambles to prove her fiancé innocent of a crime while carrying their first child. Starring Regina King, Stephen Beach.
Vox Lux (2018 1 h 50 min) An unusual set of circumstances brings unexpected success to a pop star. Staring Natalie Portman, Jude Law, Willem Dafoe, Jennifer Ehle.
First Man (2018, 2 h 18 min) A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969. Starring Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler, Pablo Schreiber, Ethan Embry, Ciaran Hinds.
Green Book (2018, 2 h 10 min) A working class Italian-American bouncer becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960’s American South. Starring Linda Cardellini, Mahershala Ali, Viggo Mortensen.
The Kindergarten Teacher (2018, 1 h 36 min) A kindergarten teacher in NYC becomes obsessed with one of her students who she believes is a child prodigy. Starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Gael Garcia Bernal.
The Front Runner (2018, 1 h 53 min) American Senator Gary Hart’s presidential campaign in 1988 is derailed when he’s caught in a scandalous love affair. Stars Hugh Jackman, Vera Farmiga, J.K. Simmons.
Jack Ryan (Season 1, 8 episodes) Highly entertaining action series set in the Middle East. John Krasinski and Wendell Pierce make a fine pair of CIA counterterrorism officers. If you are missing Homeland, Deep State, Berlin Station, etc., you might like this one.
Agatha Christie’s Ordeal by Innocence (2018, originally aired on BBC 1, 3 episodes) Christmas 1954. Wealthy philanthropist Rachel Argyll is murdered at her family estate Sunny Point. Her adopted son Jack Argyll is arrested for her murder. But who really did it? Stars Bill Nighy, Matthew Goode, Luke Treadaway.
Harrow (2018, originally aired on Australia Broadcasting Corp and will air on Hulu in the US, 10 episodes) Harrow tells the story of Dr. Daniel Harrow, a forensic pathologist with a total disregard for authority. Stars Ioan Gruffudd. If you liked House, Chance, Quincy and numerous other medical mystery series, you will like this. Also it’s filmed in beautiful Australia!!!
Better Call Saul (2018, Season 4, 10 episodes) The trials and tribulations of criminal lawyer, Jimmy McGill, in the time leading up to establishing his strip-mall law office in Albuquerque, NM. Prequel to Breaking Bad. Stars Bob Odenkirk, Jonathan Banks, Giancarlo Esposito.
Lodge 49 (2018, 10 episodes) Dud finds himself deposited by fate at the doorstep of Lodge 49, a dusty fraternal order that offers cheap beer and strange alchemical philosophies. Whimsical to the max!! Stars Wyatt Russell.
Queen of the South (Season 3, 13 episodes) Ultraviolent action series about a woman climbing the food chain of drug cartels as she flees Mexico for the US. Stars Alice Braga.
RBG (1 h 38 min, Documentary Biography) The exceptional life and career of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who has developed a breathtaking legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. Inspiring film about a brilliant and hardworking lawyer who has fought for liberal causes throughout her entire life.
Outcast (2017, Season 2, 10 Episodes) Batshit crazy series about demonic possession. Stars Patrick Fugit, Philip Glenister.
Ozark (2018, Season 2, 10 episodes) A Chicago-based financial advisor relocates his family to the Missouri Ozarks when his dealings with a drug cartel go awry. A thrill ride and you will learn helpful tips about money laundering!
Deadwind (2018, Season 1, 12 episodes) When Sofia Karppi, a detective in her 30’s who is trying to get over her husband’s death, discovers the body of a young woman on a construction site, she triggers a chain of events that threatens to destroy her life again. Filmed in beautiful but grey Finland.
The Innocents (2018, 8 episodes) When teenagers Harry and June run away from their repressive families to be together, they’re derailed by an extraordinary discovery – June’s ability to shape-shift. Way too juvenile for me, but if you are a sci fi fan, you may enjoy it. Stars Guy Pearce.
The Sinner (2018, Season 2, 8 episodes) Anthology series that examines how and why ordinary people commit brutal crimes. Stars Bill Pullman, Carrie Coon.
Mr. Mercedes (2018, Season 2, 10 episodes) Continues to tell the story of a psychopathic killer who drives a stolen Mercedes into a crowd and a recently retired detective who tries to bring him down. Stars Harry Treadaway (twin brother of Luke, who appears in Ordeal by Innocence above), Holland Taylor, Brendan Gleeson. Incredibly intriguing suspense series.
Colbert, Noah, Maher, John Oliver, Samantha Bee, Jim Jeffries. They all make me laugh at the insanity of the day.
It’s going to be a wild week of theatre and film going. We are looking forward to TIFF with great anticipation. Even standing in line is fun as you get to talk to people who come from all over the world to see over 250 films on display. The weather has turned here in Thornbury and there is a definite chill in the air. Bundle up when you go out and remember to watch for the colours as they turn. Have a wonderful week wherever you are. Special hugs to all my friends who are facing medical challenges.