The TIFF People’s Choice award winner (selected by the audiences) this year was The King’s Speech, the story of King George VI, plagued by stuttering. Hooper is the UK director responsible for The Damned United (at TIFF last year). It surely had a good cast (Colin Firth, Guy Pearce, Geoffrey Rush), and I almost added it to my list, especially since it also featured the quirky and always interesting Helena Bonham-Carter, as Queen Elizabeth. In the end I passed. The movie will release in late November.
My vote would have been for the Bosnian film Cirkus Columbia, a movie I loved. The film has only played at the festivals so far (TIFF, Sarajevo and San Sebastian), and has no known distribution. Hope you get a chance to see it.
The winner (People’s Choice) in the Doc category was Sturla Gunnarsson’s Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie (Canada). The runner-up here was Patricio Guzmán’s Nostalgia for the Light (France/Germany/Chile). This film was my favorite film experience of the festival. Breathtaking. It’s making the festival circuit from Cannes to San Sebastian. Distribution? I heard it may have limited release early next year. It’s a documentary after all, so television stations may be the best chance to see it.
Here’s five very good films, four of the big variety and one small one which likely you’ll never see:
In the big picture category
- The Debt
- The Big Picture
- Never Let Me Go
- Julia’s Eyes
The ‘small’ film – every bit as good as these four was the Canadian film, Jaloux.
Then there was the film that was “big fun”: the samurai classic (a remake) 13 Assassins.
One of the highlights of the festival was some great music: From the Springsteen documentary The Promise: The Making of Darkness on the Edge of Town, to the organic sounds of Small Town Murder Songs to the infectious soundtrack for Microphone. The festival rocked.