The 42 nd Toronto film festival was notable for a very strong describe of female flair not least an charming coming-of-age humor directed by Greta Gerwig
It may not have the glamour and sense of reason of Cannes, the romance of Venice or the boutique cliquishness of Telluride, but for sheer volume and scope, the Toronto international film carnival( or Tiff, to give it its perkily approachable abbreviation) is hard to beat. Even having cut its programme by 20% this year( about 60 movies fewer than previous instalments ), Toronto is a monster of an event.
This necessitates several things. The first, and least accepted, of these is queues. Miles of them, snaking around the streets of the city for blockages and be administered by organisations that border on the Kafkaesque. Punters join them automatically, sometimes without knowing what they are waiting for. But the queues are there for a conclude, which raises us to the second point: the sheer number of chatter deeds. The timing of Toronto and its width means that it is an ideal platform on which to test whether a prominence deed has the legs to make it a contender in the awardings race.
Early indications suggest that it’s going to be another hard-fought duel in the best actress category, with a capital of meaty, female-driven storeys. And the crowd-pleasing Battle of the Sexes , the most recent from the Little Miss Sunshine aiming duo of Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, is top of the list. Starring Emma Stone as tennis player Billie Jean King, the film tells the story of the much-publicised 1973 tennis match between King and ex-champion, and self-proclaimed male-chauvinist swine, Bobby Riggs( Steve Carell, all tragicomic bluster and condescension ). But more than that it’s a love story, in which King, hopelessly smitten with hairdresser Marilyn( Andrea Riseborough ), comes to periods with her own sexuality. Stone is terrific, granting King a steely sweetness and a disarming vulnerability. And although some of the overt antediluvian sexism from the commentators depicted audible gasps from the gathering, the topics- equal fee and equal opportunities for women, LGBT acceptance in play- persist depressingly timely.
Another powerhouse female induce comes from Jessica Chastain, playing the eponymous central character in Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut, Molly’s Game . This is pretty much the archetypal Sorkin project- a slick firework showing of showy talk and jostling ideas and a central reference with a banter that Chastain maintains like a flick knife. Based on a real-life reputation, Molly is a former Olympic-standard skier diverted hostess of unlicensed, high-stakes poker games, who learns herself at the centre of an FBI investigation. While Sorkin revels in a few too many self-congratulatory segues and prosper, as long as Chastain is on screen- and she’s rarely off- the movie has a crackling vigour and propulsive drive.