The 42 nd Toronto film festival was notable for its strong describe of female geniu not least an endearing coming-of-age slapstick directed against Greta Gerwig
It may not have the glamour and feel of moment of Cannes, the romance of Venice or the boutique cliquishness of Telluride, but for sheer loudnes and scope, the Toronto international cinema gala( or Tiff, to give it its perkily approachable abbreviation) is hard to beat. Even having cut its programme by 20% this year( about 60 cinemas fewer than previous instalments ), Toronto is a monster of an event.
This symbolizes several stuffs. The first, and least accepted, of these is queues. Miles of them, snaking around the streets of the city for cubes and be administered by arrangements that border on the Kafkaesque. Punters join them automatically, sometimes without knowing what they are waiting for. But the queues are there for a intellect, which draws us to the second point: the sheer number of hum deeds. The timing of Toronto and its sizing means that it is an ideal platform on which to test whether a esteem claim has the legs to make it a hopeful in the bestows race.
Early clues suggest that it’s going to be another hard-fought combat in the best actress category, with a property of meaty, female-driven narratives. And the crowd-pleasing Battle of the Sexes , the latest from the Little Miss Sunshine steering duo of Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, is top of the list. Starring Emma Stone as tennis musician Billie Jean King, the film tells the story of the much-publicised 1973 tennis parallel between King and ex-champion, and self-proclaimed male-chauvinist pig, 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 ), was necessary to expressions with her own virility. Stone is terrific, leaving King a steely sweetness and a disarming vulnerability. And although some of the overt antediluvian sexism from the commentators drew audible gasp from the audience, the themes- equal repay and equal opportunities for women, LGBT acceptance in sport- persist depressingly timely.
Another powerhouse female precede comes from Jessica Chastain, playing the eponymous center capacity in Aaron Sorkin’s directorial debut, Molly’s Game . This is pretty much the archetypal Sorkin project- a slick firework parade of showy talk and jostling ideas and a primary persona with a humor that Chastain brandishes like a switchblade knife. Based on a real-life persona, Molly is a former Olympic-standard skier revolved hostess of unlicensed, high-stakes poker games, who notes herself at the centre of an FBI investigation. While Sorkin panders in a few too many self-congratulatory segues and prosper, as long as Chastain is on screen- and she’s rarely off- the cinema has a crackling force and propulsive drive.