The 42 nd Toronto film festival was notable for a very strong prove of female endowment not least an lovable coming-of-age humor directed against Greta Gerwig
It may not have the glamour and gumption of party of Cannes, the romance of Venice or the boutique cliquishness of Telluride, but for sheer capacity and scope, the Toronto international cinema celebration( 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 represents various acts. The first, and least accepted, of these is queues. Miles of them, snaking around the streets of the town for cubes and managed by systems that border on the Kafkaesque. Punters join them automatically, sometimes without knowing what they are waiting for. But the queues are there for a rationale, which delivers us to the second point: the sheer number of buzz entitles. The timing of Toronto and its length means that it is an ideal platform on which to test whether a renown designation has the legs to make it a challenger in the awards race.
Early clues suggest that it’s going to be another hard-fought engagement in the best actress category, with a abundance of meaty, female-driven narrations. And the crowd-pleasing Battle of the Sexes , the most recent from the Little Miss Sunshine targeting duo of Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, is top of the list. Starring Emma Stone as tennis actor 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 boar, 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 words with her own sexuality. Stone is terrific, throwing King a steely sweetness and a disarming vulnerability. And although some of the overt antediluvian sexism from the commentators attracted audible gasps from the gathering, the topics- equal pay and equal opportunities for women, LGBT acceptance in play- continue depressingly timely.
Another powerhouse female induce comes from Jessica Chastain, playing the eponymous center persona in Aaron Sorkin’s directorial entry, Molly’s Game . This is pretty much the archetypal Sorkin project- a slick firework flaunt of showy dialogue and jostling ideas and a prime reference with a fun that Chastain holds like a switchblade knife. Based on a real-life reputation, Molly is a former Olympic-standard skier diverted hostess of unlicensed, high-stakes poker games, who notices herself at the center of an FBI investigation. While Sorkin revels in a few too many self-congratulatory segues and flourishes, as long as Chastain is on screen- and she’s rarely off- the cinema has a crackling intensity and propulsive drive.