The 42 nd Toronto film festival was notable for its strong indicate of female ability not least an charming coming-of-age humor directed by Greta Gerwig
It may not have the glamour and feel of reason of Cannes, the romance of Venice or the boutique cliquishness of Telluride, but for sheer publication and scope, the Toronto international movie 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 necessitates various concepts. The first, and least welcome, of these is queues. Miles of them, snaking around the streets of the city for blockings and managed by structures that border on the Kafkaesque. Punters join them automatically, sometimes without knowing what they are waiting for. But the queues are there for a reasonablenes, which produces us to the second point: the sheer number of chatter deeds. The timing of Toronto and its length means that it is an ideal platform on which to test whether a standing name has the legs to make it a competitor in the awardings race.
Early clues suggest that it’s going to be another hard-fought duel in best available actress category, with a affluence of meaty, female-driven fibs. And the crowd-pleasing Battle of the Sexes , the latest from the Little Miss Sunshine directing duo of Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, is top of the list. Starring Emma Stone as tennis participate Billie Jean King, the cinema tells the story of the much-publicised 1973 tennis match between King and ex-champion, and self-proclaimed male-chauvinist animal, 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 terms with her own virility. Stone is terrific, establishing King a steely sweetness and a disarming vulnerability. And while some of the overt antediluvian sexism from the commentators drew audible gasps from the audience, the themes- equal pay and equal opportunities for women, LGBT acceptance in sport- persist depressingly timely.
Another powerhouse female conduct comes from Jessica Chastain, playing the eponymous central capacity in Aaron Sorkin’s directorial introduction, Molly’s Game . This is pretty much the archetypal Sorkin project- a slick firework showing of showy dialogue and jostling ideas and a central reputation with a humor that Chastain manipulates like a switchblade knife. Based on a real-life reputation, Molly is a former Olympic-standard skier transformed hostess of unlicensed, high-stakes poker games, who spots herself at the centre of an FBI investigation. While Sorkin gratifies in a few too many self-congratulatory segues and flourishes, as long as Chastain is on screen- and she’s rarely off- the film has a crackling vigour and propulsive drive.