The 42 nd Toronto film festival was notable for a very strong expres of female flair not least an endearing coming-of-age slapstick directed by Greta Gerwig
It may not have the glamour and gumption of reason of Cannes, the romance of Venice or the boutique cliquishness of Telluride, but for sheer publication and scope, the Toronto international movie 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 cinemas fewer than previous instalments ), Toronto is a monster of an event.
This symbolizes various happenings. The first, and least welcome, of these is queues. Miles of them, snaking around the streets of the city for stymies and be administered by plans 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 fetches us to the second point: the sheer number of sound claims. The timing of Toronto and its size means that it is an ideal platform on which to test whether a prominence entitle has the legs to make it a contender in the apportions race.
Early express suggest that it’s going to be another hard-fought combat in best available actress category, with a abundance of meaty, female-driven floors. And the crowd-pleasing Battle of the Sexes , the latest from the Little Miss Sunshine aiming 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 accord 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 ), comes to expressions with her own sexuality. Stone is terrific, dedicating King a steely sweetness and a disarming vulnerability. And while some of the overt antediluvian sexism from the commentators attracted audible gasp from the audience, the topics- equal offer and equal opportunities for women, LGBT acceptance in athletic- persist depressingly timely.
Another powerhouse female leading comes from Jessica Chastain, playing the eponymous central persona in Aaron Sorkin’s directorial entry, Molly’s Game . This is pretty much the archetypal Sorkin project- a slick firework showing of showy exchange and jostling ideas and a central reference with a humour that Chastain exercises like a switchblade knife. Based on a real-life reputation, Molly is a former Olympic-standard skier passed hostess of unlicensed, high-stakes poker games, who sees herself at the center of an FBI investigation. While Sorkin indulges in a few too many self-congratulatory segues and flourishes, as long as Chastain is on screen- and she’s rarely off- the movie has a crackling intensity and propulsive drive.