The 42 nd Toronto film festival was notable for its strong describe of female flair not least an charming coming-of-age humor directed by Greta Gerwig
It may not have the glamour and appreciation of occasion of Cannes, the romance of Venice or the boutique cliquishness of Telluride, but for sheer publication 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 makes various acts. The first, and least accepted, of these is queues. Miles of them, snaking around the streets of the city for pulley-blocks and managed by methods that border on the Kafkaesque. Punters join them automatically, sometimes without knowing what they are waiting for. But the queues are there for a ground, which brings us to the second point: the sheer number of buzz deeds. The timing of Toronto and its size means that it is an ideal platform on which to test whether a prestige deed has the legs to make it a challenger in the honors race.
Early clues suggest that it’s going to be another hard-fought battle in the best actress category, with a capital of meaty, female-driven fibs. And the crowd-pleasing Battle of the Sexes , the latest from the Little Miss Sunshine targeting duo of Valerie Faris and Jonathan Dayton, is top of the list. Starring Emma Stone as tennis participate Billie Jean King, the movie tells the story of the much-publicised 1973 tennis equal 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 periods with her own sexuality. Stone is terrific, leaving King a steely sweetness and a disarming vulnerability. And while some of the overt antediluvian sexism from the commentators reaped audible gasps from the gathering, the topics- equal fee and equal opportunities for women, LGBT acceptance in play- abide depressingly timely.
Another powerhouse female induce comes from Jessica Chastain, playing the eponymous central capacity in Aaron Sorkin’s directorial entry, Molly’s Game . This is pretty much the archetypal Sorkin project- a slick firework exhibition of showy dialogue and jostling ideas and a primary reputation with a brain that Chastain exerts 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 locates 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 vitality and propulsive drive.