The 42 nd Toronto film festival was notable for a very strong expres of female endowment 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 volume 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 cinemas fewer than previous instalments ), Toronto is a monster of an event.
This intends various happenings. The first, and least accepted, of these is queues. Miles of them, snaking around the streets of the city for stymies 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 reason, which introduces us to the second point: the sheer number of sound designations. The timing of Toronto and its width means that it is an ideal platform on which to test whether a standing entitle has the legs to make it a challenger in the bestows 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 stories. 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 competition 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 ), comes to periods with her own sexuality. Stone is terrific, opening King a steely sweetness and a disarming vulnerability. And while some of the overt antediluvian sexism from the commentators outlined audible gasp from the audience, the topics- equal compensate and equal opportunities for women, LGBT acceptance in sport- remain depressingly timely.
Another powerhouse female lead-in 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 spectacle of showy dialogue and jostling ideas and a prime attribute with a fun that Chastain holds like a flick knife. Based on a real-life reputation, Molly is a former Olympic-standard skier turned 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 prosper, as long as Chastain is on screen- and she’s rarely off- the film has a crackling intensity and propulsive drive.