The 42 nd Toronto film festival was notable for a very strong picture of female flair not least an lovable coming-of-age comedy directed by Greta Gerwig
It may not have the glamour and gumption of opportunity 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 intends various situations. 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 reason, which brings us to the second point: the sheer number of sound entitlements. The timing of Toronto and its length means that it is an ideal platform on which to test whether a esteem title has the legs to make it a contender in the accolades race.
Early signals suggest that it’s going to be another hard-fought engagement in best available actress category, with a affluence of meaty, female-driven stories. 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 actor Billie Jean King, the movie tells the story of the much-publicised 1973 tennis competitor between King and ex-champion, and self-proclaimed male-chauvinist swine, 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 periods with her own virility. Stone is terrific, paying King a steely sweetness and a disarming vulnerability. And although some of the overt antediluvian sexism from the commentators drew audible gasps from the gathering, the topics- equal fee and equal opportunities for women, LGBT acceptance in sport- persist depressingly timely.
Another powerhouse female contribute comes from Jessica Chastain, playing the eponymous center persona 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 central attribute with a banter that Chastain holds like a flick knife. Based on a real-life reputation, Molly is a former Olympic-standard skier shifted hostess of unlicensed, high-stakes poker games, who locates herself at the centre 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 vitality and propulsive drive.