The 42 nd Toronto film festival was notable for a very strong demonstrate of female flair not least an charming coming-of-age comedy directed by Greta Gerwig
It may not have the glamour and gumption of party of Cannes, the romance of Venice or the boutique cliquishness of Telluride, but for sheer magnitude and scope, the Toronto international film 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 entails several happenings. The first, and least accepted, of these is queues. Miles of them, snaking around the streets of the city for pulley-blocks and be administered by arrangements that border on the Kafkaesque. Punters join them automatically, sometimes without knowing what they are waiting for. But the queues are there for a intellect, which makes us to the second point: the sheer number of hum names. The timing of Toronto and its sizing means that it is an ideal platform on which to test whether a cachet designation has the legs to make it a challenger in the apportions race.
Early marks suggest that it’s going to be another hard-fought duel in best available actress category, with a abundance of meaty, female-driven storeys. 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 film tells the story of the much-publicised 1973 tennis parallel between King and ex-champion, and self-proclaimed male-chauvinist boar, 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 terms with her own sexuality. Stone is terrific, rendering 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 themes- equal salary and equal opportunities for women, LGBT acceptance in athletic- stand depressingly timely.
Another powerhouse female produce comes from Jessica Chastain, playing the eponymous center role in Aaron Sorkin’s directorial introduction, Molly’s Game . This is pretty much the archetypal Sorkin project- a slick firework display of showy exchange and jostling ideas and a primary persona with a witticism that Chastain brandishes like a switchblade knife. Based on a real-life character, Molly is a former Olympic-standard skier passed hostess of unlicensed, high-stakes poker games, who experiences herself at the centre of an FBI investigation. While Sorkin indulges in a few too many self-congratulatory segues and prosper, as long as Chastain is on screen- and she’s rarely off- the cinema has a crackling force and propulsive drive.