MyMovies: TIFF 09 BEST OF FEST

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1.
Broken Embraces (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Harry Caine, a blind writer, reaches this moment in time when he has to heal his wounds from 14 years back. He was then still known by his real name, Mateo Blanco, and directing his last movie. (127 mins.)
“ BROKEN EMBRACES, SPAIN, Pedro Almodóvar, It's a fabulous movie that mixes up several stories about greed, grief, suffer and love. Sometimes the film seems complicated, but don't worry, as everything will be clear at the end. There's a lot of humor, but maybe you won't last till the final scenes. As usual in Pedro's films, there are strange families, orphan children, gays, passion, death... And once more, Penelope is amazing. I gave it an 9/10, and I think it's well worth it. ” - sharmatt
 
2.
Ondine (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
An Irish fisherman discovers a woman in his fishing net whom his precocious daughter believes to be a selkie. (111 mins.)
Director: Neil Jordan
“ NEIL JORDAN, IRELAND, The story of an Irish fisherman who discovers a woman in his fishing net who he believes to be a mermaid. The big question is whether she is real or imagined. Beautiful seaside Irish fishing village adds to this film's enchantment. The wheelchair little girl is on her way to celebrity status. An obvious talent. ” - sharmatt
 
3.
City of Life and Death (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
In 1937, Japan occupied Nanjing, the Chinese capital. There was a battle and subsequent atrocities against the inhabitants, especially those who took refuge in the International Security Zone. (132 mins.)
Director: Chuan Lu
“ CHINA, The film deals with the Battle of Nanjing and its aftermath (commonly referred to as "The Rape of Nanking" or the "Nanking Massacre") during the Second Sino-Japanese War. The quality of the war scenes in this non-documentary film ranks with the best of all war films. ” - sharmatt
 
4.
Father of My Children (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
A film producer struggles with suicidal despair. (110 mins.)
“ FATHER OF MY CHILDREN, FRANCE, MIA HANSEN-LOVE, Cannes Film Festival (Un Certain Regard), Patiently observing the devastating consequences of a dad's act of desperation. Marked by moments of remarkable stillness amid its emotional tumult, the film's classy, perceptive treatment of potentially maudlin material merits wider arthouse attention. The shock of Dad's act and Mom's determination to carry on are the strengths of this film. ” - sharmatt
 
5.
Little Girl (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A circus woman and her husband find a two year old girl in the trailer park where they are living. With the help of another child, they search for her mother. (100 mins.)
“ AUSTRIA, CANNES DIRECTORS FORTNIGHT, A circus woman and her husband find a two year old girl in the trailer park where they are living. With the help of another child, they search for her mother. This is Roma(GYPSY) film in every sense of the word, for which I have a great fondness. ” - sharmatt
 
6.
The Secret in Their Eyes (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  
A retired legal counselor writes a novel hoping to find closure for one of his past unresolved homicide cases and for his unreciprocated love with his superior - both of which still haunt him decades later. (129 mins.)
“ THE SECRET OF HER EYES, JUAN JOSE CAMPANELLA, ARGENTINA, SPANISH, W.P. TIFF, A man wants to solve a murder committed 30 years ago. A prosecutor of a court in Buenos Aires, is about to retire and decides to write a novel based on a case that deeply affected him thirty years ago. Espósito’s tale crosses Argentina’s turbulent years during the 1970s, when nothing was necessarily what it seemed to be. A revenge film that reflects that love and pain will endure. Sharon and I both liked this film. ” - sharmatt
 
7.
A Brand New Life (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Inspired by her childhood, French-Korean filmmaker Ounie Lecomte recounts the emotional journey of a little girl abandoned by her father in an orphanage. (92 mins.)
Director: Ounie Lecomte
“ KOREA, Ounie Lecomte, NAP, TIFF, Set in a South Korean orphanage circa 1975 and featuring a concentrated, thoroughly convincing perf by preteen Kim Sae-ron, "A Brand New Life" is an admirably un-manipulative drama about the impermanence of relationships and the resilience of kids in the face of it.  ” - sharmatt
 
8.
Soul Kitchen (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
In Hamburg, German-Greek chef Zinos unknowingly disturbs the peace in his locals-only restaurant by hiring a more talented chef. (99 mins.)
Director: Fatih Akin
“ Fatih Akin, Germany, North American Premiere
From the director of Head-on comes the story of a young restaurant owner Zinos is down on his luck. His girlfriend Nadine has moved to Shanghai, his Soul Kitchen customers are boycotting the new gourmet chef, and he's having back trouble. Things start looking up when the hip crowd embraces his revamped culinary concept, but that doesn't mend Zinos' broken heart. He decides to fly to China for Nadine, leaving the restaurant in the hands of his unreliable ex-con brother Illias. This was probably the most FEEL GOOD film of the festival. ” - sharmatt
 
9.
Chloe (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A doctor hires an escort to seduce her husband, whom she suspects of cheating, though unforeseen events put the family in danger. (96 mins.)
Director: Atom Egoyan
“ Atom Egoyan,TIFF, France/Canada, World Premiere, Catherine (Julianne Moore), a successful doctor, suspects her husband David (Liam Neeson), a handsome music professor, is cheating on her. To lay her suspicions and fears to rest, she hires an irresistible young woman, Chloe (Amanda Seyfried), to test David's fidelity. Chloe's torrid tales of her encounters with David lead Catherine on a journey of sexual and sensual re-discovery. But by opening the door to temptation, she puts her family in great danger. If the story sounds familiar, it is because it is a remake of an outstanding French film done by Ann Fontaine, many of whose films have been previously reported by me. ” - sharmatt
 
10.
Shameless (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
A Prague weatherman gets a bad case of the seven-year itch. (88 mins.)
Director: Jan Hrebejk
“ SHAMELESS, CHECH, TIFF, Sokol and Lorna, two Albanian emigrants in Belgium, dream of leaving their dreary jobs to set up a snack bar. They need money, and a permanent resident status. Claudy is a junkie - he needs money to satisfy his addiction. Andrei, the cigarette smuggler, must hold up for a while outside Russia; he has loads of money. Fabio, the Italian taxi driver and aspiring gang boss, elaborates a clever scheme: he will pay Claudy to marry Lorna so that she acquires a Belgian citizenship. Then she is to re-marry Andrei, who will in this way obtain the coveted EU passport - and pay a hefty price to Fabio and Lorna for the service. Like all plans, this one will not survive the contact with reality. ” - sharmatt
 
11.
The House of Branching Love (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A sort of "Divorce Finnish Style," Mika Kaurismäki's rambunctious comedy, The House of Branching Love ... (102 mins.)
“ THE HOUSE OF BRANCHING LOVE, Mika Kaurismäki, Finland, TIFF CWC, International Premiere
Family therapist Juhani and business trainer Taula decide to divorce in a civilized manner. Despite these good intentions, things turn ugly and the Pandora's Box of their marriage flies open, releasing plagues of love and hate. ” - sharmatt
 
12.
I, Don Giovanni (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A drama based on the life of 18th century Italian lyricist Lorenzo da Ponte, who collaborated with Mozart on his "Don Giovanni" opera. (127 mins.)
Director: Carlos Saura
“ I, Don Giovanni Carlos Saura, Austria/Italy/Spain, TIFF GALA, World Premiere
Venice 1763 - writer Lorenzo da Ponte is leading a pleasure-seeking life. He was originally a priest but his numerous affairs force him to be exiled to Vienna. Supported by his friend and mentor Giacomo Casanova, da Ponte is introduced to the Emperor's favourite composer, Salieri, and a newcomer named Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Seeing an opportunity to undermine Mozart's ascension, Salieri tricks Mozart into hiring this unknown libertine as his librettist. But da Ponte's own nature and sentimental wanderings in Vienna will nurture his inspiration and lead to one of Mozart's most bold and powerful compositions: Don Giovanni. As always Saura's sets, colors, staging are mind-boggling. ” - sharmatt
 
13.
Phantom Pain (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Marc (Til Schweiger) is a passionate cyclist and urban slacker whose life changes in an instant when he loses his left leg in a hit-and-run accident. (97 mins.)
Director: Matthias Emcke
“ Phantom Pain Matthias Emcke, Germany
International Premiere, TIFF GALA,
Marc (Til Schweiger) is a passionate cyclist and urban slacker who avoids work and responsibility. Marc's life changes from one moment to the next when he suffers a life-changing accident. He can either wallow in self-pity or tackle the beast called life with the help of love and willpower. Phantom Pain is a thought-provoking, yet light and upbeat look at a man who's forced to turn his life around. If Til spoke English, he would be an immediate American heartthrob. ” - sharmatt
 
14.
Baarìa (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Baaria is Sicilian slang for Bagheria where Tornatore was born and this is an autobiographic epic of three generations in the Sicilian village where he was born. (163 mins.)
“ Baaria Giuseppe Tornatore, Italy, 150'
International Premiere, TIFF SP, VENICE FF,
From the acclaimed director of Cinema Paradiso comes an epic saga of life and death, love and hatred in a vibrant Sicilian town in the first half of the twentieth century. Following the life of Peppino Torrenuova (Francesco Scianna) from his upbringing as a high-spirited cowherders' son, to his forbidden romance and marriage to the beautiful Mannina (Margareth Madè) and culminating in his tumultuous and comical political career and home life, Baaria is a humourous and often heartbreaking tale of small-town family dynamics.  ” - sharmatt
 
15.
Happy End (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Robinson, appropriately named as we will soon discover, is on vacation in Biarritz with his wife. What follows is the story behind the loss of his arm... (130 mins.)
“ Les Derniers Jours du Monde France/Spain/Taiwan, Arnaud Larrieu and Jean-Marie Larrieu, North American Premiere, TIFF SP
A global apocalypse is about to destroy all mankind. In a final quest, Robinson (Mathieu Amalric) sets out on a journey from France to Spain, searching for Laetitia, the woman he once loved, even if it means heading back to the centre of the danger zone. But as the world is turning upside down, most people - through their blind panic - have decided to simply enjoy their last days on the planet abandoning themselves to a few final moments of pleasure and lust. The beauty of the worldwide settings alone deserve the 9/10 rating. ” - sharmatt
 
16.
Ajami (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Ajami is the religiously mixed community of Muslims and Christians in Tel Aviv. These are five stories about the everyday life in Ajami. (124 mins.)
“ Ajami, Scandar Copti and Yaron Shani, Israel/Germany, TIFF CWC,
North American Premiere
An original, powerful film in which an accidental murder and a murky drug deal spur uncontrolled violence in a Palestinian community in Jaffa. The intensity of the spiralling violence is incredibly done, equalling or better that realized by big studio budgets at probably 1/100th the cost. Another plus for this film in my eyes is that it is codirected by a Palenstinian and an Israeli, which gives it high marks for social/political relevance. ” - sharmatt
 
17.
Samson & Delilah (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
Samson and Delilah's world is small- an isolated community in the Central Australian desert. When tragedy... (100 mins.)
“ Warwick Thornton, AUSTRALIA, CANNES, TIFF DI, Samson and Delilah's world is small- an isolated community in the Central Australian desert. When tragedy strikes they turn their backs on home and embark on a journey of survival. Lost, unwanted and alone the discover that life isn't always fair, but love never judges. In the Discovery section of the festival, it probably represents THE DISCOVERY of the festival, certainly the regards of a high buzz level. ” - sharmatt
 
18.
Hideaway (Le refuge) (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Mousse and Louis are young, beautiful, rich and in love. But drugs have invaded their lives. One day... (88 mins.)
Director: François Ozon
“ THE REFUGE, FRANCOIS OZON, The French master returns with this unsettling tale of a rich, beautiful young woman who finds herself pregnant after her boyfriend dies of an overdose. Retreating to a seaside home, she is joined by his brother. Ozon is now one of my favorites of French cinema with his seaside settings and his unexpected conclusions. ” - sharmatt
 
19.
A Heavenly Vintage (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  
In 19th century France, a peasant winemaker endeavors to create the perfect vintage. (120 mins.)
Director: Niki Caro
“ NIKI CARO, TIFF, Set in early 19th century France, The Vintner's Luck tells the compelling tale of Sobran Jodeau, an ambitious young peasant winemaker and the three loves of his life his beautiful and passionate wife Celeste, the proudly intellectual baroness Aurora de Valday and Xas, an angel who strikes up an unlikely friendship with Sobran. A fantastical creature with wings that smell of snow, Xas turns out to be an unconventional mentor. Under his guidance Sobran is forced to fathom the nature of love and belief and in the process, grapples with the sensual, the sacred and the profane all in pursuit of the perfect vintage. It is all about love and wine, a delightful combination. ” - sharmatt
 
20.
Antichrist (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A grieving couple retreat to their cabin in the woods, hoping to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage. But nature takes its course and things go from bad to worse. (108 mins.)
Director: Lars von Trier
“ LARS VON TRIER, DENMARK, with WILLEM DAFOE, CANNES COMPETING, TIFF MASTERS, A grieving couple retreats to their cabin 'Eden' in the woods, hoping to repair their broken hearts and troubled marriage. But nature takes its course and things go from bad to worse. This film is profoundly disturbing, yet those who recognize and appreciate the Lars von Trier style will applaud this effort as so cinematic, non-formulaic and refreshingly different.  ” - sharmatt
 
21.
Bright Star (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The three-year romance between 19th-century poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne near the end of his life. (119 mins.)
Director: Jane Campion
“ JANE CAMPION, CANNES, COMPETING, The drama based on the three-year romance between 19th century poet John Keats and Fanny Brawne, which was cut short by Keats' untimely death at age 25. Every scene is magnificent in every sense of the word. Now in your local Cineplex.  ” - sharmatt
 
22.
The White Ribbon (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Strange events happen in a small village in the north of Germany during the years before World War I, which seem to be ritual punishment. Who is responsible? (144 mins.)
Director: Michael Haneke
“ THE WHITE RIBBON, MICHAEL HANEKE, CANNES COMPETING, AUSTRIA, The White Ribbon, a meticulously constructed, precisely modulated tapestry of malice and intrigue in a rural village in pre-World War I northern Germany. It’s a rich, detailed work pregnant with the sinister undertones and evil deeds for which the film-maker’s work is legendary.Truly a black and white masterpiece. ” - sharmatt
 
23.
I Am Love (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Emma left Russia to live with her husband in Italy. Now a member of a powerful industrial family, she is the respected mother of three, but feels unfulfilled. One day, Antonio, a talented chef and her son's friend, makes her senses kindle. (120 mins.)
Director: Luca Guadagnino
“ I AM LOVE, Luca Guadagnino, Italy
International Premiere, TIFF VIS, Academy Award®-winner Tilda Swinton stars in this drama about the devastating effects of a forbidden passion between a woman who belongs to a rich northern-Italian family and her son's best friend, a cook. Tildon in my opinion deserves academy consideration, but realize Sharon did not like the film, nor Tildon's performance and feels that Sharon could do better in the Italian language. ” - sharmatt
 
24.
Lebanon (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
During the First Lebanon War in 1982, a lone tank and a paratroopers platoon are dispatched to search a hostile town. (93 mins.)
Director: Samuel Maoz
“ Samuel Maoz, Israel TIFF VIS, North American Premiere, Set in June 1982 during the Israel-Lebanon War, the film follows a young and heroic tank crew that finds itself in a situation that cannot be contained. The crew copes with impossible conflicts, losing its way amid the chaos of war. Most of the film takes place inside the tank yet its fierce determination and cinematic excellence will be unbelievable. Compare this one to DAS BOOT ” - sharmatt
 
25.
Honeymoons (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
'Honeymoons' shows us that the distance between Eastern and Western Europe is more than a question of kilometers... (95 mins.)
“ HONEYMOONS, Goran Paskaljevic, CABARET BALKAN, Serbia/Albania/Italy,
North American Premiere, TIFF MASTERS,
Two young married couples take off and travel abroad to the promised lands of better opportunities, Italy, but hope collapses when their expectations disappear into thin air and their dreams turn into nightmares.The wedding scene alone is worthy of the 10 score, with the father being one of my all time favorite male performers. The director fled Serbia during the Slobodan Milosovic era. This is the first Serbian-Albanian production in cinema history. This film beautifully reconciles their similarities rather than differences. This also for me makes the film worthy of a 10 rating. AJAMI as a Palestinian/Israeli film at TIFF this year explores similar territory. Unfortunately both films will probably be available only at film festivals.  ” - sharmatt
 
26.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
A traveling theater company gives its audience much more than they were expecting. (123 mins.)
Director: Terry Gilliam
“ TERRY GILLIAM, with Johnny Depp,that when his first-born reached its 16th birthday he or she would become the property of Mr Nick. Valentina is now rapidly approaching this 'coming of age' milestone and Dr Parnassus is desperate to protect her from her impending fate. Mr Nick arrives to collect but, always keen to make a bet, renegotiates the wager. Now the winner of Valentina will be determined by whoever seduces the first five souls. Enlisting a series of wild, comical and compelling characters in his journey, Dr Parnassus promises his daughter's hand in marriage to the man that helps him win. In this captivating, explosive and wonderfully imaginative race against time, Dr Parnassus must fight to save his daughter in a never-ending landscape of surreal obstacles - and undo the mistakes of his past once and for all...truly Terry Gilliam at his best….remember BRAZIL. The sets and landscapes and colors are all so Gilliamesque. ” - sharmatt
 
27.
A Serious Man (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
Larry Gopnik, a Midwestern physics teacher, watches his life unravel over multiple sudden incidents. Though seeking meaning and answers amidst his turmoils, he seems to keep sinking. (106 mins.)
“ COEN BROS, with MICHAEL STUHLBARG,A black comedy set in 1967 exploring Jewish angst and centered on on Larry Gopnik (Stuhlbarg), a Midwestern professor who watches his life unravel when his wife prepares to leave him because his inept brother (Kind) won't move out of the house. Long Beach's own Michael Stuhlbarg, Mort and Susan's son, reveals an excellence in his chosen acting craft for which we can all feel pride. Congratulations Michael and I hope that the Academy will take notice. ” - sharmatt
 
28.
Adrift (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A young newlywed couple in Hanoi begin to experiment with their sexual desires. (110 mins.)
“ ADRIFT, BUI THAC CHUYEN, VIETNAM, This is a sensual drama about a newlywed couple, exploring sexual awakening, forbidden lesbian desire and marital infidelity within modern Vietnam. ” - sharmatt
 
29.
Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
Paris 1913. Coco Chanel is infatuated with the rich and handsome Boy Capel, but she is also compelled by her work... (119 mins.)
Director: Jan Kounen
“ Jan Kounen,FRANCE,Paris 1913. Coco Chanel is infatuated with the rich and handsome Boy Capel, but she is also compelled by her work. Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring is about to be performed. The revolutionary dissonances of Igor's work parallel Coco's radical ideas. She wants to democratize women's fashion; he wants to redefine musical taste ” - sharmatt
 
30.
Five Hours from Paris (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
He's a native Israeli. She's a Russian immigrant. He's a taxi driver. She's a music teacher. He has no aspirations. She gave up hers long ago. He is afraid of flying and she is about to fly away. What are the odds they'll end up together? (87 mins.)
“ ISRAEL, LEON PRUDOVSKY, W.P. TIFF,Only 5 flight hours from Paris, in a working-class suburb of Tel Aviv, two people meet. He is a bred-and-born Israeli and she is a Russian immigrant. He is a taxi driver and she is a music teacher. He has no aspirations. She gave up hers long ago. He is afraid of flying and she is about to fly away. What are the odds of them ending up together?  ” - sharmatt
 
31.
Giulia Doesn't Date at Night (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  
A young writer strikes up a relationship with his daughter's swimming instructor. (105 mins.)
“ GIULIA DOES NOT DATE AT NIGHT, Giuseppe Piccioni, Italy, TIFF CWC, International Premiere, A young novelist is intrigued by his daughter's swimming instructor. When he asks her out, he learns that she doesn't date at night and discovers that she is serving a sentence for a crime of passion. Tentatively they start a relationship that leads both of them in unforeseen directions. A deeply felt romance that allows 2 trapped souls to slowly emerge from their sadness allowing them to each blossom into a happier state. ” - sharmatt
 
32.
Harry Brown (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
An elderly ex-serviceman and widower looks to avenge his best friend's murder by doling out his own form of justice. (103 mins.)
Director: Daniel Barber
“ Daniel Barber, United Kingdom, World Premiere, Harry Brown is a provocative and thought-provoking modern urban western featuring a tour-de-force lead performance from two-time Academy Award®-winner Michael Caine. Harry Brown has lived to see his community descend into crime and violence, and ruled over by a gang of teenage thugs. After his best friend is brutally murdered and the gang leader responsible walks free, Harry reaches a breaking point and revenge becomes his only aim.  ” - sharmatt
 
33.
Air Doll (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
A life-size blow-up doll develops a soul and falls in love with a video store clerk. (125 mins.)
“ AIR DOLL, HIROKAZU KOREEDA, JAPAN, It took the Japanese art of poetic allegory, to use an air doll as the metaphorical character that represents a prostitute in real life. The air doll suddenly starts breathing, and becomes a little bit conscious, then escapes form her lifetime slavery of sexual abuse by degenerated and perverted men. ” - sharmatt
 
34.
Farewell (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
The French intelligence service alerts the U.S. about a Soviet spy operation during the height of the Cold War, which sets off an unfortunate chain of events. (113 mins.)
“ FAREWELL, Christian Carion,(JOYEAUX NOEL, France, 113', with EMIR KUSTURICA(one of my favorite fimmakers, who here as an actor is excellent) WILLEM DAFOE,(in 3 TIFF films this year) FRED WARD, World Premiere
In 1981 Moscow, a KGB colonel, disgusted with what Soviet policy has become, decides to break with the system. With the help of a French engineer he will play a part in one of the key events in world history: the collapse of the Soviet bloc.  ” - sharmatt
 
35.
Wild Grass (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
A wallet lost and found opens the door to romantic adventure for Georges and Marguerite. After examining the ID papers of its owner... (104 mins.)
Director: Alain Resnais
“ Wild Grass, ALAIN RESNAIS, FRANCE, CANNES COMPETITION. Wild Grass showcases one of the great masters of modern cinema with a romantic fantasy which displays the comfortable but consummate confidence of an artist who knows exactly what he wants to do and how to do it and leaving much tothe viewer's interpretation. André Dussollier, Sabine Azéma, The theft of a purse, the seemingly happily married husband and father begins fantasizing about this strange dentist/pilot with a mountain of frizzy red curls—a lust that goes on to express itself in a series of strangely comic and even violent ways. Is Georges mad or merely madly in love? Is Marguerite terrified of him, turned on, or both? This is so Resnais in style....truly one of the greats of French cinema. ” - sharmatt
 
36.
London River (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Two strangers come to discover the fate of their respective children in the 2005 terrorist attacks on London. (84 mins.)
“ Rachid Bouchareb, United Kingdom/France/Algeria, TIFF SP, North American Premiere
This intimate drama tells the story of two people, a Muslim man and a Christian woman, who are immediately affected by the July 2005 London bombings. Both of them are drawn to the British capital when their children go missing on the day of the attacks. Putting aside their cultural differences, they will give each other the strength to continue the search for their children and maintain their faith. I suspect Brenda Blethyn may be included in Academy nods for this perf. ” - sharmatt
 
37.
Leaving (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Suzanne is a well to do married woman and mother in the south of France. Her idle bourgeois lifestyle... (85 mins.)
“ LEAVING, FRANCE, Suzanne (Kristin Scott Thomas) is a well-to-do married woman and mother in the south of France. Her idle bourgeois lifestyle gets her down and she decides to go back to work as a physiotherapist. Her physician husband agrees to fix-up a consulting room for her in their backyard. When Suzanne and the man (Sergi López) hired to do the building meet, the mutual attraction is sudden and violent. Suzanne decides to give up everything and live this all-engulfing passion to the fullest. KRISTEN SCOTT-THOMAS is superb, but I had a problem with her selfish character. ” - sharmatt
 
38.
Slovenian Girl (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  
Alexandra is a student from Krsko, a small town in Slovenia, while she studies the English language in Ljubljana... (90 mins.)
Director: Damjan Kozole
“ Slovenian Girl Damjan Kozole Slovenia/Germany/Serbia/Croatia, TIFF CWC, North American Premiere, A young university student solicits sex clients through newspaper ads, involving her in a hellish adventure.Much of the appreciation I had for this film was its insight into the lives and country of Slovenia.  ” - sharmatt
 
39.
Up in the Air (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
With a job traveling around the country firing people, Ryan Bingham enjoys his life living out of a suitcase, but finds that lifestyle threatened by the presence of a new hire and a potential love interest. (109 mins.)
Director: Jason Reitman
“ Jason Reitman, USA, World Premiere, From Jason Reitman, the Oscar®-nominated director of Juno, comes a comedy starring George Clooney as Ryan Bingham, a corporate downsizing expert whose cherished life on the road is threatened just as he is on the cusp of reaching ten million frequent flyer miles and just after he's met the frequent-traveller woman of his dreams. An excellent life lesson in establishing our priorities. ” - sharmatt
 
40.
Vincere (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
The story of Mussolini's secret lover, Ida Dalser, and their son Albino. (128 mins.)
“ ITALY, The powerful new film from acclaimed auteur Marco Bellocchio (My Mothers Smile, Good Morning, Night, The Wedding Director), VINCERE is a compelling drama based on the littleknown story of Benito Mussolinis first wife. Ida Dalsar (Giovanno Mezzogiorno) and Mussolini (Filippo Timi) begin their liaison in 1914; she is a well-to-do beauty salon owner and he is an impoverished young Socialist and union activist. When Ida sells all her possessions to fund her lover's new newspaper, the rise of Fascism is set into play An official selection of the Cannes, Toronto and Telluride Film Festivals, VINCERE is a gripping film that combines drama, archive footage, and music creating a highly cinematic oratorio of enormous emotional force ” - sharmatt
 
41.
A Prophet (2009)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
A young Arab man is sent to a French prison where he becomes a mafia kingpin. (155 mins.)
Director: Jacques Audiard
“ A PROPHET, JACQUES AUDIARD, FRANCE, TIFF, PSIFF, FOREIGN LANGUAGE OSCAR NOM, A young Arab man is sent to a French prison where he becomes a mafia kingpin. ” - sharmatt