Last night, James and I had tickets to the TIFF premiere of Blindness, adapted from the Nobel Prize-winning book by José Saramago. James reviewed Blindness when we saw the film at Cannes, but I'd heard through the Telluride grapevine that the film had undergone a substantial edit since then. The cut we saw back in May was overlayed with a heavy, expositional voiceover throughout that completely killed the film, which I otherwise had liked quite a bit. So when I heard there was a re-edit playing here at TIFF, I knew we had to see it.
I'm happy to report that the newly edited version of Blindness is a vast improvement over what we saw at Cannes. Not only did director Fernando Meirelles (who also made one of the best films ever, City of God) remove the irritating and distracting voiceover, but as a result of doing so had to significantly re-cut, and in the process ended up with a much, much better film. He's tightened it up a lot, particularly a very troublesome bit concerning a major character arc shift for Julianne Moore's character, The Doctor's Wife, which was one of the parts I most had trouble with at Cannes. And while the film's running time is about the same, it now paces much quicker and thus feels like a tauter, shorter film that's much more engaging.